Disambiguation of Polysemous Verbs for Rule-based Inferencing

Fabienne Martin, Dennis Spohr, Achim Stein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


We present an approach to disambiguating verb senses which differ w.r.t. the inferences they allow. It combines standard ontological tools and formalisms with a formal semantic analysis and is hence more formalised and more detailed than existing lexical semantic resources like WordNet and FrameNet [Fellbaum, 1998, Baker et al., 1998]. The resource presented here implements formal semantic descriptions of verbs in theWeb Ontology Language (OWL) and exploits its reasoning potential based on Description Logics (DL) for the disambiguation of verbs in context, since before the correct sense of a verb can be reliably determined, its syntactic arguments have to be disambiguated first. We present details on this process, which is based on a mapping from the French EuroWordNet [Vossen, 1998] to SUMO [Niles and Pease, 2003]. Moreover, we focus on the selectional restrictions of verbs w.r.t. the ontological type of their arguments, as well as their representation as necessary and sufficient conditions in the TBox. After a DL reasoner has identified the verb sense on the basis of these conditions, we make use of the more expressive Semantic Web Rule Language to calculate the inferences that are permitted on the selected interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eight International Conference on Computational Semantics
EditorsHarry Bunt, Volha Petukhova, Sander Wubben
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789074029346
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event8th International Conference on Computational Semantics, IWCS 2009 - Tilburg, Netherlands
Duration: 7 Jan 20099 Jan 2009


Conference8th International Conference on Computational Semantics, IWCS 2009


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