Omar Calabrese


pdf bib
The IMAGACT Cross-linguistic Ontology of Action. A new infrastructure for natural language disambiguation
Massimo Moneglia | Monica Monachini | Omar Calabrese | Alessandro Panunzi | Francesca Frontini | Gloria Gagliardi | Irene Russo
Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'12)

Action verbs, which are highly frequent in speech, cause disambiguation problems that are relevant to Language Technologies. This is a consequence of the peculiar way each natural language categorizes Action i.e. it is a consequence of semantic factors. Action verbs are frequently “general”, since they extend productively to actions belonging to different ontological types. Moreover, each language categorizes action in its own way and therefore the cross-linguistic reference to everyday activities is puzzling. This paper briefly sketches the IMAGACT project, which aims at setting up a cross-linguistic Ontology of Action for grounding disambiguation tasks in this crucial area of the lexicon. The project derives information on the actual variation of action verbs in English and Italian from spontaneous speech corpora, where references to action are high in frequency. Crucially it makes use of the universal language of images to identify action types, avoiding the underdeterminacy of semantic definitions. Action concept entries are implemented as prototypic scenes; this will make it easier to extend the Ontology to other languages.