Re: Corpora: frequencies of different meanings of a verb

From: James L. Fidelholtz (
Date: Thu Nov 01 2001 - 07:32:31 MET

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    On Wed, 31 Oct 2001, [gb2312] mengyun lin wrote:

    >Dear list members,
    >Is it possible for we to know the frequencies of
    >different meaning senses of a certain verb in any
    >corpus? e.g. the frequency of "learn" when it means
    >"to study" vs that of "learn" when it means "to know".
    Dear Mengyun:
            To do it automatically, you would need quite a bit of AI, I
    would imagine, to get at the meanings first and then pull out the ones
    for the verb in question.
            There are a couple of printed sources for English. From the
    Thorndike & Lorge stuff from the 30s and 40s (_Teachers word book of
    30,000 words_), Lorge had a bunch of Ph. D.s check out the occurrences
    of some of the more common words, and assign each sentence in which they
    occurred to one of the meanings in the OED. 100 copies of this were
    dittoed up and distributed to various research university
    libraries. One exists in the Library of Congress, as well. It was
    never published, as far as I know, and is a bit difficult to use, but
    possible, and *very* useful when the word is there. A published but (I
    think) partial version was a book by someone named West about in the
    50s, I think, and should be a bit easier to find, if you can track it
    down (I don't at the moment have access to my library; if you can't find
    it with these hints, send me an email next week).
            Probably not what you were looking for, but that's all I know
    about for the moment.

    James L. Fidelholtz			e-mail:
    Posgrado en Ciencias del Lenguaje	tel.: +(52-2)229-5500 x5705
    Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades	fax: +(01-2) 229-5681
    Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, MÉXICO

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