Bibliography on the Production of Referring Expressions


There are two excellent bibliographies on referring expressions from a computational perspective, maintained by two of our project members: Albert Gatt’s Annotated Bibliography on the Generation of Referring Expressions and Related Problems and Jette Viethen’s extensive Bibliography on Referring Expression Generation (including bibtex records and many pdfs).

In addition to this, we maintain a bibliography focussing on various phenomena in empirical and psycholinguistic research on the production of referring expressions (see below).



Dale, R. and Reiter, E. (1995). Computational interpretations of the Gricean maxims in the generation of referring expressions. Cognitive Science 19 (2), 233-263. [PDF]
Grice, H.P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In: P. Cole and J.L. Morgan (Eds.), Speech Acts, 41-58. New York: Academic Press.
Krahmer, E. and K. van Deemter (2012). Computational Generation of Referring Expressions: A Survey. Computational Linguistics, to appear. [PDF]
Levelt, W. (1989). Speaking: From Intention to Articulation. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Olson, D.R. (1970). Language and thought: Aspects of a cognitive theory of semantics. Psychological Review 77 (4), 257-273.
van Deemter, K., A. Gatt, R. van Gompel and E. Krahmer (2012). Towards a computational psycholinguistics of reference production. Topics in Cognitive Science, to appear.
Searle, J.R. (1969). Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Referring as a collaborative process

Brennan, S. and Clark, H. (1996). Conceptual pacts and lexical choice in conversation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 22, 1482-1493. [PDF]
Brennan, S. and Hanna, J. (2009). Partner-specific adaptation in dialog. Topics in Cognitive Science 1 (2), 274-291.
Brennan, S., Galati, A. and Kuhlen, A (2010). Two minds, one dialog: Coordinating speaking and understanding. In B. H. Ross (Ed.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation 53, 301-344, Burlington: Academic Press. [PDF]
Brown-Schmidt, S. (2009). Partner-specific interpretation of maintained referential precedents during interactive dialog. Journal of Memory and Language 61 (2), 171-190. [PDF]
Clark, H. and Bangerter, A. (2004). Changing conceptions about reference. In I. Noveck and D. Sperber (Eds.), Experimental Pragmatics Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 25-49. [PDF]
Clark, H. and Wilkes-Gibbs, D. (1986). Referring as a collaborative process. Cognition 22 (1), 1-39. [PDF]
Clark, H. and Brennan, S. (1991). Grounding in communication. In L. B. Resnick, J.M. Levine and S.D. Teasley (Eds.), Perspectives on Socially Shared Cognition, 127-149. Washington DC: American Psychological Association. [PDF]
Clark, H. and Krych, M. (2004). Speaking while monitoring addressees for understanding. Journal of Memory and Language 50, 62-81. [PDF]
Deutsch, W. and Pechmann, T. (1982). Social interaction and the development of definite descriptions. Cognition 11 (2), 159-184.
Eriksson, M. (2009). Referring as interaction: On the interplay between linguistic and bodily practices. Journal of Pragmatics 41 (2), 240-262. [PDF]
Fussell, S. and Krauss, R. (1989). Understanding friends and strangers: The effects of audience design on message comprehension. European Journal of Social Psychology 19 (6), 509-525.
Gundel, J., Hedberg, N. and Zacharsky, R. (1993). Cognitive status and the form of referring expressions in discourse. Language 69 (2), 274-307.
Hanna, J., Tanenhaus, M. and Trueswell, J. (2003). The effects of common ground and perspective on domains of referential interpretation. Journal of Memory and Language 49 (1), 43-61. [PDF]
Hanna, J. and Tanenhaus, M. (2004). Pragmatic effects of reference resolution in a collaborative task: evidence from eye movements. Cognitive Science 28, 105-115. [PDF]
Heeman, P. and Hirst, G. (1995). Collaborating on referring expressions. Computational Linguistics 21 (3), 351-382. [PDF]
Horton, W. and Gerrig, R. (2002). Speakers’ experiences and audience design: knowing when and knowing how to adjust utterances to adressees. Journal of Memory and Language 47, 589-606. [PDF]
Horton, W. and Keysar, B. (1996). When do speakers take into account common ground? Cognition 59 (1), 91-117. [PDF]
Keysar, B. (1997). Unconfounding common ground. Discourse Processes 24, 253-270. [PDF]
Metzing, C. and Brennan, S. (2003). When conceptual pacts are broken: Partner-specific effects on the comprehension of referring expressions. Journal of Memory of Language 49 (2), 201-213. [PDF]
Wege, M. van der (2009). Lexical entrainment and lexical differentiation in reference phrase choice. Journal of Memory and Language 60 (4), 448-463. [PDF]
Wittek, A. and Tomasello, M. (2005). Young children’s sensitivity to listener knowledge and perceptual context in choosing referring expressions. Applied Psycholinguistics 26, 541-558. [PDF]


