Linguistics Colloquia Series
Cognitive Science Dinner Talk
Benjamin Van Durme
Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University
Monday, April 16, 2018
6:15 p.m.8:30 p.m.
366 Meliora Hall
Universal Decompositional Semantics
The dominant strategy for capturing a symbolic representation of natural language has focused on categorical annotations that lend themselves to structured multi-class classification. For example, predicting whether a given syntactic subject satisfies the definition of the AGENT thematic role. These
annotations typically result from professionals coming to mutual agreement on semantic ontologies. The Decompositional Semantics Initiative (decomp.net) is exploring a framework for semantic
representation utilizing simple statements confirmed by everyday people, e.g., "The [highlighted syntactic subject] was aware of the [eventuality characterized by the salient verb]". This is conducive
to a piece-wise, incremental, exploratory approach to developing a meaning representation that we can build software systems to target.
Time permitting, I will relate this work to a sympathetic effort in common sense and natural language inference, two topics of increasingly larger interest within computational linguistics.