next up previous contents index
Next: Idiomatic information Up: Lexical content information Previous: Lexical semantic information

Pragmatic information


The central area of application for pragmatic information from the point of view of spoken language is in dialogue situations, in which prosody  (intonation , emphasis, accentuation ) is required in addition to word-based information: prosodic  information is typically associated with speaker-centred pragmatic information such as topic focussing, speaker attitudes, and dialogue turn-taking. For further details of dialogue structure, Chapter 13 and the results of the EAGLES Working Group on Corpora should be consulted.

Because spoken language corpora  are generally highly application oriented, and therefore bound to a particular speaker or set of speakers, with relatively homogeneous properties of register , speech style, and dialect , including pronunciation, vocabulary,  grammar , and intentions with respect to specific actions, the kind of pragmatic information required for particular lexical items is also restricted.

Spoken language lexica differ in this way from large-scale general coverage lexica, though the need for such lexica in the spoken language area is growing. In many respects spoken language lexica differ considerably from text-based written language lexica in respect of pragmatic information. The kinds of pragmatic information required are generally limited to information about a few speech act types (question, answer, instruction, etc.). The advent of complex spoken language dialogue systems  makes treatment of unorthodox items such as discourse particles, including hesitation markers, and of word fragments a necessity.  

EAGLES SWLG SoftEdition, May 1997. Get the book...