Audience design in the generation of references to famous people

Roman Kutlak, Kees van Deemter, Christopher Stuart Mellish

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution


This paper seeks to fill a gap in existing computational models of the production of referring expressions, by addressing
situations in which speakers have difficulty assessing what information is available to their audience. The paper describes
a two-part experiment where speakers were given the name of
a famous person and had to create a description that would
enable a hearer to identify the person, and hearers used the
created descriptions to guess the name of the described person. The experiment compares how confident hearers are that
they have identified the referent and how well speakers can estimate this confidence. The results of the experiment suggest
that speakers do not overestimate hearers’ confidence as the
psycholinguistic literature had led us to expect.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33th CogSci conference
Place of PublicationBoston
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-0-9768318-7-7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
EventCogSci 2011 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 20 Jul 201123 Jul 2011


ConferenceCogSci 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA


  • audience design
  • mutual knowledge
  • reference
  • definite descriptions
  • GRE


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