What WordNet does not know about selectional preferences

By November 17, 2016,
AuthorMichal Boleslav Měchura
TitleWhat WordNet does not know about selectional preferences
AbstractSelectional preferences are the tendencies of words to co-occur with other words that belong to certain semantic types. In this paper, I will investigate how closely these corpus-attested preferences correspond to WordNet. For example, for all possible direct objects of cancel, is there a single category (or a union of several categories) in WordNet that subsumes them, and only them? Selectional preferences manifest themselves in authentic texts and can be revealed through corpus analysis. I will introduce an experimental tool I have built which attempts to do this automatically by aligning corpus-extracted lists of collocates (for example a list of the direct objects of cancel) with WordNet. The strength of this method is that it can discover and name selectional preferences automatically, but its weakness is that it can only do so when WordNet contains a suitable category. We will see that WordNet often lacks a category (or even a union of several categories) that fully corresponds to an attested selectional preference – for example, there is no category in WordNet that includes all the kinds of events that can be direct objects of cancel (meeting, wedding, concert etc.) but excludes those that cannot (accident, sunset, invention etc.).
SessionComputational Lexicography and Lexicology
author = {Michal Boleslav Měchura},
title = {What WordNet does not know about selectional preferences},
pages = {431-436},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 14th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2010},
month = {jul},
date = {6-10},
address = {Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, The Netherlands},
editor = {Anne Dykstra and Tanneke Schoonheim},
publisher = {Fryske Akademy},
isbn = {978-90-6273-850-3},