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LINGUIST List 17.1842

Tue Jun 20 2006

Diss: Semantics: Ozmen: 'Temporal Relations in Discourse: A model f...'

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        1.    Neslihan Ozmen, Temporal Relations in Discourse: A model for the optimal interpretation


Message 1: Temporal Relations in Discourse: A model for the optimal interpretation
Date: 19-Jun-2006
From: Neslihan Ozmen <neslihan.ozmengmail.com>
Subject: Temporal Relations in Discourse: A model for the optimal interpretation


Institution: Ankara University
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006

Author: Neslihan Ozmen

Dissertation Title: Temporal Relations in Discourse: A model for the optimal interpretation

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics

Dissertation Director:
Leyla Uzun

Dissertation Abstract:

The aim of this dissertation is to propose a model for the optimal
interpretation of temporal structure in discourse. In the model which is
based on the basic principles and methods of Optimality Theory, a set of
constraints which play a role on the interpretation of temporal structure
in discourse are proposed and the interactions between these constraints
are presented. The model which is developed on the basis of Turkish data
includes three basic constraints which determine the temporal structure in
discourse: Temporal Faithfulness Constraint, Time Constraint and
Contingency Constraint which is a component of Avoid Temporal Contradiction
Constraint. Temporal Faithfulness Constraint and Time Constraint are
described as Faithfulness Constraints which take the compositional meanings
of the sentences in a discourse into account. In certain cases where these
Faithfulness Constraints are violated, Contingency and Avoid Temporal
Contradiction Constraints come into effect for the optimal interpretation.
It is observed that no temporal relation is inferred in cases where
Temporal Faithfulness Constraint, Time Constraint and Contingency
Constraints are violated. Within the framework of the model which is
developed on the basis of the principle that takes the interpretation of
the temporal structure in discourse as an optimization process, it is
concluded that Temporal Faithfulness Constraint is satisfied in narrative
discourses.

The dissertation includes the following chapters: First chapter evaluates
the approaches to the interpretation of temporal structure in discourse and
they are criticized for not giving a complete explanatory account of
temporal structure in discourse. In this chapter the basic principles and
tools of Optimality Theory are introduced and it is concluded that
Optimality Theory provides a complete theoretical framework for a unified
explanation of temporal structure in discourse at semantic, syntactic and
pragmatic levels. In second chapter, a model which is called 'Temporal
Optimization Model' is developed for the most optimal interpretation of the
temporal structure in discourse and a set of constraints which play a role
on the interpretation of this structure are presented. In this chapter how
atemporal relations occur and what kind of rhetorical relations such
atemporal relations show are also discussed. Third chapter concentrates on
temporal simultaneity relations and introduces Interval Constraints which
determine the temporal parallelism and inclusion relations. Fourth chapter
focuses on temporal anteriority and posteriority relations and introduces
Parallelism Constraint which takes the hierarchical structure of discourse
into account from a Bi-directional Optimality perspective. The last chapter
evaluates and overviews the findings of the study.



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