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synonymsoftheirrespectiveoppositesandthatexpressthesameconceptasthat
opposite. Thesepairsareillustrativeofanoppositionrelationthatisfoundquite
systematicallybetweenco-troponyms(troponymsofthesamesuperordinateverb). For
example,themotionverbsriseandfallbothconflatethesuperordinatemovewitha
semanticcomponentdenotingthedirectionofmotion;theyconstituteanopposingpair
becausethedirectionofmotion,upwardordownward,isopposed. Similarly,the
oppositionbetweenwalkandrun,twoco-troponymsof{move,travel},isduetothe
opposingmanners(sloworfast,respectively)thatdistinguisheachtroponymfromits
superordinate. Andtheoppositionofnibbleandgorge,co-troponymsofeat,derives
fromtheoppositionbetweenthequantitieseaten.Similarly,breastfeedandbottlefeedare
oppositesbecausetheyrefertotwooppositemannersoffeedinganinfant.
Stillotherpairsillustratethevarietyandcomplexityofverbopposition. Some
pairs,calledconverses,areoppositesthatareassociatedwithnocommonsuperordinate
orentailedverb:give/take,buy/sell,lend/borrow,teach/learn,etc. Theyhavein
commonthattheyoccurwithinthesamesemanticfield:theyrefertothesameactivity,
butfromtheviewpointofdifferentparticipants. Thisfactwouldleadonetosurmisethat
theirstronglexicalassociationisprobablyduetotheirfrequentco-occurrenceinusage.
Mostantonymousverbsarestativeorchange-of-stateverbsthatcanbeexpressedin
termsofattributes. Therearemanyoppositionrelationsamongstativeverbs:live/die,
exclude/include,differ/equal,wake/sleep. Oppositionrelationsarealsofrequentamong
changeverbs. Virtuallynootherrelation(otherthansynonymy)holdstheseverbs
together. Thus,theorganizationofthissuburbofthelexiconisflatratherthan
hierarchical—therearenosuperordinates(exceptthegenericchangeandbeorhave),
andvirtuallynotroponyms. Changeverbsandstativeverbsthushaveastructure
resemblingthatoftheadjectives,withonlysynonymyandoppositionrelations.
OppositionandEntailment
Manyverbpairsinanoppositionrelationalsoshareanentailedverb.Forexample,
bothhitandmissentailaim,becauseonemustnecessarilyaiminordertohitormiss.In
contrasttothekindsofentailmentdiscussedearlier,theseverbsarenotrelatedby
temporalinclusion. Theactivitiesdenotedbyhit(ormiss)andaimoccurinasequential
order:inordertoeitherhitormiss,onemusthaveaimedfirst;aimingisaprecondition
forbothhittingandmissing. Therelationbetweentheentailingandtheentailedverbs
hereisoneofbackwardpresupposition,wheretheactivitydenotedbytheentailedverb
alwaysprecedestheactivitydenotedbytheentailingverbintime. Otherexamplesare
failandsucceed,whichbothentailtry;andwinandlose,bothentailingplayorgamble.
Entailmentviabackwardpresuppositionalsoholdsbetweencertainverbpairs
relatedbyaresultorpurposerelation,suchasfatten-feed.
AverbV
1
thatisentailedbyanotherverbV
2
viabackwardpresuppositioncannotbe
saidtobeapartofV
2
. Part-wholestatementsbetweenverbsarepossibleonlywhena
temporalinclusionrelationholdsbetweentheseverbs.
Thesetofverbsrelatedbyentailmentthatwehaveconsideredsofarcanbe
classifiedexhaustivelyintotwomutuallyexclusivecategoriesonthebasisoftemporal
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inclusion(seeFig.2).
