Associating semantic components with intersective Levin classes


This paper examines the question of differences between a traditional interlingua approach and a transferbased approach that uses cross-linguistic semantic features to generalize its transfer lexicon entries, and concludes that the two approaches share a common interest in lexical classifications that can be distinguished by cross-linguistic semantic features. The paper goes on to discuss current approaches to English classification, Levin classes [8] and WordNet [9]. We present a refinement of Levin classes - Intersective Classes - that shows interesting correlations to WordNet and that makes more explicit the semantic components that serve to distinguish different classes. Tradition holds that an interlingua approach has a deeper analysis than a transfer approach, and that it can serve as a representation for many languages, thus providing for major gains in efficiency. Classic transfer approaches which are more syntactic are more amenable to statistical acquisition methods, but they fail to generalize their treatment of structural divergences. They also require that all possible language pairs be dealt with individually which, while an advantage for language-specific constructions such as idioms, is unnecessarily laborious for more frequently occurring items which exhibit regular syntactic behavior. With the recent lexico-structural approach to transfer lexicons, [10, 11, 1], these approaches are no longer as distinct as traditionally viewed, and are not necessarily antithetical, in that they are both concerned with cross-linguistic semantic components. The lexico-structural approach gains efficiency by recognizing that structural correspondences hold for entire classes of lexical items. For example, a classic problem is the translation of motion verbs from English t..

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Last time updated on 22/10/2014

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