Nonverbal aspects of referring

Alibali, M., Heath, D. and Meyers, H. (2001). Effects of visibility between speaker and listener on gesture production: Some gestures are meant to be seen. Journal of Memory and Language 44, 169-188. [PDF]
Bangerter, A. (2004). Using pointing and describing to achieve joint focus of attention in dialogue. Psychological Science 15 (6), 415-419. [PDF]
de Ruiter, J.P., Bangerter, A. and Dings, A. (in press). The interplay between gesture and speech in the production of referring expressions: Investigating the trade-off hypothesis. Topics in Cognitive Science.
Gerwing, J. and Bavelas, G. (2004). Linguistic influences on gesture's form. Gesture 4, 157-195. [PDF]
Hanna, J. and Brennan, S. (2007). Speaker's eye gaze disambiguates referring expressions early during face-to-face conversation. Journal of Memory and Language 57, 596-615. [PDF]
Holler, J. and Stevens, R. (2007). The effect of common ground on how speakers use gesture and speech to represent size information. Journal of Language and Psychology 26 (1), 4-27. [PDF]
Holler, J. and Wilkin, K. (2011). Co-speech gesture mimicry in the process of collaborative referring during face-to-face dialogue. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 35, 133-153. [PDF]
Jacobs, N. and Garnham, A. (2007). The role of conversational hand gestures in a narrative task. Journal of Memory and Language 56, 291-303. [PDF]
Lam, T. and Watson, D. (2010). Repetition is easy: Why repeated referents have reduced prominence. Memory and Cognition 38 (8), 1137-1146. [PDF]
Tyrone, M. and Mauk, C. (2010). Sign lowering and phonetic reduction in American Sign Language. Journal of Phonetics 38, 317-328. [PDF]


Lexical availability

Ariel, M. (1990). Accessing Noun-Phrase Antecedents. London: Croom Helm.
Ariel, M. (1991). The function of accessibility in a theory of grammar. Journal of Pragmatics 16 (5), 443-463. [PDF]
Ariel, M. (2001). Accessibility theory: An overview. In: T. Sanders., J. Schilperoord, and W. Spooren (Eds.), Text representation: Linguistic and psycholinguistic aspects, 29-87. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Arnold, J. and Griffin, Z. (2007). The effect of additional characters on choice of referring expression: Everyone counts. Journal of Memory and Language 56, 521-536. [PDF]
Bard, E., Anderson, A., Sotillo, C., Aylett, M., Doherty-Sneddon, G. and Newl, A. (2000). Controlling the intelligibility of referring expressions in dialogue. Journal of Memory and Language 42, 1-22. [PDF]
Belke, E. and Meyer, A. (2002). Tracking the time course of multidimensional stimulus discrimination: Analysis of viewing patterns and processing times during “same”-“different” decisions. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 14, 237-266. [PDF]
Brown=Schmidt, S. and Tanenhaus, M. (2006). Watching the eyes when talking about size: an investigation of message formulation and utterance planning. Journal of Memory and Language 54, 592-609. [PDF]
Gundel, J., Hegarty, M. and Borthen, K. (2003). Cognitive status, information structure, and pronominal reference to clausally introduced entities. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 12 (3), 281-299. [PDF]
Levelt, W., Roelofs, A. and Meyer, A. (1999). A theory of lexical access in speech production. Beharioral and Brain Sciences 22, 1-38.
Matthews, D., Lieven, E., Theakston, A. and Tomasello, M. (2006). The effect of perceptual availability and prior discourse on young children’s use of referring expressions. Applied Psycholinguistics 27 (3), 402-422. [PDF]
Snedeker, J. and Trueswell, J. (2004). The developing constraints on parsing decisions: the role of lexical-biases and referential scenes in child and adult sentence processing. Cognitive Psychology 49 (3), 238-299. [PDF]
Stevenson, R. (2002). The role of salience in the production of referring expressions: A psycholinguistic perspective. In: K. van Deemter, and R. Kibble (Eds.), Information Sharing, 167-192. Stanford, CSLI. [PDF]
Tanenhaus, M., Chambers, C. and Hanna, J. (2004). Referential domains in spoken language comprehension: Using eye movements to bridge the product and action traditions. In J. M. Henderson and F. Ferreira (Eds.), The interface of language, vision, and action: Eye movements and the visual world, 251-287. New York: Psychology Press. [PDF]
Yantis, S. and Egeth, H. (1999). On the distinction between visual salience and stimulus-driven attentional capture. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human perception and performance 25, 661-676. [PDF]