Entailment
+TemporalInclusion
-TemporalInclusion
(BackwardPresupposition)
succeed-try
untie-tie
+Troponymy
(Co-extensiveness)
limp-walk
lisp-talk
-Troponymy
(ProperInclusion)
snore-sleep
buy-pay
Figure2. Threekindsofentailment
Opposingverbslikefailandsucceedtendtobecontradictories,and,like
contradictoryadjectives,theydonottoleratedegreeadverbs. Someoppositionrelations
interactwiththeentailmentrelationinasystematicway. Cruse(1986)distinguishesan
oppositionrelationthatholdsbetweenverbpairslikedamageandrepair,andremove
andreplace. Onememberofthesepairs,Crusestates,constitutesa‘‘restitutive.’’ ’ This
kindofoppositionalsoalwaysincludesentailment,inthattherestitutiveverbalways
presupposeswhatonemightcallthe‘‘deconstructive’’one. Manyreversiveun-orde-
verbsalsopresupposetheirunprefixed,opposedmember:inordertountieorunscrew
something,someonemusthavetiedorscreweditfirst. Again,theseaccompanying
entailmentrelationsarenotmarkedinWordNet;onlythemoresalientopposition
relationisentered.
TheCausalRelation
Thecausativerelationpicksouttwoverbconcepts,onecausative(likegive),the
otherwhatmightbecalledthe‘‘resultative’’(likehave).Incontrasttotheotherrelations
codedinWordNet,thesubjectofthecausativeverbusuallyhasareferentthatisdistinct
fromthesubjectoftheresultative;thesubjectoftheresultativemustbeanobjectofthe
causativeverb,whichisthereforenecessarilytransitive. Thecausativememberofthe
pairmayhaveitsownlexicalization,distinctfromtheresultative,asinthepairshowand
see;sometimes,themembersofsuchapairdifferonlybyasmallvariationintheir
commonstem,asinthecaseoffell-fallandraise-rise. Althoughmanylanguageshavea
meanstoexpresscausation,notalllanguageslexicalizethecausativemember
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independently;causationisoftenmarkedbyamorphemereservedforthisfunction.
Englishdoesnothavemanylexicalizedcausative-resultativepairs,suchasshow-see;it
hasananalytic,orperiphrastic,causative,formedwithcauseto/make/let/have/getto,that
isusedproductively.
Ithasfrequentlybeenpointedoutthataperiphrasticcausativeisnotsemantically
equivalenttoalexicalizedcausative(Fodor,1970;Shibatani,1972;andothers),but
referstoamoreindirectkindofcausationthanthedirect,lexicalizedform. Killand
causetodieusuallycannotbeusedinterchangeablytorefertothesameaction,andso
arenotstrictlyspeakingsynonymousexpressionsofthesameconcept. Forexample,
Chomsky(1977)notesthatyoucancausesomeonetodiebyhavinghimdriveacrossthe
countrywithapathologicalmurderer,butyouractioncouldnotproperlybecalled
killing. ForthepurposesofWordNet,suchpragmaticconsiderationshavebeen
disregarded.
WordNetrecognizesonlylexicalizedcausative-resultativepairs. Thesynonymsof
themembersofsuchapairinherittheCauserelation,indicatingthatthisrelationholds
betweentheentireconceptratherthanbetweenindividualwordformsonly:the
synonyms{teach,instruct,educate},forexample,areallcausativesoftheconcept
{learn,acquireknowledge}. However,unlikeentailment,thecausationrelationisnot
inheritedbythetroponymsofeachoftheseconcepts:spoonfeed,indoctrinate,andtutor
donotnecessarilycausethestudenttocram,stuff,ormemorize.
Causativeverbshavethesenseofcausetobe/become/happen/haveorcausetodo.
Thatistosay,theyrelatetransitiveverbstoeitherstatesoractions. Forexample,give
andteacharerelatedviacausationtothestativeshaveandknow;raiseandfeedare
relatedtotheeventsoractionsreferredtobyriseandeat. Inbothcases,causationcanbe
seenasakindofchange. Manyverbsclearlyhavethesemanticsofsuchacausative
change,buttheydonothavelexicalizedresultatives. Theamuseandannoysubgroupof
thepsychverbsallrefertocausingtheexperiencertohaveanemotion,butonlyonesuch
causativeconcept,{frighten,scare},hasalexicalizedresultative,{fear,dread}.
