The course will be given during the 5th and 6th periods of every Wednesday of October (5, 12, 19 and 26) .
This course introduces students to the main theoretical approaches to verb semantics with a special focus on the linguistic representation of Action Concepts. The goal of the course is to allow students to appreciate how different languages may parse the pragmatic continuum of Action in different manners and to allow them to use current language ontology infrastructures to this end.
We begin by examining the classical approaches to meaning and the main properties showed by the linguistic representation of event structure. We then verify, on the basis of corpus data, how the representation of Action concepts are effected by language variation and we will focus on a specific property of the linguistic categorization of Action; that is, the concept of general verb, the concept of local equivalence, and the distinction between activity and general verbs. The importance of imagery in the identification action concepts will be highlighted. This is followed by the presentation of language infrastructures publically available for accessing the meaning of action verbs across-languages (Wordnet, IMAGACT, Babelnet). Students will be invited to try them in simple tasks concerning the disambiguation of English verbs and the comparison of these verbs with the corresponding verbs in the Romance language family, or other languages of their choice. The course will conclude focussing on specific data derived from the IMAGACT ontology, highlighting the structural differences that languages may show for what concerns the individuation and categorization of Action. We will take examples from many languages, such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English, Danish, German, Chinese, Hindi and Arab.
1. Theories of meaning and the notion of Semantic competence; 2. Semantic properties of event representation and verb valency; 3. Types of Semantic variation and corpus based linguistics: linear, primary, marked and cross-linguistic variations; 4. Global and local semantic properties in language ontologies (Wordnet & IMAGACT) [Assignment of practical exercises to students] ; 5. High frequency verbal lexicon in spoken corpora and its variability 6. General verbs and Activity verbs: the representation of manner; 7. Typological differences in Action individuation; 8. Concluding remarks and discussion of exercises
Jackendoff, R. S. (1985) Semantics and Cognition, Cambridge: MIT Press
MonegliaM. (2014) The Semantic variation of action verbs in multilingual Spontaneous speech Corpora, in T. Raso, H. Mello (eds), /Spoken Corpora and Linguistics Studies/, Amsterdam. pp. 152-190
Moneglia, M. Brown, S. Frontini, F. Gagliardi, G. Khan, F., Monachini, M.,Panunzi, A.(2014) The IMAGACT Visual Ontology. An Extendable Multilingual Infrastructure for the Representation of Lexical Encoding of Action In: Nicoletta Calzolari et al .(eds.), Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation – LREC’14, ELRA –European Language Resources Association, pp. 3425-3432
IMAGACT www.imagact.it/ <http://www.imagact.it/>
Slides will be delivered to students