Volume 11, Number 3

Machine-Readable Entailments with the Italian Prendere Construction
Expressing Hitting and Insulting Events


Ignazio Mauro Mirto, Università di Palermo, Italy


The Italian language features a little debated transitive construction with prendere ‘to take/to catch’ in which a prepositional phrase (PP) with an adverbial value occurs mandatorily (e.g. Lui prese a pugni Leo ‘He punched Leo’). Semantically, this construction often implies the use of physical force or verbal offence. In the hitting or insulting event, the notional subject generally is a [+ Human] Agent, whilst the notional direct object generally is a [+ Animate] Affectee ([1]: 4). It can be contended that prendere, which carries no literal meaning, is zero-valent and that the predicate assigning semantic roles is the PP. A computational tool will be illustrated, which automatically performs the following NLP / NLU tasks: it provides a reliable syntactic and semantic representation of the clause type, and it produces machinereadable entailments with three clause types, i.e. sentences with ordinary verbs, support verbs, and the causative verb fare ‘to make/to have’.


Natural Language Processing, Recognizing Textual Entailment, Semantic Role Extraction, Adverbial PPs with a predicative value, Support verbs.