William Croft


2021

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Theoretical and Practical Issues in the Semantic Annotation of Four Indigenous Languages
Jens E. L. Van Gysel | Meagan Vigus | Lukas Denk | Andrew Cowell | Rosa Vallejos | Tim O’Gorman | William Croft
Proceedings of the Joint 15th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (LAW) and 3rd Designing Meaning Representations (DMR) Workshop

Computational resources such as semantically annotated corpora can play an important role in enabling speakers of indigenous minority languages to participate in government, education, and other domains of public life in their own language. However, many languages – mainly those with small native speaker populations and without written traditions – have little to no digital support. One hurdle in creating such resources is that for many languages, few speakers would be capable of annotating texts – a task which requires literacy and some linguistic training – and that these experts’ time is typically in high demand for language planning work. This paper assesses whether typologically trained non-speakers of an indigenous language can feasibly perform semantic annotation using Uniform Meaning Representations, thus allowing for the creation of computational materials without putting further strain on community resources.

2020

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Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations
Nianwen Xue | Johan Bos | William Croft | Jan Hajič | Chu-Ren Huang | Stephan Oepen | Martha Palmer | James Pustejovsky
Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations

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Cross-lingual annotation: a road map for low- and no-resource languages
Meagan Vigus | Jens E. L. Van Gysel | Tim O’Gorman | Andrew Cowell | Rosa Vallejos | William Croft
Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations

This paper presents a “road map” for the annotation of semantic categories in typologically diverse languages, with potentially few linguistic resources, and often no existing computational resources. Past semantic annotation efforts have focused largely on high-resource languages, or relatively low-resource languages with a large number of native speakers. However, there are certain typological traits, namely the synthesis of multiple concepts into a single word, that are more common in languages with a smaller speech community. For example, what is expressed as a sentence in a more analytic language like English, may be expressed as a single word in a more synthetic language like Arapaho. This paper proposes solutions for annotating analytic and synthetic languages in a comparable way based on existing typological research, and introduces a road map for the annotation of languages with a dearth of resources.

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Representing constructional metaphors
Pavlina Kalm | Michael Regan | Sook-kyung Lee | Chris Peverada | William Croft
Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations

This paper introduces a representation and annotation scheme for argument structure constructions that are used metaphorically with verbs in different semantic domains. We aim to contribute to the study of constructional metaphors which has received little attention in theoretical and computational linguistics. The proposed representation consists of a systematic mapping between the constructional and verbal event structures in two domains. It reveals the semantic motivations that lead to constructions being metaphorically extended. We demonstrate this representation on argument structure constructions with Transfer of Possession verbs and test the viability of this scheme with an annotation exercise.

2019

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Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations
Nianwen Xue | William Croft | Jan Hajic | Chu-Ren Huang | Stephan Oepen | Martha Palmer | James Pustejovksy
Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations

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Cross-Linguistic Semantic Annotation: Reconciling the Language-Specific and the Universal
Jens E. L. Van Gysel | Meagan Vigus | Pavlina Kalm | Sook-kyung Lee | Michael Regan | William Croft
Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations

Developers of cross-linguistic semantic annotation schemes face a number of issues not encountered in monolingual annotation. This paper discusses four such issues, related to the establishment of annotation labels, and the treatment of languages with more fine-grained, more coarse-grained, and cross-cutting categories. We propose that a lattice-like architecture of the annotation categories can adequately handle all four issues, and at the same time remain both intuitive for annotators and faithful to typological insights. This position is supported by a brief annotation experiment.

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Event Structure Representation: Between Verbs and Argument Structure Constructions
Pavlina Kalm | Michael Regan | William Croft
Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations

This paper proposes a novel representation of event structure by separating verbal semantics and the meaning of argument structure constructions that verbs occur in. Our model demonstrates how the two meaning representations interact. Our model thus effectively deals with various verb construals in different argument structure constructions, unlike purely verb-based approaches. However, unlike many constructionally-based approaches, we also provide a richer representation of the event structure evoked by the verb meaning.

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A Dependency Structure Annotation for Modality
Meagan Vigus | Jens E. L. Van Gysel | William Croft
Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations

This paper presents an annotation scheme for modality that employs a dependency structure. Events and sources (here, conceivers) are represented as nodes and epistemic strength relations characterize the edges. The epistemic strength values are largely based on Saurí and Pustejovsky’s (2009) FactBank, while the dependency structure mirrors Zhang and Xue’s (2018b) approach to temporal relations. Six documents containing 377 events have been annotated by two expert annotators with high levels of agreement.

2018

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A Rich Annotation Scheme for Mental Events
William Croft | Pavlína Pešková | Michael Regan | Sook-kyung Lee
Proceedings of the Workshop Events and Stories in the News 2018

We present a rich annotation scheme for the structure of mental events. Mental events are those in which the verb describes a mental state or process, usually oriented towards an external situation. While physical events have been described in detail and there are numerous studies of their semantic analysis and annotation, mental events are less thoroughly studied. The annotation scheme proposed here is based on decompositional analyses in the semantic and typological linguistic literature. The scheme was applied to the news corpus from the 2016 Events workshop, and error analysis of the test annotation provides suggestions for refinement and clarification of the annotation scheme.

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Annotation of Tense and Aspect Semantics for Sentential AMR
Lucia Donatelli | Michael Regan | William Croft | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the Joint Workshop on Linguistic Annotation, Multiword Expressions and Constructions (LAW-MWE-CxG-2018)

Although English grammar encodes a number of semantic contrasts with tense and aspect marking, these semantics are currently ignored by Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) annotations. This paper extends sentence-level AMR to include a coarse-grained treatment of tense and aspect semantics. The proposed framework augments the representation of finite predications to include a four-way temporal distinction (event time before, up to, at, or after speech time) and several aspectual distinctions (including static vs. dynamic, habitual vs. episodic, and telic vs. atelic). This will enable AMR to be used for NLP tasks and applications that require sophisticated reasoning about time and event structure.

2017

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Integrating Decompositional Event Structures into Storylines
William Croft | Pavlína Pešková | Michael Regan
Proceedings of the Events and Stories in the News Workshop

Storyline research links together events in stories and specifies shared participants in those stories. In these analyses, an atomic event is assumed to be a single clause headed by a single verb. However, many analyses of verbal semantics assume a decompositional analysis of events expressed in single clauses. We present a formalization of a decompositional analysis of events in which each participant in a clausal event has their own temporally extended subevent, and the subevents are related through causal and other interactions. This decomposition allows us to represent storylines as an evolving set of interactions between participants over time.

2016

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Annotation of causal and aspectual structure of events in RED: a preliminary report
William Croft | Pavlina Pešková | Michael Regan
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Events

1987

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Commonsense Metaphysics and Lexical Semantics
Jerry R. Hobbs | William Croft | Todd Davies | Douglas Edwards | Kenneth Laws
Computational Linguistics, Formerly the American Journal of Computational Linguistics, Volume 13, Numbers 3-4, July-December 1987

1986

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Commonsense Metaphysics and Lexical Semantics
Jerry R. Hobbs | William Croft | Todd Davies | Douglas Edwards | Kenneth Laws
Strategic Computing - Natural Language Workshop: Proceedings of a Workshop Held at Marina del Rey, California, May 1-2, 1986

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Commonsense Metaphysics and Lexical Semantics
Jerry R. Hobbs | William Croft | Todd Davies | Douglas Edwards | Kenneth Laws
24th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics