Starting from scratch in semantic role labeling

Michael Connor, Yael Gertner, Cynthia Fisher, Dan Roth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A fundamental step in sentence comprehension involves assigning semantic roles to sentence constituents. To accomplish this, the listener must parse the sentence, find constituents that are candidate arguments, and assign semantic roles to those constituents. Each step depends on prior lexical and syntactic knowledge. Where do children learning their first languages begin in solving this problem? In this paper we focus on the parsing and argument-identification steps that precede Semantic Role Labeling (SRL) training. We combine a simplified SRL with an unsupervised HMM part of speech tagger, and experiment with psycholinguistically-motivated ways to label clusters resulting from the HMM so that they can be used to parse input for the SRL system. The results show that proposed shallow representations of sentence structure are robust to reductions in parsing accuracy, and that the contribution of alternative representations of sentence structure to successful semantic role labeling varies with the integrity of the parsing and argument-identification stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACL 2010 - 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Conference Proceedings
EditorsJan Hajic, Sandra Carberry, Stephen Clark
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)1932432663, 9781932432664
StatePublished - 2010
Event48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2010 - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: Jul 11 2010Jul 16 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics
ISSN (Print)0736-587X


Other48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


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