Comparative evaluations

Cause-effect relation markers in specialized corpora

Coordinators: Elizabeth Marshman and Marie-Claude L’Homme

This study arises from a research project that focused on identifying contexts indicating cause-effect relations in text corpora. The comparative evaluation involves describing the actantial structures of a set of verbal markers of these relations, as well as the semantic classes of their actants. In the initial phase of analysis, we identified a set of approximately 35 verbal markers of this relation in corpora in the fields of medicine, computing and psychology, and analyzed the senses of the markers in contexts extracted from the three corpora using cues such as paraphrases based on semantic decomposition (Mel’čuk et al. 1995), actantial structures and actants. This analysis can help to evaluate the effectiveness of these markers for identifying useful contexts in different text corpora. In a further phase, we are attempting to determine whether the semantic classes of arguments of ambiguous markers can help to disambiguate these markers and ultimately aid in the efficient identification of pertinent contexts.