Speaker Attribution in Cabinet Protocols

Historical cabinet protocols are a useful resource which enable historians to identify the opinions expressed by politicians on different subjects and at different points of time. While cabinet protocols are often available in digitized form, so far the only method to access their information content is by keyword-based search, which often returns sub-optimal results. We present a method for enriching German cabinet protocols with information about the originators of statements. This requires automatic speaker attribution. Unlike many other approaches, our method can also deal with cases in which the speaker is not explicitly identified in the sentence itself. Such cases are very common in our domain. To avoid costly manual annotation of training data, we design a rule-based system which exploits morpho-syntactic cues. We show that such a system obtains good results, especially with respect to recall which is particularly important for information access
Published in 2010