This paper explores the interaction between eventive information and morpho-syntax based on Chinese VV compounds. Chinese VV Compounds’ identical morpho-syntactic structure represents different event relations between the two component words and the correct interpretation of the meaning of these compounds relies on the prediction on their event relations. Without overt syntactic clues, we propose that ontology-based conceptual classification can be used to predict the event relation between the two component words. Compounding is the most productive way to research multi-word expressions in Mandarin Chinese. A Mandarin VV compound can be classified according to the eventive relation between two simplex verbs, which specifies how the eventive meanings of the two simplex verbs combine to form the meaning of the compound. The way in which two events combine with each other depends upon their event types, and the three types of eventive relations that we deal with in this paper are coordinate, modificational, and resultative. Using an ontology-based prediction approach, we hypothesized that the eventive relations could be predicted by the conceptual classification of the two simplex verbs’ event types. First, we utilized SUMO and Sinica BOW to classify each simplex verb. Next, the correlation between the ontology-based classification of each verb position and each eventive type was scored using a manually tagged lexical database and a training set was established. Finally, we encoded the ontological information of each VV compound in a 3-tuple based on these correlation scores. This 3-tuple was represented as a three-dimensional vector and was used to predict the eventive type of the new VV compounds. The results of our findings show that the classification experiments on event relation of unknown VV compounds can be reliably predicted based on the ontological classification of their component words.


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pp. 170-195
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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