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The Agonies of Choice: Automatic Selectional Preferences

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Chapter Summary

It is possible to obtain selectional preferences (SPs) through a manual analysis, that is by manually assigning semantic classes to nouns. The diachronic dimension is an additional variable that needs to be taken into account whenever applying computational models developed for (synchronic) corpora of modern languages to a historical corpus. Knowledge-based approaches to SP acquisition like Resnik (1997), Li and Abe (1998), and McCarthy (2001) use a lexical ontology to find semantic classes of noun fillers. According to the author, SPs are probability distributions over the set of semantic properties, which are elements of Word Net (WN) nodes, for example ENTITY or OBJECT. The lack of native speakers for the evaluation phase has meant that corpus occurrences had to be consulted in order to approximate human judgements.

Keywords: computational linguistics; lexical preferences; selectional preferences (SPs); Word Net (WN) nodes



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