A Semantic Approach to the Inclusion of Complex Nominals in English Terminographic Resources

  • Melania Cabezas-GarcíaEmail author
  • Pamela Faber
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10596)


Complex nominals (CNs) are characterized by the omission of the semantic relation between their constituents due to noun packing. Despite their frequency in specialized texts written in English [1] their representation and inclusion in knowledge resources has received little research attention. This paper presents a proposal for the inclusion of CNs in an English terminographic resource on renewable energy. For that purpose, we used knowledge patterns and paraphrases to access the meaning of CNs in a wind power corpus. We then filled the definitional templates proposed by Frame-based Terminology [2]. Our main goal was to conceptually organize a term entry to facilitate knowledge of the domain while keeping the entry length to a minimum. Furthermore, this proposal is a valuable starting point toward the development of bilingual and multilingual resources since translation should be based on meaning. Our results also afforded insights into compound term formation in English, as reflected in the addition of specific values to the semantic relations encoded by the hypernym. Term instability and multidimensionality were also prevalent.


Complex nominal Semantics Terminography 



This research was carried out as part of project FF2014-52740-P, Cognitive and Neurological Bases for Terminology-enhanced Translation (CONTENT), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Funding was also provided by an FPU grant given by the Spanish Ministry of Education to the first author. Finally, we would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments.


  1. 1.
    Nakov, P.: On the interpretation of noun compounds: syntax, semantics, and entailment. Nat. Lang. Eng. 19(03), 291–330 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Faber, P., López Rodríguez, C.I., Tercedor Sánchez, M.: Utilización de técnicas de corpus en la representación del conocimiento médico. Terminology 7(2), 167–198 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Daille, B., Dufour-Kowalski, S., Morin, E.: French-English multi-word term alignment based on lexical context analysis. In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2004), pp. 919–922 (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hendrickx, I., Kozareva, Z., Nakov, P., Séaghdha, D.Ó., Szpakowicz, S., Veale, T.: SemEval-2013 task 4: free paraphrases of noun compounds. In: Second Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM): Proceedings of the Seventh International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2013), vol. 2, pp. 138–143 (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sanz Vicente, L.: Análisis contrastivo de la terminología de la teledetección. La traducción de compuestos sintagmáticos nominales del inglés al español. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Salamanca, Salamanca (2011)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fernández-Domínguez, J.: A morphosemantic investigation of term formation processes in English and Spanish. Lang. Contrast 16(1), 54–83 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kageura, K.: The Quantitative Analysis of the Dynamics and Structure of Terminologies. John Benjamins, Amsterdam (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Grant, L., Bauer, L.: Criteria for re-defining idioms: are we barking up the wrong tree? Appl. Linguist. 25(1), 38–61 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Smith, V., Barratt, D., Zlatev, J.: Unpacking noun-noun compounds: interpreting novel and conventional food names in isolation and on food labels. Cogn. Linguist. 25(1), 99–147 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Séaghdha, D.Ó., Copestake, A.: Interpreting compound nouns with kernel methods. Nat. Lang. Eng. 19, 1–26 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Meyer, I.: Extracting knowledge-rich contexts for terminography: a conceptual and methodological framework. In: Bourigault, D., Jacquemin, C., L’Homme, M.-C. (eds.) Recent Advances in Computational Terminology, pp. 279–302. John Benjamins, Amsterdam (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Marshman, E.: Lexical knowledge patterns for semi-automatic extraction of cause-effect and association relations from medical texts: a comparative study of English and French. Ph.D. Thesis. Université de Montréal, Montréal (2006)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Morin, E., Daille, B., Prochasson, E.: Bilingual terminology mining from language for special purposes comparable corpora. In: Sharoff, S., Rapp, R., Zweigenbaum, P., Fung, P. (eds.) Building and Using Comparable Corpora, pp. 265–284. Springer, Heidelberg (2013). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-20128-8_14 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Levi, J.: The Syntax and Semantics of Complex Nominals. Academic Press, New York (1978)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rallapalli, S., Paul, S.: A hybrid approach for the interpretation of nominal compounds using ontology. In: 26th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, pp. 554–563 (2012)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bauer, L.: Les composés exocentriques de l’anglais. In: Amiot, D. (ed.) La composition dans une perspective typologique, pp. 35–47. Artois Presses Université, Arras (2008)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mel’čuk, I., Clas, A., Polguère, A.: Introduction à la lexicologie explicative et combinatoire. Duculot, Louvain-la-Neuve (1995)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cabezas-García, M., Faber, P.: Exploring the semantics of multi-word terms by means of paraphrases. In: Temas actuales de Terminología y estudios sobre el léxico, pp. 193–217. Comares, Granada (2017)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Vanderwende, L.: Algorithm for automatic interpretation of noun sequences. In: Proceedings of the 15th Conference on Computational Linguistics, COLING 1994, vol. 2. pp. 782–788 (1994)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rosario, B., Hearst, M.A., Fillmore, C.: The descent of hierarchy, and selection in relational semantics. In: Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2002, pp. 247–254, July 2002Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Downing, P.: On the creation and use of English compound nouns. Language 53, 810–842 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lauer, M.: Corpus statistics meet the noun compound: some empirical results. In: The Association for Computational Linguistics Conference (ACL), pp. 47–54 (1995)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Warren, B.: Semantic Patterns of Noun-Noun Compounds. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, Göteborg (1978)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kageura, K.: The Dynamics of Terminology: A Descriptive Theory of Term Formation and Terminological Growth. John Benjamins, Amsterdam (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kim, S.N., Baldwin, T.: A lexical semantic approach to interpreting and bracketing English noun compounds. Nat. Lang. Eng. 1(1), 1–23 (2013)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Butnariu, C., Kim, S.N., Nakov, P., Séaghdha, D.Ó., Szpakovicz, S., Veale, T.: SemEval-2 task 9: the interpretation of noun compounds using paraphrasing verbs and prepositions. In: Proceedings of the Fifth International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2010), pp. 39–44 (2010)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Parra Escartín, C., Losnegaard, G.S., Samdal, G.I.L., Patiño García, P.: Representing multiword expressions in lexical and terminological resources: an analysis for natural language processing purposes. In: Proceedings of the eLex 2013 Conference, pp. 338–357 (2013)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lew, R.: The role of syntactic class, frequency, and word order in looking up English multi-word expressions. Lexikos 22, 243–260 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Béjoint, H.: The foreign student’s use of monolingual English dictionaries: a study of language needs and reference skills. Appl. Linguist. 2(3), 207–222 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nastase, V., Szpakowicz, S.: Exploring noun-modifier semantic relations. In: Fifth International Workshop on Computational Semantics (IWCS-5), pp. 285–301 (2003)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Girju, R., Moldovan, D., Tatu, M., Andantohe, D.: On the semantics of noun compounds. J. Comput. Speech Lang. 19(4), 479–496 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Nakov, P., Hearst, M.: Using verbs to characterize noun-noun relations. In: Euzenat, J., Domingue, J. (eds.) AIMSA 2006. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 4183, pp. 233–244. Springer, Heidelberg (2006). doi: 10.1007/11861461_25 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Nulty, P., Costello, F.J.: General and specific paraphrases of semantic relations between nouns. Nat. Lang. Eng. 19(3), 357–384 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Condamines, A.: Corpus analysis and conceptual relation patterns. Terminology 8(1), 141–162 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Auger, A., Barrière, C.: Pattern-based approaches to semantic relation extraction: a state-of-the-art. Terminology 14(1), 1–19 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    León-Araúz, P., San Martín, A., Faber, P.: Pattern-based word sketches for the extraction of semantic relations. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Computational Terminology (Computerm2016), pp. 73–82 (2016)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    León-Araúz, P., Reimerink, R.: Knowledge extraction and multidimensionality in the environmental domain. In: Proceedings of the Terminology and Knowledge Engineering (TKE) Conference 2010. Dublin City University, Dublin (2010)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Kilgarriff, A., Baisa, V., Bušta, J., Jakubíček, M., Ková, V., Michelfeit, J., Rychlý, P., Suchomel, V.: The Sketch Engine: ten years on. Lexicography 1(1), 7–36 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Drouin, P.: Term extraction using non-technical corpora as a point of leverage. Terminology 9, 99–115 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Park, C., Allaby, M.: Dictionary of Environment & Conservation, 3rd edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Jelley, N.: A Dictionary of Energy Science, 1st edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Cleveland, C.J., Morris, C.: Dictionary of Energy, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2015)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Maguire, P., Wisniewski, E.J., Storms, G.: A corpus study of semantic patterns in compounding. Corpus Linguist. Linguist. Theory 6(1), 49–73 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Cohen, B.: Lexique de cooccurrents. Bourse-conjoncture économique. Linguatech, Montreal (1986)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Lorente Casafont, M., Martínez Salom, M.A., Santamaría-Pérez, I., Vargas Sierra, C.: Specialized collocations in specialized dictionaries. In: Torner Castells, S., Bernal, E. (eds.) Collocations and Other Lexical Combinations in Spanish: Theoretical, Lexicographical and Applied Perspectives, pp. 200–222. Routledge, Abingdon/New York (2017)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Cabezas-García, M., Faber, P.: The role of micro-contexts in noun compound formation. Neologica 11, 101–118 (2017)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Kageura, K.: A preliminary investigation of the nature of frequency distributions of constituent elements of terms in terminology. Terminology 4(2), 199–223 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Sager, J.C., Dungworth, D., McDonald, P.F.: English Special Languages. Principles and Practice in Science and Technology. Brandstetter Verlag, Wiesbaden (1980)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Bernier-Colborne, G., Drouin, P.: Evaluation of distributional semantic models: a holistic approach. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Computational Terminology (CompuTerm2016), pp. 52–61 (2016)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GranadaGranadaSpain

Personalised recommendations