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Naho Orita *15 in Discourse Processes with Naomi

June 24, 2021 Linguistics

The many features of Naho Orita's PhD (cake)

Is use of a pronoun motivated by topicality or efficiency?

Now in Discourse Processes, "Informativity, topicality, and speech cost: comparing models of speakers’ choices of referring expressions" by Naho Orita *15, with former advisor Naomi Feldman, and their undergraduate RA, Eliana Vornov. The paper "formalizes and compares two major hypotheses in speakers’ choices of referring expressions: the topicality model that chooses a form based on the topicality of the referent, and the rational model that chooses a form based on the informativity of the form and its speech cost. Simulations suggest that both the topicality of the referent and the informativity of the word are important to consider in speakers’ choices of reference forms, while a speech cost metric that prefers shorter forms may not be." The paper develops a line of work presented in Naho's 2015 dissertation, "Computational modeling of the role of discourse information in language production and language acquisition."