Klein, S.

Syntactic dependence and the computer generation of coherent discourse


The two primary components of the experimental computer program consisted of a phrase structure generation grammar capable of generating grammatical nonsense, and a monitoring system which would abort the generation process whenever it was apparent that the dependency structure of a sentence being generated was not in harmony with the dependency relations existing in an input source text. Potential applications include automatic kernelizing, question answering, automatic essay writing, and automatic abstracting systems. Introduction This paper sets forth the hypothesis that there is in the English language a general principle of transitivity of dependence among elements and describes an experiment in the computer generation of coherent discourse that supports the hypothesis. Given as input a set of English sentences, if we hold constant the set of vocabulary tokens and generate grammatical English statements from that vocabulary with the additional restriction that their transitive dependencies agree with those of the input text, the resulting sentences will all be truth-preserving paraphrases derived from the original set.