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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Academic Paper


Title: A structural approach to the automatic adjudication of word sense disagreements
Author: Roberto Navigli
Institution: University of Rome, La Sapienza
Linguistic Field: Lexicography; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Abstract: The semantic annotation of texts with senses from a computational lexicon is a complex and often subjective task. As a matter of fact, the fine granularity of the WordNet sense inventory [Fellbaum, Christiane (ed.). 1998. MIT Press], a standard within the research community, is one of the main causes of a low inter-tagger agreement ranging between 70% and 80% and the disappointing performance of automated fine-grained disambiguation systems (around 65% state of the art in the Senseval-3 English all-words task). In order to improve the performance of both manual and automated sense taggers, either we change the sense inventory (e.g. adopting a new dictionary or clustering WordNet senses) or we aim at resolving the disagreements between annotators by dealing with the fineness of sense distinctions. The former approach is not viable in the short term, as wide-coverage resources are not publicly available and no large-scale reliable clustering of WordNet senses has been released to date. The latter approach requires the ability to distinguish between subtle or misleading sense distinctions. In this paper, we propose the use of structural semantic interconnections – a specific kind of lexical chains – for the adjudication of disagreed sense assignments to words in context. The approach relies on the exploitation of the lexicon structure as a support to smooth possible divergencies between sense annotators and foster coherent choices. We perform a twofold experimental evaluation of the approach applied to manual annotations from the SemCor corpus, and automatic annotations from the Senseval-3 English all-words competition. Both sets of experiments and results are entirely novel: structural adjudication allows to improve the state-of-the-art performance in all-words disambiguation by 3.3 points (achieving a 68.5% F1-score) and attains figures around 80% precision and 60% recall in the adjudication of disagreements from human annotators.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Natural Language Engineering Vol. 14, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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