Translating English and Mandarin Verbs with Argument Structure (Mis)matches Using LCS Representation

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1998-10-15

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This paper applies and evaluates a semi-automatically acquired Mandarin Chinese lexicon (Olsen, Dorr, and Thomas 1998) with respect to translation of English and Chinese verbs in a UNESCO text (Otero 1997). I demonstrate how Lexical Conceptual Structure templates allow the same semantic structure to apply both to verbs with thematic roles incorporated in the verb itself, and those requiring external thematic complements. Using as examples the English verb provide, the Chinese counterpart ti2 gong2 (STC 2251 0180) and its English counterparts in the text, I show how potential translations are included or eliminated automatically based on their thematic role structure. The example illustrates (i) how an interlingual thematic representation based in large part on English argument structure may be adapted felicitously to a historically unrelated language, and (ii) how an interlingual (IL) resource developed for analysis may also be used in generation. (Also cross-refernced as UMIACS-TR-98-51) (Also cross-referenced as LAMP-TR-023)

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