Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing

Volume 2276 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 1-15


Multiword Expressions: A Pain in the Neck for NLP

  • Ivan A. SagAffiliated withCSLI, Ventura Hall, Stanford University Stanford
  • , Timothy BaldwinAffiliated withCSLI, Ventura Hall, Stanford University Stanford
  • , Francis BondAffiliated withNTT Communication Science Labs.
  • , Ann CopestakeAffiliated withComputer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
  • , Dan FlickingerAffiliated withCSLI, Ventura Hall, Stanford University Stanford

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Multiword expressions are a key problem for the development of large-scale, linguistically sound natural language processing technology. This paper surveys the problem and some currently available analytic techniques. The various kinds of multiword expressions should be analyzed in distinct ways, including listing “words with spaces”, hierarchically organized lexicons, restricted combinatoric rules, lexical selection, “idiomatic constructions” and simple statistical affinity. An adequate comprehensive analysis of multiword expressions must employ both symbolic and statistical techniques.