Generating referring expressions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary/reference book

47 Citations (Scopus)


The generation of referring expressions is a key component task in many studies of natural language generation, and one that has attracted a significant amount of attention over the past 15–20 years. This article provides a formal characterization of the problem as a process of constructing a distinguishing description of an intended referent, so that a hearer is able to identify the intended referent within a context that contains other potential referents. The article outlines the historical development of algorithms that attempt to address various aspects of the problem, and points to further aspects of the problem that remain so far unexplored.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of language and linguistics
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)0080442994
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • anaphora
  • definite descriptions
  • natural language generation
  • reference

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