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Frames and Constructions

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The Frames and Constructions project aims at implementing an online Constructicon for Brazilian Portuguese, which can be use as an input for the development of IT solutions related to Natural Language Processing. Founded on the theoretical constructs of Frame Semantics and Construction Grammar, the main purpose of the project is that of, based on corpus evidence, identifying, analyzing and annotating constructions. The annotation of the exemplar sentences, as well as the analysis of the constructions is made through the FrameNet Desktop software.

This project complements a broader initiative in which it is included: FrameNet Brasil. While FN-Br identifies and analyzes frame-evoking lexical units, a Constructicon is a repertoire of syntactic constructions, structures whose recognition, treatment and interpretation are key for Natural Language Processing.

Two families of constructions were chosen for starting the Brazilian Portuguese Constructicon: the Para Infinitive family and the Mutilexemic Quantifiers. Those two families were selected because they cover two important aspects of the annotation of constructions. As for the Para Infinitive family, it is composed by nine different constructions covering the whole schematicity/lexicality continuum, i.e. it comprises both highly schematic argument structure constructions and very idiomatic lexically specified constructions, as well as the whole myriad of possibilities in between. In regards to the Multilexemic Determiners, although they can be regarded as Multiword Expressions, they present some well defined combinatorial restrictions which depend on the image schemata related to the frames evoked by the determiner and the quantified entity.

The project is developed in collaboration with the Swedish FN++ project and also with the Berkeley FrameNet project. Such a collaboration aims at allowing for the contrastive study of constructions in Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish and English, as well as for the definition of construction annotation standards for multilingual purposes.

Aside from the main purpose of implementing the Brazilian Portuguese Constructicon, the project also aims to:

  1. Analyze and annotate the constructions in the Para Infinitive and Multilexemic Quantification families;
  2. Contrast theoretically and methodologically the notions of Multiword Expression, from Computational Linguistics, and Construction, from Cognitive Linguistics, proposing a common basis for the development of NLP solutions which take the advances achieved in the field of Cognitive Linguistics into consideration;
  3. Integrate the Constructicon database to the FrameNet Brasil database so that lexical units and frame-evoking constructions can be accessed through the same online resource;
  4. Contrast constructions in Portuguese, English and Swedish;
  5. Contribute to the establishment of annotation standards for constructions in a multilingual perspective.

    FrameNet Brasil