Robust Semantic Analysis of Multiword Expressions with FrameNet

TitleRobust Semantic Analysis of Multiword Expressions with FrameNet
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPetruck, M. R. L., & Kordoni V.
Other Numbers3819

This tutorial will give participants a solid understanding of the linguistic features of multiword expressions (MWEs), focusing on the semantics of such expressions and their importance for natural language processing and language technology, with particular attention to the way that FrameNet ( handles this wide spread phenomenon. Our target audience includes researchers and practitioners of language technology, not necessarily experts in MWEs or knowledgeable about FrameNet, who are interested in NLP tasks that involve or could benefit from considering MWEs as a pervasive phenomenon in human language and communication.NLP research has been interested in automatic processing of multiword expressions, with reports on and tasks relating to such efforts presented at workshops and conferences for at least ten years (e.g. ACL 2003, LREC 2008, COLING 2010, EACL 2014). Overcoming the challenge of automatically processing MWEs remains elusive in part because of the difficulty in recognizing, acquiring, and interpreting such forms.Indeed the phenomenon manifests in a range of linguistic forms (as Sag et al. (2001), among many others, have documented), including: noun + noun compounds (e.g. fish knife, health hazard etc.); adjective + noun compounds (e.g. political agenda, national interest, etc.); particle verbs (shut up, take out, etc.); prepositional verbs (e.g. look into, talk into, etc.); VP idioms, such as kick the bucket, and pull someone’s leg, along with less obviously idiomatic forms like answer the door, mention someone’s name, etc.; expressions that have their own mini-grammars, such as names with honorifics and terms of address (e.g. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks), kinship terms (e.g. second cousin once removed), and time expressions (e.g. January 9, 2015); support verb constructions (e.g. verbs: take a bath, make a promise, etc; and prepositions: in doubt, under review, etc.). Linguists address issues of polysemy, compositionality, idiomaticity, and continuity for each type included here.While native speakers use these forms with ease, the treatment and interpretation of MWEs in computational systems requires considerable effort due to the very issues that concern linguists.

Bibliographic Notes

Tutorial at the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP 2015), Lisbon, Portugal

Abbreviated Authors

M. R. L. Petruck and V. Kordoni

ICSI Research Group


ICSI Publication Type

Talk or presentation