Who stole what from whom?
A corpus-based, cross-linguistic study of English and Spanish verbs of stealing
Drawing on the Lexical Grammar Model, Frame Semantics and Corpus Pattern Analysis, we analyze and contrast verbs of stealing in English and Spanish from a lexico-semantic perspective. This involves looking at the lexical collocates and their corresponding semantic categories that fill the argument slots of verbs of stealing. Our corpus search is performed with the Word Sketch tool on Sketch Engine. To the best of our knowledge, no study has yet taken advantage of the Word Sketch tool in the study of the selection preferences of verbs of stealing, let alone a semantic, cross-linguistic study of those verbs. Our findings reveal that English and Spanish verbs of stealing map out the same underlying semantic space. This shared conceptual layer can thus be incorporated into an ontology based on deep semantics, which could in turn enhance NLP tasks such as word sense disambiguation, machine translation, semantic tagging, and semantic parsing.
Keywords: verbs of stealing, cross-linguistic study, Lexical Grammar Model, semantic space, English/Spanish
Published online: 05 June 2019
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