Centering: A Framework for Modelling the Local Coherence of Discourse
This paper concerns relationships among focus of attention, choice of referring expression, and perceived coherence of utterances within a discourse segment. It presents a framework and initial theory of centering which are intended to model the local component of attentional state. The paper examines interactions between local coherence and choice of referring expressions; it argues that differences in coherence correspond in part to the inference demands made by different types of referring expressions given a particular attentional state. It demonstrates that the attentional state properties modelled by centering can account for these differences.