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Automatic Interpretation of the English Possessive

Stephen Tratz and Eduard Hovy

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2013)
Sofia, Bulgaria, August 4-9, 2013


The English 's possessive construction occurs frequently in text and can encode several different semantic relations; however, it has received limited attention from the computational linguistics community. This paper describes the creation of a semantic relation inventory covering the use of 's, an inter-annotator agreement study to calculate how well humans can agree on the relations, a large collection of possessives annotated according to the relations, and an accurate automatic annotation system for labeling new examples. Our 21,938 example dataset is by far the largest annotated possessives dataset we are aware of, and both our automatic classification system, which achieves 87.4% accuracy in our classification experiment, and our annotation data are publicly available.

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