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Academic Paper

Title: A Corpus-Based Analysis of Argument Realization by Preposition Structures
Author: Qibo Zhu
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Carleton University
Linguistic Field: Linguistic Theories; Semantics; Syntax
Abstract: This article studies the issue of argument realization by preposition structures. By examining the preposition structures that are marked as frame elements in FrameNet, the article attempts to give corpus-based attestations to the hypothesized link between deep semantic arguments and their surface syntactic representations. Problems addressed in this article include how argument realization by preposition structures can be predictable from the target lexical unit and the frame it evokes, and why some noncentral prepositions get selected in the argument realization options. The investigation is primarily inspired by Fillmore's work in frame semantics. The source data for this study is derived from a preposition knowledge base that we have recently built by extracting all the semantically annotated preposition structures in FrameNet. The analysis shows that while there are various semantic–syntactic mapping possibilities, for most semantic arguments, the tendency of using central prepositions in their realization expressions is very strong. This is a clear indication that some preposition structures are linked to certain semantic arguments more than they are to others. A similar experiment was conducted using the annotated PropBank corpus to corroborate the supporting evidence found in FrameNet. The results of this study, together with the syntactic–semantic mapping lists of preposition structures can provide raw linguistic data for the study of preposition semantics, lexicography, argument realization, word sense disambiguation, and natural language understanding.


This article appears IN Natural Language Engineering Vol. 15, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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