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Volume 8 / Issue 10

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-008-10-0924


Components of a Model of Context-Sensitive Hypertexts

Alexander Mehler (University of Trier, Germany)

Abstract: On the background of rising Intranet applications the automatic generation of adaptable, context-sensitive hypertexts becomes more and more important [El-Beltagy et al., 2001]. This observation contradicts the literature on hypertext authoring, where Information Retrieval techniques prevail, which disregard any linguistic and context-theoretical underpinning. As a consequence, resulting hypertexts do not manifest those schematic structures, which are constitutive for the emergence of text types and the context-mediated understanding of their instances, i.e. natural language texts. This paper utilizes Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and its context model as a theoretical basis of hypertext authoring. So called Systemic Functional Hypertexts (SFHT) are proposed, which refer to a stratified context layer as the proper source of text linkage. The purpose of this paper is twofold: First, hypertexts are reconstructed from a linguistic point of view as a kind of supersign, whose constituents are natural language texts and whose structuring is due to intra- and intertextual coherence relations and their context-sensitive interpretation. Second, the paper prepares a formal notion of SFHTs as a first step towards operationalization of fundamental text linguistic concepts. On this background, SFHTs serve to overcome the theoretical poverty of many approaches to link generation.

Keywords: coherence relations, context modelling, hypertext authoring, systemic functional linguistics

Categories: H.3.1, H.3.3, H.5.4, I.2.7, I.7