A Literature Review on Centering Theory



Centering, a model of the conversants’ center of attention in discourse, centers around the relationship between attentional state, inferential complexity and the form of referring expression. Concerned with the local coherence and semantic entity salience, Centering Theory is framed by two strands of early work: (i) research by Joshi, Kuhn and Weinstein (Joshi and Kuhn, 1979; Joshi, Weinstein, 1981); and (ii) research by Grosz and Sidner (Grosz, 1977; Sidner, 1979; Grosz, Sidner, 1986). A synthesis of the two trains of thoughts helps to make up a theoretical background for Centering Theory and a motivation for the future work, such as empirical studies and application studies. In the present article, in order to help the reader to understand the epochal significance of various fruits of recent couple of decades, an attempt to undertake a systematic review of Centering Theory will be made.


Centering theory; Discourse coherence; Parametric studies; Center transition

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/12151


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