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LINGUIST List 21.2736

Mon Jun 28 2010

Qs: Automated Antecedent Constituency Tests

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        1.    Rose Hendricks, Automated Antecedent Constituency Tests

Message 1: Automated Antecedent Constituency Tests
Date: 25-Jun-2010
From: Rose Hendricks <rohendricksvassar.edu>
Subject: Automated Antecedent Constituency Tests
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Dear LINGUIST List subscribers,

I am currently doing a linguistic internship at MIT, and I am working with
a computer program that simplifies sentences by breaking them into
smaller ones. However, the program has trouble identifying the
antecedent of a relative clause when it is preceded by NP1 prep NP2. It
automatically considers NP2 to be the antecedent, which is problematic
for sentences such as:

"It was an extremely detailed search of the vehicle which recovered
those bullets."

I think that if the program could identify constituents, it would
realize that "search of the vehicle" is one, and could then identify
"search" as the antecedent. Are there any constituency tests that do
not require serious semantic knowledge (i.e., are there any that a
computer program could be taught to do)? It seems that a test like "can
it be the answer to a question?" is too complicated for a computer.

Thank you,
Rose Hendricks
Vassar College 2013

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

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