Aspectual Modifications to a LCS Database for NLP Applications

TitleAspectual Modifications to a LCS Database for NLP Applications
Publication TypeReports
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsDorr BJ, Olsen MB
Date Published1997///
InstitutionInstititue for Advanced Computer Studies, Univ of Maryland, College Park

Verbal and compositional lexical aspect provide the underlying temporal structure ofevents. Knowledge of lexical aspect, e.g., (a)telicity, is therefore required for interpret-
ing event sequences in discourse (Dowty, 1986: Moens and Steedman, 1988; Passoneau,
1988), interfacing to temporal databases (Androutsopoulos, 1996), processing temporal
modifiers (Antonisse, 1994), describing allowable alternations and their semantic effects
(Resnik, 1996; Tenny, 1994), and selecting tense and lexical items for natural language
generation ((Dorr and Olsen, 1996; Klavans and Chodorow, 1992), cf. (Slobin and Bo-
caz, 1988)). We show that it is possible to represent lexical aspect—both verbal and
compositional—on a large scale, using Lexical Conceptual Structure (LCS) representa-
tions of verbs in the classes cataloged by Levin (1993). We show how proper consideration
of these universal pieces of verb meaning may be used to refine lexical representations
and derive a range of meanings from combinations of LCS representations. A single al-
gorithm may therefore be used to determine lexical aspect classes and features at both
verbal and sentence levels. Finally, we illustrate how knowledge of lexical aspect facili-
tates the interpretation of events in NLP applications.