Antithesis: A Study in Clause Combining and Discourse Structure.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MARINA DEL REY INFORMATION SCIENCES INST
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Al Research in text generation needs a strong linguistically justified descriptive theory as a basis for creating methods by which programs can write multiparagraph texts. This paper sketches Rhetorical Structure Theory, which has been designed to support text generation, and then applies RST to describing a particular class of discourse constructs. There is no concensus as to the status of clause combining relations relative to larger texts. This paper demonstrates a clause combining relation that is also found as part of larger text structures, and shows how this fact can be used to explain cases in which contrastive clause combining appears between clauses that are not in fact in contrast. The appropriate generalization is that the relations of clause combining and the relations of general text structure are the same. Use of this generalization should make Al text planning and text generation significantly easier.