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Part-of-Speech Tagging and Partial Parsing Steven Abney

Summary: Part-of-Speech Tagging and Partial Parsing
Steven Abney
The initial impetus for the current popularity of statistical methods in com-
putational linguistics was provided in large part by the papers on part-of-speech
tagging by Church [20], DeRose [25], and Garside [34]. In contradiction to com-
mon wisdom, these taggers showed that it was indeed possible to carve part-
of-speech disambiguation out of the apparently monolithic problem of natural
language understanding, and solve it with impressive accuracy.
The concensus at the time was that part-of-speech disambiguation could
only be done as part of a global analysis, including syntactic analysis, discourse
analysis, and even world knowledge. For instance, to correctly disambiguate
help in give John helpN versus let John helpV, one apparently needs to parse
the sentences, making reference to the differing subcategorization frames of give
and let. Similar examples show that even world knowledge must be taken into
account. For instance, off is a preposition in I turned off highway I-90, but
a particle in I turned off my radio, so assigning the correct part of speech in
I turned off the spectroroute depends on knowing whether spectroroute is the
name of a road or the name of a device.
Such examples do demonstrate that the problem of part-of-speech disam-


Source: Abney, Steven P. - School of Information, University of Michigan


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences