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Empirical Approaches to Compositionality

Vilem Mathesius Lecture 21

Date: December 4-8, 2006

James Pustejovsky
Computer Science Department Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02454 USA

Course Abstract

In this course, I explore the interplay between theory and experimentation in linguistics. Specifically, I present the current theory of argument selection within Generative Lexicon Theory (Pustejovsky, 2007), where "compositionality as function application" is enriched with operations of coercion and accommodation. I then examine how these theoretical statements and generalizations of language actually fair when confronted with linguistic data from very large corpora. Some observations survive while others fail. Finally, the methodology of Model-Annotate-Train-Test is presented as important tonic to armchair semantic analysis.

Readings for the Course