Emphatic NPI/FCI and Adversative Discourse Relations, a Probabilistic Approach

  • Margot Colinet
  • Grégoire Winterstein
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7258)


This paper deals with the discursive effects of the use of emphatic Negative Polarity Items and Free Choice Items such as any. In this work, we show that the use of the emphatic any, be it an NPI or an FCI, has a direct effect on the introduction of subsequent discourse segments. Our theoretical observations are backed up by experimental results. To account for the data, an explicit link between two probabilistic approaches to natural language semantics is proposed. The first one deals with the semantics of NPIs and FCIs, respectively van Rooy (2003), Jayez (2010), and the second one tackles the interpretation of discourse markers, Merin (1999).. It is shown that, modulo some formal tinkering, the two accounts interact nicely together to explain the data.


Noun Phrase Natural Language Semantic Bare Plural Discourse Marker Negative Polarity Item 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margot Colinet
    • 1
  • Grégoire Winterstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Linguistique FormelleUniversité Paris Diderot-Paris 7France
  2. 2.Laboratoire Structures Formelles du LangageUniversité Paris 8France

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