Language Resources and Evaluation

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 637–658 | Cite as

Constructions at argument-structure level in the SenSem Corpora

  • Glòria Vázquez
  • Ana Fernández-Montraveta
Original Paper


In this paper we present the annotation scheme of constructions at the argument-structure level in the Spanish and Catalan Corpora SenSem. Constructions are accounted for as form-meaning pairs following the theoretical underpinning of Construction Grammar. Regarding meaning, we propose a hierarchy of constructions taking into account, at the highest level, the prominence of the logical subject in the sentence. Thus, we differentiate between topicalized and detopicalized sentences, which is an innovative proposal to solve some terminological issues related to pronominal constructions in Spanish. We further develop this classification taking into account the semantic relation of the logical subject with the verb and its coindexation, if any, with other participants. As regards form, the basic features we consider are syntagmatic categories and syntactic functions. Furthermore, we annotate the form the verb requires, that is, if it requires a pronoun in order to convey a particular meaning. Other relevant contributions are the annotation of some linguistic phenomena not taken into account in other similar resources, such as reciprocal, dative or impersonal constructions. Finally, we present the frequencies of all these constructions in Spanish.


Constructions Subcategorization frames Argument structure Topicalization Detopicalization Pronominal constructions 


  1. Alonso, L., Capilla, J. A., Castellón, I., Fernández, A., Vázquez, G. (2007). The sensem project: Syntactico-semantic annotation of sentences in Spanish. In N. Nikolov, K. Bontcheva, G. Angelova & R. Mitkov (Eds.), Recent advances in natural language processing IV. Selected papers from RANLP 2005. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 292 (pp. 89–98). John Benjamins Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  2. Aparicio, J., Taulé, M., & Martí, M. A. (2008). Ancora: A lexical resource for the semantic annotation of corpora. In Proceedings of 6th international conference on language resources and evaluation, pp. 797–802. Marrakesh.Google Scholar
  3. Cifuentes, J. L. (1999). Sintaxis y semántica del movimiento. Aspectos de gramática cognitiva. Instituto de Cultura Juan Gil-Albert, Alicante.Google Scholar
  4. Cohen, J. (1960). A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales. Educational & Psychological Measure, 20, 37–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Comrie, B. (1976). Aspect. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. De Miguel, E., & Fernández Lagunilla, M. (2000). El operador aspectual ‘se’. Revista Española de Lingüística, 30(1), 13–43.Google Scholar
  7. Fernández-Montraveta, A., & Vázquez, G. (2014). The SenSem Corpus: An annotated corpus for Spanish and Catalan with information about aspectuality, modality, polarity and factuality. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, 10(2), 273–288.Google Scholar
  8. Fernández-Montraveta, A., & Vázquez, G. (submitted). The event structure of reciprocal verbs and its implications for bidirectionality.Google Scholar
  9. Fillmore, C. J. (1976). Frame semantics and the nature of language. In Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: Conference on the origin and development of language and speech, vol. 280, pp. 20–32.Google Scholar
  10. Fillmore, C. J., Lee-Goldman, R., & Rhodes, R. (2012). The FrameNet construction. In H. C. Boas & I. Sag (Eds.), Sign-based construction grammar (pp. 283–299). Stanford CA: CSLI.Google Scholar
  11. García de Miguel, J. M., & Comesaña, S. (2004). Verbs of cognition in Spanish: Constructional schemas and reference points. In A. Silva, A. Torres, & M. Gonçalves (Eds.), Linguagem, Cultura e Cogniçao: Estudos de Linguística Cognitiva (pp. 399–420). Coimbra: Almedina.Google Scholar
  12. Givon, T. (1981). Typology and functional domains. Studies in Language, 5(2), 163–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goldberg, A. E. (1995). Constructions: A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. Gràcia, L. (1989). Els verbs ergatius en català. Maó, Menorca: Institut Menorquí d’Estudis.Google Scholar
  15. Hale, K., & Keyser, S. J. (1986). Some transitivity alternations in English. Lexicon project working papers, 7. Center for Cognitive Science, Cambridge, MassachussettsGoogle Scholar
  16. Keyser, S. J., & Roeper, T. (1984). On the middle and ergative constructions in English. Linguistic Inquiry, 15, 381–416.Google Scholar
  17. Kingsbur, P., Palmer, M., & Marcus, M. (2002). Adding semantic annotation to the Penn TreeBank. In: Proceedings of the human language technology conference. San Diego, California.Google Scholar
  18. Levin, B. (1993). English verb classes and alternations. A preliminary investigation. Chicago, Londres: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  19. Lyngfelt, B., Borin, L., Forsberg, M., Prentice, J., Rydstedt, R., Sköldberg, E., & Tingsell, S. (2012). Adding a construction to the Swedish resource network of Språkbanken. In Proceedings of KONVENS 2012 (LexSem 2012 workshop), pp. 452–461.Google Scholar
  20. Palmer, M., Kingsbury, P., & Gildea, G. (2005). The proposition bank: An annotated corpus of semantic roles. Computational Linguistics, 31(1), 71–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rojo, G. (2001). La explotación de la Base de Datos Sintácticos del español actual. In J. De Kock (Ed.), Lingüística con corpus (pp. 255–286). Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca.Google Scholar
  22. Ruppenhofer, J., Ellsworth, M., Petruck, M. R. L., Johnson, C. R. & Scheffczyk, J. (2010). FrameNet II: Extended theory and practice. Accessed February 2013.
  23. Sanz, M. (1995). Telic clitics in Spanish. Rochester: University of Rochester.Google Scholar
  24. Subirats-Rüggeberg, C., & Petruck, M. R. L. (2003). Surprise: Spanish FrameNet! In Proceedings of the international congress of linguists (workshop on Frame Semantics), Praga. Accessed February 2013.
  25. Taulé, M., Martí, M. A., & Recasens, M. (2008). Ancora: Multilevel annotated corpora for Catalan and Spanish. In Proceedings of 6th international conference on language resources and evaluation, pp. 96–101.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Filologia Anglesa i LingüísticaUniversitat de LleidaLleidaSpain
  2. 2.Department Filologia Anglesa i GermanísticaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations