Light verbs in ERG

Hi @Dan, in the “Multiword Expressions: A Pain in the Neck for NLP” paper (, light verbs constructions are said to be handled by selection:

All nouns which can be used with a given light verb will have semantic types which inherit from the same type (for example mistake rel inherits from make arg rel). The light verb make then has the selectional restriction that its direct object must be of the type make arg rel). Another light verb, such as do, does not select for make arg rel, and thus will not allow *do a mistake. Nouns which can be used with more than one light verb multiply inherit from the relevant classes. The normal mechanisms of the grammar will allow for the selectional restrictions to be passed along through long distance dependencies such as in the mistakes that he managed to make were incredible.

I didn’t find the reported analysis in the current ERG files (trunk). The approach for LV changed after this paper was published? I found light_verb_mtr declared in the mtr.tdl file, I believe some experiments with paraphrases…

hi @Dan, any comment? Related to that, the paper talks about how Propbank annotates LV. Two examples are:

  1. He took a drink of the soda. (LVC)
  2. He took a drink off the bar. (non-LVC)

So for PB, [1] has the predicate drink.01, and [2] has the predicate take.01. But ERG never ignores the take_v_1 predication. Is there any reason for not considering LVC anymore?

The LVC analysis sketched in our MWE paper has not yet been implemented in the ERG (apart from that one placeholder type you saw). It is probably time to add this important class of multi-word expressions to the grammar. I’ll refresh my memory on some of the issues, and we can suggest a working session on this topic for the latter part of next week’s summit, if a slot is available and there is sufficient interest for people there.

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