Natural Language Ontology of Action: A Gap with Huge Consequences for Natural Language Understanding and Machine Translation

  • Massimo MonegliaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8387)


Action verbs are the less predictable linguistic type for bilingual dictionaries and they cause major problems for MT technologies that are immediately evident to the user. This is not only because of language specific phraseology, but is rather a consequence of the peculiar way each natural language categorizes events i.e. it is a consequence of semantic factors. In ordinary languages the most frequent Action verbs are “general”, since they extend productively to actions belonging to different ontological types. Moreover, each language categorizes action in its own way and therefore the cross-linguistic reference to everyday activities is puzzling. But the actual variation of verbs across action types is largely unknown. This paper sketches the problem constituted by the Ontology of Action when disambiguation and cross-linguistic reference to action is concerned and presents the IMAGACT Ontology Infrastructure, which aims at filling this gap by exploiting multilingual spoken corpora.


Action Type Action Verb Argument Structure Simple Sentence Thematic Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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