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A Compositional Constructional Analysis of ‘Hitting’ Verb Argument Realization Patterns and Their Meanings. Ellen K. Dodge International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley June 27, 2013. ‘Hitting’ verbs. ‘Hitting’ verbs: E.g.: hit, slap, kick, punch, pat, tap, whack, etc.

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slide1

A Compositional Constructional Analysis of ‘Hitting’ Verb Argument Realization Patterns and Their Meanings

Ellen K. Dodge

International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley

June 27, 2013

hitting verbs
‘Hitting’ verbs
  • ‘Hitting’ verbs:
    • E.g.: hit, slap, kick, punch, pat, tap, whack, etc.
    • semantically similar
    • exhibit a wide range of similar argument realization patterns
    • different patterns describe different situations
argument realization patterns
Argument Realization Patterns
  • She slapped/kicked/punched the box off the table
    • actor causes motion of another entity
  • She slapped her hand on / kicked her foot against the table
    • actor moves body part, contacts another entity
  • She slapped him on the back / across the face.
    • actor affects person via contact at specific body location
road map
Road Map
  • Argument Structure Constructions

(Goldberg 1995, 2010)

  • Embodied Construction Grammar (ECG)

(Feldman, Dodge, and Bryant, 2010)

  • Analysis :
    • Meaning
    • Verb and A-S Constructions
    • Sentence examples
argument structure constructions
Argument Structure Constructions

She slapped the block into the box

Verb: Slap <slapper> <slapped thing>

A-S: Cause Motion

meaning: <causer> <patient/theme> <landmark>

syntax: Subj DirObj PrepObj

argument structure constructions1
Argument Structure Constructions

She slapped the block into the box

Verb: Slap <slapper> <slapped thing>

A-S: Cause Motion

meaning: <causer> <patient/theme> <landmark>

syntax: Subj DirObj PrepObj

argument structure constructions2
Argument Structure Constructions

She slapped her hand on the block

Verb: Slap <slapper> <hand> <slapped thing>

A-S: MoveBodyPart

meaning: <actor> <theme/instrument> <landmark>

syntax: Subj DirObj PrepObj

argument structure constructions3
Argument Structure Constructions

She slapped him on the arm

Verb: Slap <slapper> <slapped thing>

A-S: PartPossessor

meaning: <causer> <affectedPerson> <bodyPart>

syntax: Subj DirObj PrepObj

argument structure constructions4
Argument Structure Constructions

Need to identify and represent:

Semantic commonalities that motivate different patterns of integration of verb, A-S construction, and nominal meanings

Complex meanings that arise from this integration

Relevant constraints that enable us to distinguish between different patterns

embodied construction grammar
Embodied Construction Grammar

Construction grammar in which embodied semantics are central

Simulation semantics -- understanding a description of an event involves activation of the same/similar neural structure as is active for other experiences of that event

language understanding model
Language Understanding Model

Analysis:

Determination of which constructions in a grammar “best-fit” a given utterance

Unification of instantiated constructions produces semantic specification (Semspec)

Simulation:

Enactment of the situation specified in the Semspec.

May allow understander to draw further inferences.

embodied construction grammar1
Embodied Construction Grammar
  • ECG formalism enables precise, consistent representations of constructions and meanings
  • Supports computational implementations:
    • ECG Workbench -- view, write and test grammars
    • Constructional Analyzer (Bryant 2008) – analyzes sentence examples, produces semantic specifications
meaning
Meaning
  • Represented using schemas
  • Consistent with simulation semantics
  • Meanings of verb and A-S constructions are represented using some of the same or schemas
motor control schema
Motor Control Schema

schema Process

roles

protatgonist

x-net

schemaMotorControl

subcase of Process

roles

actor: @animateEntity

effector

effort

routine

constraints

actor ↔ protagonist

routine ↔ x-net

force application
Force Application

schema MotorControl

subcase of Process

roles

actor: animateEntity

effector

effort

routine

constraints

actor ↔ protagonist

routine ↔ x-net

schema ForceTransfer

evokes Contact as c

roles

supplier

recipient

forceAmount

constraints

supplier ↔ c.entity1

recipient ↔ c.entity2

schemaForceApplication

subcase of MotorControl

evokes ForceTransfer as ft

roles

actor

acted Upon

effector

constraints

actor ↔ ft.supplier

acted Upon↔ ft.recipient

effort ↔ ft.forceAmount

e.g. squeeze, press

forcefulmotionaction
ForcefulMotionAction

schemaForceApplication

schemaSourcePathGoal

subcase of TrajectorLandmark

roles

landmark

trajector

source

path

goal

schemaForcefulMotionAction

subcase of ForceApplication

evokes SourcePathGoal as spg

roles

actor

acted Upon

effector

constraints

acted Upon↔ spg.landmark

effector ↔ spg.trajector

e.g. slap, kick, punch, etc.