Referential overspecification

Arts, A. (2004). Overspecification in instructive discourse. PhD Thesis, Tilburg University.
Arts, A., Maes, A., Noordman, L. and Jansen, C. (2011). Overspecification facilitates object comprehension. Journal of Pragmatics 43 (1), 361-374. [PDF]
Arts, A., Maes, A., Noordman, L. and Jansen, C. (2011). Overspecification in written instruction. Applied Linguistics 49 (3), 555-574. [PDF]
Engelhardt, P., Bailey, K. and Ferreira, F. (2006). Do speakers and listeners observe the Gricean Maxim of Quantity?. Journal of Memory and Language 54, 554-573. [PDF]
Jaszczolt, K. (2002). Against ambiguity and underspecification: evidence from presupposition as anaphora. Journal of Pragmatics 34, 829-849. [PDF]
Koolen, R., Gatt, A., Goudbeekm, M. and Krahmer, E. (2011). Factors causing overspecification in definite descriptions. Journal of Pragmatics 43 (13), 3231-3250. [PDF]
Maes, A., Arts, A. and Noordman, L. (2004). Reference management in instructive discourse. Discourse Processes 37 (2), 117-144. [PDF]
Mangold, R. and Pobel, R. (1988). Informativeness and instrumentality in referential communication. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 7, 181-191. [PDF]
Onishi, K. and Murphy, G. (2002). Discourse model representation of referential and attributive descriptions. Language and Cognitive Processes 17 (2), 97-123. [PDF]
Pechmann, T. (1989). Incremental speech production and referential overspecification. Linguistics 27, 98-110.
Sonnenschein, S. (1985). The development of referential communication skills: some situations in which speakers give redundant messages. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 14, 489-508. [PDF]
Spivey, M. and Richardson, D. (2008). Language embedded in the environment. In P. Robbins and M. Aydede (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition, 383-400. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Speaker internal vs. addressee-oriented processes

Arnold, J. (2008). Reference production: Production-internal and addressee-oriented processes. Language and Cognitive Processes 23 (4), 495-527. [PDF]
Bateman, J., Tenbrink, T. and Farrar, s. (2006). The role of conceptual and linguistic ontologies in discourse. Discourse Processes 44 (3), 175-212. [PDF]
Nadig, A. and Sedivy, J. (2002). Evidence of perspective-taking constraints in children's on-line reference resolution. Psychological Science 13, 329-336. [PDF]
Lane, W. and Ferreira, V. (2008). Speaker-external versus speaker-internal forces on utterance form: Do cognitive demands override threats to referential success? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 34, 1466-1481. [PDF]


