The MULI Project: Annotation and Analysis of Information Structure in German and English


Stefan Baumann, Caren Brinckmann, Silvia Hansen-Schirra, Geert-Jan Kruijff, Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová, Stella Neumann, Erich Steiner, Elke Teich, Hans Uszkoreit

Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany




The goal of the MULI (MUltiLingual Information structure) project is to empirically analyse information structure in German and English newspaper texts. In contrast to other projects in which information structure is annotated and investigated (e.g. in the Prague Dependency Treebank, which mirrors the basic information about the topic-focus articulation of the sentence), we do not annotate theory-biased categories like topic-focus or theme-rheme. Trying to be as theory-independent as possible, we annotate those features which are relevant to information structure and on the basis of which typical patterns, co-occurrences or correlations can be determined. We distinguish between three annotation levels: syntax, discourse and prosody. The data is based on the TIGER Corpus for German and the Penn Treebank for English, since the existing information on part-of-speech and syntactic structure can be re-used for our purposes. The actual annotation of an English example sequence illustrates our choice of categories on each level. Their combination offers the possibility to investigate how information structure is realised and can be interpreted.


information structure, multilingual corpus annotation, treebanks

Language(s) English, German
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