Towards Using Machine Translation Techniques to Induce Multilingual Lexica of Discourse Markers

by   António Lopes, et al.

Discourse markers are universal linguistic events subject to language variation. Although an extensive literature has already reported language specific traits of these events, little has been said on their cross-language behavior and on building an inventory of multilingual lexica of discourse markers. This work describes new methods and approaches for the description, classification, and annotation of discourse markers in the specific domain of the Europarl corpus. The study of discourse markers in the context of translation is crucial due to the idiomatic nature of these structures. Multilingual lexica together with the functional analysis of such structures are useful tools for the hard task of translating discourse markers into possible equivalents from one language to another. Using Daniel Marcu's validated discourse markers for English, extracted from the Brown Corpus, our purpose is to build multilingual lexica of discourse markers for other languages, based on machine translation techniques. The major assumption in this study is that the usage of a discourse marker is independent of the language, i.e., the rhetorical function of a discourse marker in a sentence in one language is equivalent to the rhetorical function of the same discourse marker in another language.


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