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LINGUIST List 16.2493

Sun Aug 28 2005

FYI: Eng Pronoun Case;Artificial Communication Partners

Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyerlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Heidi Quinn, English Pronoun Case - Survey Questionnaires
        2.    Kerstin Fischer, Humans & Artifical Communication Partners

Message 1: English Pronoun Case - Survey Questionnaires
Date: 24-Aug-2005
From: Heidi Quinn <heidi.quinncanterbury.ac.nz>
Subject: English Pronoun Case - Survey Questionnaires

For anyone interested in the empirical survey discussed in my book on
English pronoun case (see below for details), the questionnaires used in
the survey are now available at the following URL:



Department of Linguistics
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
New Zealand


The Distribution of Pronoun Case Forms in English
by Heidi Quinn

[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 82] 2005. xii, 409 pp. ISBN: 90 272
2806 X (Hb)

This book offers an in-depth analysis of Modern English pronoun case. I
examine case trends in a wide range of syntactic constructions and conclude
that case variation is confined to strong pronoun contexts. Data from a
survey of 90 speakers provide new insights into the distributional
differences between strong 1sg and non-1sg case forms and reveal systematic
case variation within the speech of individuals as well as across speakers.
The empirical findings suggest that morphological case is best treated as a
PF phenomenon conditioned by semantic, syntactic, and phonological factors.
In order to capture the way in which these linguistic factors interact to
produce the pronoun case patterns exhibited by individual speakers, I
introduce a novel constraint-based approach to morphological case. Current
case trends are also considered in a wider historical context and are
related to a change in the licensing of structural arguments.

Table of contents
Key to abbreviations
1. The history of the English case system
2. Formal approaches to case and the three case constraints
3. Case and the weak/strong distinction in the English pronoun system
4. The empirical survey
5. The survey results
6. Relative Positional Coding and the Invariant Strong Form constraints
7. Modelling the interaction of the constraints
8. The distribution of personal pronoun forms in other strong pronoun contexts
9. The distribution of wh-pronoun forms in Modern English
10. Speculations and conclusions
Name index
Subject index

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Message 2: Humans & Artifical Communication Partners
Date: 24-Aug-2005
From: Kerstin Fischer <kerstinfuni-bremen.de>
Subject: Humans & Artifical Communication Partners

Call for Expression of Interest: How People Talk to Computers and other
Artificial Communication Partners

There is a growing body of research on the design of articificial
communication partners, such as dialogue systems, robots, ECAs and so on,
and thus conversational interfaces are becoming more and more
sophisticated. However, there is still very little known about the ways
human users address such a conversational interface. Linguistic studies on
the ways people talk to artificial communication partners so far have
yielded very particular, corpus- and domain-specific results. What is
needed is therefore to bring together results from various different
scenarios in order to achieve a more general picture of the determining
factors of different ways of talking to artificial agents, such as dialogue
systems, ECAs, robots and the like, aiming at a model that promises
reusability of results achieved in different human-computer situations and
predictability with respect to behaviours to be expected of new
human-computer interfaces.

We would therefore like to bring together researchers interested in the
following questions:

- Which different types of linguistic behaviours (phonetic, prosodic,
syntactic, lexical, conversational) can be found in the communication with
artificial communication partners?

- Do these types of behaviours cluster in particular ways such that some
behaviours tend to co-occur with others?

- Do the different linguistic behaviours relate to particular
conceptualisations of the respective system, such that different types of
users become apparent?

- Are there particular linguistic means to identify different types of
users (unobtrusively and online)?

- Which aspects of the design condition which kinds of behaviours?

- Which kinds of problems in dialogue modelling and automatic speech
processing can be prevented by modelling different kinds of linguistic
behaviours and different types of users?

The results of this inquiry will be used to allow researchers in the area
to get into contact with each other and to get an overview of research
carried out in the field. We are also planning a workshop on the topic in
the vicinity of Bremen, Germany, in March/April 2006.

Fischer, Kerstin (to appear): What Computer Talk is and Isn't.
Krause, Ludwig & Hitzenberger, Ludwig (1992): Computer Talk. Olms.
Reeves & Nass (1996): The Media Equation. Stanford: CSLI and
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
Discourse Analysis

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