Proceedings of the Workshop on Discourse Relation Parsing and Treebanking 2019

Amir Zeldes, Debopam Das, Erick Maziero Galani, Juliano Desiderato Antonio, Mikel Iruskieta (Editors)

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Minneapolis, MN
Association for Computational Linguistics
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Proceedings of the Workshop on Discourse Relation Parsing and Treebanking 2019
Amir Zeldes | Debopam Das | Erick Maziero Galani | Juliano Desiderato Antonio | Mikel Iruskieta

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Nuclearity in RST and signals of coherence relationsRST and signals of coherence relations
Debopam Das

We investigate the relationship between the notion of nuclearity as proposed in Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) and the signalling of coherence relations. RST relations are categorized as either mononuclear (comprising a nucleus and a satellite span) or multinuclear (comprising two or more nuclei spans). We examine how mononuclear relations (e.g., Antithesis, Condition) and multinuclear relations (e.g., Contrast, List) are indicated by relational signals, more particularly by discourse markers (e.g., because, however, if, therefore). We conduct a corpus study, examining the distribution of either type of relations in the RST Discourse Treebank (Carlson et al., 2002) and the distribution of discourse markers for those relations in the RST Signalling Corpus (Das et al., 2015). Our results show that discourse markers are used more often to signal multinuclear relations than mononuclear relations. The findings also suggest a complex relationship between the relation types and syntactic categories of discourse markers (subordinating and coordinating conjunctions).

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Annotating Shallow Discourse Relations in Twitter ConversationsTwitter Conversations
Tatjana Scheffler | Berfin Aktaş | Debopam Das | Manfred Stede

We introduce our pilot study applying PDTB-style annotation to Twitter conversations. Lexically grounded coherence annotation for Twitter threads will enable detailed investigations of the discourse structure of conversations on social media. Here, we present our corpus of 185 threads and annotation, including an inter-annotator agreement study. We discuss our observations as to how Twitter discourses differ from written news text wrt. discourse connectives and relations. We confirm our hypothesis that discourse relations in written social media conversations are expressed differently than in (news) text. We find that in Twitter, connective arguments frequently are not full syntactic clauses, and that a few general connectives expressing EXPANSION and CONTINGENCY make up the majority of the explicit relations in our data.

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A Discourse Signal Annotation System for RST TreesRST Trees
Luke Gessler | Yang Liu | Amir Zeldes

This paper presents a new system for open-ended discourse relation signal annotation in the framework of Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST), implemented on top of an online tool for RST annotation. We discuss existing projects annotating textual signals of discourse relations, which have so far not allowed simultaneously structuring and annotating words signaling hierarchical discourse trees, and demonstrate the design and applications of our interface by extending existing RST annotations in the freely available GUM corpus.

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EusDisParser : improving an under-resourced discourse parser with cross-lingual dataEusDisParser: improving an under-resourced discourse parser with cross-lingual data
Mikel Iruskieta | Chloé Braud

Development of discourse parsers to annotate the relational discourse structure of a text is crucial for many downstream tasks. However, most of the existing work focuses on English, assuming a quite large dataset. Discourse data have been annotated for Basque, but training a system on these data is challenging since the corpus is very small. In this paper, we create the first demonstrator based on RST for Basque, and we investigate the use of data in another language to improve the performance of a Basque discourse parser. More precisely, we build a monolingual system using the small set of data available and investigate the use of multilingual word embeddings to train a system for Basque using data annotated for another language. We found that our approach to building a system limited to the small set of data available for Basque allowed us to get an improvement over previous approaches making use of many data annotated in other languages. At best, we get 34.78 in F1 for the full discourse structure. More data annotation is necessary in order to improve the results obtained with these techniques. We also describe which relations match with the gold standard, in order to understand these results.

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Towards the Data-driven System for Rhetorical Parsing of Russian TextsRussian Texts
Artem Shelmanov | Dina Pisarevskaya | Elena Chistova | Svetlana Toldova | Maria Kobozeva | Ivan Smirnov

Results of the first experimental evaluation of machine learning models trained on Ru-RSTreebank first Russian corpus annotated within RST framework are presented. Various lexical, quantitative, morphological, and semantic features were used. In rhetorical relation classification, ensemble of CatBoost model with selected features and a linear SVM model provides the best score (macro F1 = 54.67 0.38). We discover that most of the important features for rhetorical relation classification are related to discourse connectives derived from the connectives lexicon for Russian and from other sources.

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The DISRPT 2019 Shared Task on Elementary Discourse Unit Segmentation and Connective DetectionDISRPT 2019 Shared Task on Elementary Discourse Unit Segmentation and Connective Detection
Amir Zeldes | Debopam Das | Erick Galani Maziero | Juliano Antonio | Mikel Iruskieta

In 2019, we organized the first iteration of a shared task dedicated to the underlying units used in discourse parsing across formalisms : the DISRPT Shared Task on Elementary Discourse Unit Segmentation and Connective Detection. In this paper we review the data included in the task, which cover 2.6 million manually annotated tokens from 15 datasets in 10 languages, survey and compare submitted systems and report on system performance on each task for both annotated and plain-tokenized versions of the data.

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Multilingual segmentation based on neural networks and pre-trained word embeddings
Mikel Iruskieta | Kepa Bengoetxea | Aitziber Atutxa Salazar | Arantza Diaz de Ilarraza

The DISPRT 2019 workshop has organized a shared task aiming to identify cross-formalism and multilingual discourse segments. Elementary Discourse Units (EDUs) are quite similar across different theories. Segmentation is the very first stage on the way of rhetorical annotation. Still, each annotation project adopted several decisions with consequences not only on the annotation of the relational discourse structure but also at the segmentation stage. In this shared task, we have employed pre-trained word embeddings, neural networks (BiLSTM+CRF) to perform the segmentation. We report F1 results for 6 languages : Basque (0.853), English (0.919), French (0.907), German (0.913), Portuguese (0.926) and Spanish (0.868 and 0.769). Finally, we also pursued an error analysis based on clause typology for Basque and Spanish, in order to understand the performance of the segmenter.

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Using Rhetorical Structure Theory to Assess Discourse Coherence for Non-native Spontaneous SpeechRhetorical Structure Theory to Assess Discourse Coherence for Non-native Spontaneous Speech
Xinhao Wang | Binod Gyawali | James V. Bruno | Hillary R. Molloy | Keelan Evanini | Klaus Zechner

This study aims to model the discourse structure of spontaneous spoken responses within the context of an assessment of English speaking proficiency for non-native speakers. Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) has been commonly used in the analysis of discourse organization of written texts ; however, limited research has been conducted to date on RST annotation and parsing of spoken language, in particular, non-native spontaneous speech. Due to the fact that the measurement of discourse coherence is typically a key metric in human scoring rubrics for assessments of spoken language, we conducted research to obtain RST annotations on non-native spoken responses from a standardized assessment of academic English proficiency. Subsequently, automatic parsers were trained on these annotations to process non-native spontaneous speech. Finally, a set of features were extracted from automatically generated RST trees to evaluate the discourse structure of non-native spontaneous speech, which were then employed to further improve the validity of an automated speech scoring system.