The Generative Lexicon, Chapters 4-5

The Generative Lexicon, Chapters 4-5 - 4 Limitations of...

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4 Limitations of Sense Enumerative Lexicons In this chapter I turn to some intrinsic problems with the enumeration method for lexical description described in previous chapter. It will be shown that representations allowed by sense lexi- cons are inadequate account for description of natural language semantics. is important note a theory of lexical meaning will affect general structure of our semantic in several ways. If we view goal of a semantic as being able recursively assign meanings expressions, accounting for phenomena such as synonymy, antonymy, polysemy, metonymy, etc., then view of compositional- ity will depend ultimately on what basic lexical categories of language denote. The standard assumption in current requires words behave as either active functors or passive argu- ments. As argued in Pustejovsky (1991a), however, if we change way in which categories can denote, form of compositionality will itself change. Hence, view of lexical semantics actually force us reevaluate very nature of semantic composition in language. I will show there are three basic arguments showing inade- quacies of SELs for semantic description of language. (1) THE CREATIVE USE OF WORDS: Words assume new senses in novel contexts. (2) THE PERMEABILITY OF WORD SENSES: Word senses are not atomic definitions but overlap and make reference other senses of word. (3) THE EXPRESSION OF MULTIPLE SYNTACTIC FORMS: A single word sense have multiple syntactic realization. Each of these considerations points inability of sense enumerative models adequately express of lexical knowledge poly- semy. Taken together, it would seem frameworks incorporating SELs are poor models of language semantics. I will argue that, although conventional approach lexicon de- sign (i.e., sense enumeration) is sufficient for contrastive ambiguity, it is unable address real of polysemy. To adequately treat complementary polysemy, we must touch on every assumption we have regarding word meaning compositionality. How is accomplished
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40 Chapter 4 without proliferating word senses is not a simple task and requires re- thinking the role played by typically non-functor elements in phrase; that is, in order to maintain compositionality we must enrich seman- tics of expressions in composition. In last section of this chapter, I outline a model of semantics built on this principle, called a generative lexicon. 4.1 The Goals of Lexical Semantic Theory As mentioned above, I assume primary goal of a theory of lexical semantics, with it a compositional semantics, is to both describe adequately data to be transparent regarding two points: system must be learnable is an obvious way various phenomena of polymorphisms be adequately addressed. I do distinguish between goals of theoretical linguistics computational linguistics, but rather consider use of computational tools descriptions as an important part of machinery for analysis of linguistic theories. Furthermore, I believe set has necessarily expanded to include corpora, we be cautious what inferences we draw from corpus data. In
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The Generative Lexicon, Chapters 4-5 - 4 Limitations of...

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