causeeffectaction
CauseEffectAction

schemaForceApplication

subcase of MotorControl

evokes ForceTransfer as ft

roles

actor

acted Upon

constraints

actor ↔ ft.supplier

acted Upon↔ ft.recipient

effort ↔ ft.forceAmount

schemaCauseEffectAction

subcase of ComplexProcess

roles

causalProcess: ForceApplication

effectProcess: Process

causer

affected

x-net: @causeEffect

constraints

process1.actedUpon ↔ affected

schema Process

roles

protatgonist

x-net

Many transitive A-cxns

cause motion
Cause Motion

schemaCauseMotion

subcase of ComplexProcess

roles

causalProcess: ForceApplication

effectProcess: MotionAlongAPath

causer

affected

x-net: @causeMotion

schemaForceApplication

subcase of MotorControl

evokes ForceTransfer as ft

roles

actor

acted Upon

constraints

actor ↔ ft.supplier

acted Upon↔ ft.recipient

effort ↔ ft.forceAmount

schema MotionAlongAPath

subcase of Motion

evokes SPG as spg

roles

x-net: @translationalmotion

constraints

mover↔ spg.trajector

e.g. throwing, dragging

CauseMotion A-S cxn

process schema lattice
Process schema lattice

Process

Contact

MotorControl

ForceTransfer

ComplexProcess

Motion

Effector

Motion

ForceApplication

CauseEffect

MotionAlongAPath

Effector

MotionPath

SPG

ForcefulMotionAction

constructions
Constructions

A given sentenceinstantiates many constructions

For She slapped the block into the box:

·  Lexical constructions: She, slapped, the, block, into, box

·  PastTense cxn

·  Phrasal cxns: the block, into the box

·  Argument Structure Cxn: CauseEffect

·  Clause cxn: Declarative

verb constructions
Verb Constructions

schemaForcefulMotionAction

subcase of ForceApplication

roles

actor: @animate

actedUpon

effector

x-net: @forcefulMotionAction

construction SlapPast

subcase of Slap, PastTense

form: WordForm

constraints

self.f.orth  “slapped”

meaning: ForcefulMotionAction

constraints

effector  @handt

self.m.x-net  @slap

Other similar verbs:

kick effector = foot

punch: effector = fist

tap: force amount = low

whack: force amount = high

ontology
Ontology

animatesub ofentity

animalsub ofanimate

person sub ofanimate

bodyPartsub ofentity

footsub ofbodyPart

armsub ofbodyPart

legsub ofbodyPart

causemotion a s cxn
CauseMotion A-S cxn

construction ActiveTransCauseMotion2

subcaseof ArgumentStructure

constructional

constituents

v : Verb // inherited

np: NP

pp: Path-PP

form

constraints

v.f before np.f

np.f before pp.f

meaning: CauseMotion

evokes EventDescriptor as ed

evokes ForcefulMotionAction as fma

constraints

v.m <--> self.m.causalProcess

self.m.affected <--> np.m

self.m.causer <--> ed.profiledParticipant

self.m.effectProcess.spg <--> pp.m

schemaCauseMotion

subcase of ComplexProcess

roles

causalProcess: ForceApplication

effectProcess: MotionAlongAPath

causer

affected

x-net: @causeMotion

cause motion a s construction e g she slapped the block into the box
Cause Motion A-S constructione.g. She slapped the block into the box

CAUSE MOTION 2

Constituents: Verb, NP, PP

Form: Verb > NP > PP

A-S cxn meaning: CauseMotion

Verb meaning: ForcefulMotionAction

Meaning constraints:

verb meaning= CauseMotion.cause

profParticipant = causer <–> actor

NP = affected <–> actedUpon<–> mover<–>trajector

PP.np = landmark

she slapped the block into the box
She slapped the block into the box

CauseMotionAction

cause: ForceApplication

effect:MotionPath

causer

affected

landmark

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

She

slapped

the block

into

the box

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-category: block

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: box

MotionPath

mover

SPG

trajector

landmark

she slapped the block into the box1
She slapped the block into the box

CauseMotionAction

cause: ForceApplication

effect:MotionPath

causer

affected

landmark

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

She

slapped

the block

into

the box

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-category: block

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: box

MotionPath

mover

SPG

trajector

landmark

she slapped the block into the box2
She slapped the block into the box

CauseMotionAction

cause: ForceApplication

effect:MotionPath

causer

affected

landmark

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

She

slapped

the block

into

the box

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-category: block

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: box

MotionPath

mover

SPG

trajector

landmark

she slapped the block into the box3
She slapped the block into the box

CauseMotionAction

cause: ForceApplication

effect:MotionPath

causer

affected

landmark

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

She

slapped

the block

into

the box

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-category: block

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: box

MotionPath

mover

SPG

trajector

landmark

she slapped the block into the box4
She slapped the block into the box

CauseMotionAction

cause: ForceApplication

effect:MotionPath

causer

affected

landmark

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

She

slapped

the block

into

the box

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-category: block

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: box

MotionPath

mover

SPG

trajector

landmark

slide30

She slapped her hand on the block

EFFECTOR MOTION

Constituents: Verb, NP, PP

Form: Verb > NP > PP

A-S cxn meaning:

ForcefulMotionAction

Verb meaning:

ForcefulMotionAction

Meaning Constraints:

profParticipant = actor

NP = effector<–> trajector

PP.np = actedUpon <–> landmark

she slapped her hand on the block
She slapped her hand on the block

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

slapped

her hand

the block

She

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: hand

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: block

SPG

trajector

landmark

she slapped her hand on the block1
She slapped her hand on the block

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

slapped

her hand

the block

She

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: hand

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: block

SPG

trajector

landmark

she slapped her hand on the block2
She slapped her hand on the block

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

slapped

her hand

the block

She

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: hand

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: block

SPG

trajector

landmark

slide34

She slapped him on the hand

PART POSSESSOR

Constituents: Verb, NP, PP: BodyPartPP (the+BodyPart)

Form: Verb > NP > PP

A-S cxn meaning:

CauseEffect

evokes:Possession

Verb meaning:

ForcefulMotionAction

Meaning Constraints:

verb meaning= CauseEffect.cause

profParticipant = causer <–> actor

NP = affected<–> actedUpon <–> p.posssessor (@person)

PP.np = <–> p.possessed (@bodyPart)

she slapped him on the hand
She slapped him on the hand

CauseEffect

cause: ForcefulMotionAction

effect:

causer

affected

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

slapped

him

the hand

She

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: person

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: hand

Possession

Possessor: person

Possessed: bodyPart

she slapped him on the hand1
She slapped him on the hand

CauseEffect

cause: ForcefulMotionAction

effect:

causer

affected

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

slapped

him

the hand

She

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: person

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: hand

Possession

Possessor: person

Possessed: bodyPart

she slapped him on the hand2
She slapped him on the hand

CauseEffect

cause: ForcefulMotionAction

effect:

causer

affected

ForcefulMotionAction

actor

actedUpon

effector: hand

routine: slap

slapped

him

the hand

She

RefDescriptor

ont-category: person

gender: female

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: person

RefDescriptor

ont-cat: hand

Possession

Possessor: person

Possessed: bodyPart

concluding remarks
Concluding Remarks

Important to recognize and represent:

Inherent complexity of conceptual structure (and participant roles) utilized by linguistic constructions

Importance of inter-related schematic structures for compositional analysis

Use of constraints to support best-fit analysis process

ECG formalism facilitates analysis

references
References

Feldman, Jerome, Ellen Dodge, and John Bryant. 2010. Embodied Construction Grammar. In The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis, edited by B. Heine and N. Heiko. New York: Oxford University Press.

Filllmore, Charles. 1970. The grammar of hitting and breaking. In Readings in English Transformational Grammar, edited by R. Jacobs and P. Rosenbaum. Waltham, MA: Ginn and Company.

Goldberg, Adele. 1995. Constructions: a construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

———. 2006. Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

causemotion a s cxn e g she threw the block into the box
CauseMotion A-S cxne.g. She threw the block into the box

construction ActiveTransitiveCauseMotion2

subcaseof ArgumentStructure

constructional

constituents

v : Verb // inherited

np: NP

pp: Path-PP

form

constraints

v.f before np.f

np.f before pp.f

meaning: CauseMotion

evokes EventDescriptor as ed

evokes ForcefulMotionAction as fma

constraints

v.m <--> self.m.causalProcess

self.m.affected <--> np.m

self.m.causer <--> ed.profiledParticipant

self.m.effectProcess.spg <--> pp.m

CAUSE MOTION 1

Constituents: Verb, NP, PP

Form: Verb > NP > PP

A-S cxn meaning:

CauseMotion

Verb meaning:

CauseMotion

Meaning constraints:

affected = np

causer = profiledParticipant

(subject NP)

spg = pp (landmark = pp.np)

key parts of analysis
Key parts of analysis
  • Argument Structure constructions (A-S cxns) are used to capture different ‘scene’ descriptions associated with different argument realization patterns
  • Meaning of the verb and A-S cxns captures semantic elements that are relevant to these different argument realization patterns
  • Formalization supports a detailed, consistent, [scalable??] computationally implemented analysis
argument realization patterns1
Argument Realization Patterns
  • She slapped/kicked/punched the box
    • action potentially affects some other entity
  • She slapped him silly / punched him senseless
    • action results in some specific effect
  • She slapped at his hand / tapped on the table
    • action is directed at a spatial target
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