Volume 10, Number 3

Automatic Extraction of Semantic Roles in Support Verb Constructions


Ignazio Mauro Mirto, Università di Palermo, Italy


This paper deals with paraphrastic relations in Italian. In the following sentences: (a) Max strappò delle lacrime a Sara 'Max moved Sara to tears' and (b) Max fece piangere Sara 'Max made Sara cry', the verbs differ syntactically and semantically. Strappare 'tear/rip/wring' is transitive, fare ‘have/make’ is a causative, and piangere 'cry' is intransitive. Despite this, a translation of (a) as (b) is legitimate and therefore (a) is a paraphrase of (b). In theoretical linguistics this raises an issue concerning the relationship between strappare and fare/piangere in Italian, and that in English between move and make. In computational linguistics, can such paraphrases be obtained automatically? Which apparatus should be deployed? The aim of this paper is to suggest a pathway with which to answer these questions.


Paraphrase, Entailments, Meaning Extraction, Automatic Detection of Semantic Roles.