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AIC Seminar Series

Mapping Verbal Argument Preferences to Deverbal Nouns

Olya GurevichMicrosoft (Powerset)

Notice:  Hosted by Rodrigo de Salvo Braz

Date:  2010-04-01 at 16:00

Location:  EJ228 (SRI E building)  (Directions)

   Abstract

Deverbal nouns, or nominalizations, are nouns that designate some aspect of the event referred to by the verb from which they are morphologically derived. For example, the noun ’destruction’ refers to the action described by the verb ’destroy’, and ’destroyer’ may refer to the agent of that event. Deverbal nouns are very common in English texts: by one count, about half of all sentences in written text contain at least one deverbal noun. Thus, a computational system that aims to match multiple ways of expressing the same underlying events (such as question answering or search) must be able to deal with deverbal nouns.

In this talk, I will describe an experiment mapping semantic role preferences for transitive verbs to their deverbal nominal forms. The preferences are learned by data mining a large parsed corpus. Preferences are modeled for deverbal/argument pairs, falling back to a model for the deverbal only when sufficient data is not available. Errors in role assignment are reduced 30-40%. This is work done with Scott Waterman.

   Bio for Olya Gurevich

Olya Gurevich holds a PhD in Linguistics from UC Berkeley, where she worked on Georgian morphosyntax, Construction Grammar, and the FrameNet project. In 2004 and 2005, she interned at Xerox PARC’s Natural Language Technology group, where she worked on finite-state chunking techniques (with Lauri Karttunen) and deverbal noun representations (with Valeria de Paiva, Dick Crouch, and Tracy Holloway King). Since 2007, she has been part of the semantics group at Powerset (now part of Microsoft’s Bing), working on semantics for search. An early version of the work on deverbals received the Best Paper award at the FLAIRS conference in 2006.

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