Translating English and Mandarin Verbs with Argument Structure (Mis)matches Using LCS Representation
MARYLAND UNIV COLLEGE PARK INST FOR ADVANCED COMPUTER STUDIES
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This paper applies and evaluates a semi-automatically acquired Mandarin Chinese lexicon Olsen, Dorr, and Thomas 1998 with respect to the translation of English and Chinese verbs in a UNESCO text Otero 1997. The author demonstrates how Lexical Conceptual Structure LCS templates allow the same semantic structure to apply both to verbs with thematic roles incorporated in the verb itself, and those requiring external thematic complements. Using as examples the English verb provide, the Chinese counterpart ti2 gong2, and the English counterparts of ti2 gong2 in the workshop text, the author shows how potential translations are included or eliminated automatically based on their thematic role structure. The example illustrates the following 1 how an interlingual thematic representation based in large part on English argument structure may be adapted felicitously to a historically unrelated language, and 2 how an interlingual IL resource developed for analysis may also be used in generation. Examination of cases in which the candidate translation was represented in the English version of the text show that the refinement to LCS acquisition reported in Olsen et al. 1998 represents a promising direction for representing cross-linguistic as well as intra-linguistic divergences in predicate argument structure. The model could be refined by a principled representation of selectional preferences, perhaps not directly in the LCS, as well as means of relating the selectional preference of verbs for objects to lexicalized objects.
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