Rough notes on discussion of proto-agent/proto-patient, causative/inchoative alternation, underspecification of arity in predicates (in descriptions of LFs)

Proto-agent v. proto-patient

Generalization is that if there are two arguments proto-agent is more syntactically prominent than proto-patient (in lexical arg-st)

But if there is just one argument, can't tell, so can't use these as labels in e.g., PropBank (or can't correctly)

Bruce Springsteen played ~ The music played


That alternation in English usually involves obligatory second argument in the causative form. A few have optional direct objects, and so we have two entries for play, both of which are available in John played.

Causative is grammaticalized, so we are making that distinction. But we can't make a systematic distinction by equating ARG1 uniformly with (proto-agent) etc.

Can end up with contradictions trying to push this through:

Transitive is causative, but with the intransitive can't tell. In (1), Kim is more agentive than the horse, but in (2) and (3) the sole argument is still agentive.

Dowty: proto-agent will be (deep syntactic) subject when proto-patient is object when they're both there. But can't make those role lables.

Current solution:

gallop_v_1 (e,x) gallop_v_cause (e,x,x) : second argument optional

Get two analyses for (2) and (3), and one for (1).

Possibility: gallop_v underspecified between gallop_v_1 and gallop_v_cause; part of the reason for allowing the subsense field to be underspecified. Not talking about decomposed representations, but interpreting it along the lines of:

Replace that with:

SEM-I specifies that there are two fully specified ones. But not built that way because these open-class predicates are strings: handle this not with the main predicate hierarchy. Hierarchies of predicates could (easily, in principle) be handled separately. But this is distinct from general hierarchies of predicates: it involves grammaticalization and thus is our business in a way that WordNet-style hierarchies are not.

Use multiplace "things" to store lexeme, sense, subsense, and then output as the usual strings, but treat as separate pieces of information. Then existing mechanisms for underspecification would work. The only missing thing is code to support synthesizing the predicate names.

Attempting to underspecify over predicates of variable arity. Alex said she wouldn't be able to interpret that. But Lascarides/Koller paper did interpret that in RMRS. Can build a representation that is syntactically an underspecification of some more specific representations. At the end of parsing, using the SEM-I, ambiguate. (Wrong: pick based on arguments present.) Descriptions of representations, not representations.

PropBank scheme only has two choices:

We don't quite get the generalization, but what we're doing is at least defensible and could be extended as above.

In the parsing direction, we're always going to get two analyses for "Kim galloped" (Kim as horse, Kim as rider), but it would be nice to be able to give just one, underspecified generator input. Might also want to be able to put the underspecified version in a treebank (if we don't know if Kim is the horse or a rider). But: if what's being banked is trees, there is no tree like that. For MRS banking it might make more sense to allow the annotator to pick the underspecified gallop_v predicate.

Over waffles:

Can we treat _bother_v_rel as underspecified between taking clausal (h) and nominal (x) subject? In logic, no, but again MRSs are descriptions, not directly representations.

WeSearch/UnderspecifiedPreds (last edited 2012-05-01 03:33:15 by EmilyBender)

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