Unary transformational properties in computer lexicography

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This paper presents an inventory of unary transformational properties intended to encode predicates in an electronic dictionary. This work has mainly a metalexicographical and applied character. The paper does not present any theoretical innovation, since all the discussed transformations are well known. The aim of the paper is to provide the computational linguist working in a multilingual context with an overview of this aspect of the linguistic description. First, as a related phenomenon, we present the alternation of syntactico-semantic features, the preposition alternations, the non-agentive interpretations and the special diathesis. As unary transformations we present: insertion of nominal determiners, insertion of appropriate part, insertion of one argument, pronominalisation, deletion of an argument, permutation of arguments (subdivided in permutations per se, frontings, extrapositions and extractions), diathesis change (i.e., full passive, indirect passive, reflexive, impersonal passive and different kinds of restructurations: N0 - (Prép) N1 restructurations, N0 - Prép N 2 restructurations and (Prép) N1 - Prép N2 restructurations). Finally, we introduce the syntactic variants for support verbs. The discussed properties are exemplified by means of French and Spanish sentences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-57
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


  • Argument scheme
  • Electronic dictionary
  • French-Spanish translation
  • Transformational feature
  • Unary predicate


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