Pragmatics of reference

Abbott, B. (2004). Definiteness and indefiniteness. In L. R. Horn and G. Ward, The Handbook of Pragmatics, 122-149. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Almor, A. (1999). Noun-phrase anaphora and focus: The informational load hypothesis. Psychological Review 106 (4), 748-765. [PDF]
Altmann, G. and Steedman, M. (1988). Interaction with context during human sentence processing. Cognition 30, 191-238. [PDF]
Altmann, G., Garnham, A. and Henstra, J. (1994). Effects of syntax in human sentence parsing: Evidence against a structure-based proposal mechanism. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 20 (1), 209-216. [PDF]
Barr, D. and Keysar, B. (2002). Anchoring comprehension in linguistic precedents. Journal of Memory and Language 46 (2), 391-418. [PDF]
Brown-Schmidt, S. and Tanenhaus, M. (2008). Real-time investigation of referential domains in unscripted conversation: A targeted language game approach. Cognitive Science 32 (4), 643-684.
Campbell, A., Brooks, P. and Tomasello, M. (2000). Factors affecting young children’s use of pronouns as referring expressions. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 43, 1337-1349.
Chambers, C., Tanenhaus, M. and Magnuson, J. (2004). Actions and affordances in syntactic ambiguity resolution. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 30 (3), 687-696. [PDF]
Chen, P. (2009). Aspects of referentiality. Journal of Pragmatics 41 (8), 1657-1674. [PDF]
Cohen, P. (1984). The pragmatics of referring and the modality of communication. Computational Linguistics 10 (2), 97-146. [PDF]
Dahan, D., Tanenhaus, M. and Chambers, C. (2002). Memory and language accent and reference resolution in spoken-language comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language 47, 292-314. [PDF]
Ferreira, V., Slevc, L. and Rogers, E. (2005). How do speakers avoid ambiguous linguistic expressions? Cognition 96 (3), 263-284. [PDF]
Grodner, D. and Sedivy, J. (2005). The effect of speaker-specific information on pragmatic inferences. In N. Pearlmutter and E. Gibson (Eds.), The Processing and Acquisition of Reference. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [PDF]
Haywood, S., Pickering, M. and Branigan, H. (2005). Do speakers avoid ambiguity during dialogue? Psychological Science 16, 362-366. [PDF]
Heller, D., Grodner, D and Tanenhaus, M. (2008). The role of perspective in identifying domains of reference. Cognition 108, 831-836. [PDF]
Keysar, B., Barr, D., Balin, J. and Brauner, J. (2000). Taking Perspective in Conversation: The Role of Mutual Knowledge in Comprehension. Psychological Science 11 (1), 32-38. [PDF]
Lane, W., Groisman, M. and Ferreira, V. (2006). Donʼt talk about pink elephants! Speaker's control over leaking private information during language production. Psychological Science 17 (4), 273-277. [PDF]
Paraboni, I., Deemter, K. van. and Masthoff, J. (2007). Generating Referring Expressions: Making Referents Easy to Identify. Computational Linguistics 33 (2), 229-254. [PDF]
Sedivy, J., Tanenhaus, M., Chambers, C. and Carlson, G. (1999). Achieving incremental semantic interpretation through contextual representation. Cognition 71 (2), 109-147. [PDF]
Sedivy, J. (2002). Invoking discourse-based contrast sets and resolving syntactic ambiguities. Journal of Memory and Language 46, 341-370. [PDF]
Sedivy, J. (2003). Pragmatic versus form-based accounts of referential contrast: evidence for effects of informativity expectations. Journal of Psycholinguistics Research 32 (1), 2-23. [PDF]
Tanenhaus, M. and Brown-Schmidt, S. (2008). Language processing in the natural world. Philosophical Transactions B, Biological sciences 363 (1493), 1105-1122. [PDF]


Priming and alignment in reference production

Bock, K. and Griffin, Z. (2000). The persistence of structural priming: Transient activation or implicit learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology 129, 177-192. [PDF]
Branigan, H., Pickering, M., McLean, J. and Cleland, A. (2007). Syntactic alignment and participant role in dialogue. Cognition 104 (2), 163-197. [PDF]
Branigan, H., Pickering, M., Pearson, J. and McLean, J. (2010). Linguistic alignment between people and computers. Journal of Pragmatics 42 (9), 2355-2368. [PDF]
Garrod, S. and Pickering, M. (2007). Alignment in dialogue. In G. M. Gaskell and G. Altmann (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics, 443-451. Oxford: Oxford University Press [PDF]
Garrod, S. and Pickering, M. (2009). Joint action, interactive alignment, and dialog. Topics in Cognitive Science 1 (2), 292-304.
Goudbeek, M. and E. Krahmer (2012). Alignment in interactive reference production: Content planning, modifier ordering and referential overspecification. Topics in Cognitive Science, to appear.
Pickering, M., Branigan, H., Cleland, A. and Stewart, A. (2000). Activation of syntactic information during language production. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 29 (2), 205-216. [PDF]
Pickering, M. and Garrod, S. (2006). Alignment as the basis for successful communication. Research On Language and Computation 4, 203-288. [PDF]
Pickering, M. and Ferreira, V. (2008). Structural priming: A critical review. Psychological Bulletin 134 (3), 427-459. [PDF]


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