TherearemanyverbsinEnglishthathavebothacausativeandananticausative
usage. Mostofthemclusterinthefilecontainingtheverbsofchange,wheremanyverbs
alternatebetweenatransitivecausativeformandanintransitiveanticausative(or
unaccusative,orinchoative)form. Here,thesurfaceformofthecausativeandthe
anticausativeverbsareidentical. Examplesaretheverbswhiten,grow,break,and
shrink. Mostanticausativeverbsimplyeitherananimateagentoraninanimatecause
(Theglassdoorbroke-Thestorm/Thechildrenbroketheglassdoor). Afewverbsare
compatibleonlywithaninanimatecause:Johnnie’steethrotted—Allthatcandyrotted
Johnnie’steeth,isacceptable,butHismotherrottedJohnnie’steethisnot.
Thecausativerelationalsoshowsupsystematicallyamongthemotionverbs:
bounce,roll,blow,etc.,alternatebetweenacausativeandananticausativeusage(She
blewasoapbubbleinhisfacevs.Thesoapbubbleblewinhisface). Whilethecausative
variantsoftheseverbsusuallyrequireaninanimateobject,someunergativeverbslike
run,jump,gallop,walk,race,whichselectforananimateagent,canalsohavea
causativereading,asinthesentencesHeracedthehorsepastthebarnandThefather
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walkedhissontoschool. (SeeLevin,1985,andPinker,1989,foraconceptualanalysis
oftheseverbs.)
CausationandEntailment
Carter(1976)notesthatcausationisaspecifickindofentailment:ifV
1
necessarily
causesV
2
,thenV
1
alsoentailsV
2
. Hecitestheentailmentrelationbetweenverbpairs
likeexpelandleave,orbequeathandown,wheretheentailingverbdenotesthecausation
ofthestateoractivityreferredtobytheentailedverb. Likethebackwardpresupposition
relationthatholdsbetweenverbslikefail/succeedandtry,theentailmentbetweenverbs
likebequeathandownischaracterizedbytheabsenceoftemporalinclusion.
Thecausationrelationisunidirectional:althoughgivingsomethingtosomebody
causestherecipienttohaveit,forsomeonetohavesomethingdoesnotentailthathewas
givenit. Similarly,feedingsomebodycausesthatpersontoeat,butsomebody’seating
doesnotentailthatsomeonefeedstheeater. Exceptthatwhenthesubjectofeatisnota
potentiallyindependentagent,suchasababyoraconfinedanimal,theneatingdoes
entailthecausativeactoffeeding.Thedirectionoftheentailmentmaythereforebe
reversedinsuchcases,dependingonthesemanticfeaturesoftheverb’ssubject.But
becausetheentailmentdependsonspecificfeaturesofthesubject,itcannolongerbe
saidtobelexical,thatis,itisnolongerarelationbetweentwoverbsonly.
Wehavenowdistinguishedfourdifferentkindsoflexicalentailmentthat
systematicallyinteractwiththesemanticrelationswecodeinWordNet. Thesefour
kindsofentailmentarerelatedinFigure3.
Entailment
+TemporalInclusion
-TemporalInclusion
BackwardPresupposition
succeed-try
untie-tie
Cause
raise-rise
give-have
+Troponymy
(Co-extensiveness)
limp-walk
lisp-talk
-Troponymy
(ProperInclusion)
snore-sleep
buy-pay
Figure3. Fourkindsofentailmentrelationsamongverbs
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SyntacticPropertiesandSemanticRelations
Inrecentyearsthelexiconhasgainedincreasingattentionfromlinguists. Verbsin
particularhavebeenthesubjectofmuchresearchinpursuitofatheoryoflexical
knowledge. TheworkofLevin(1985,1989)andothershasfocusedonpropertiesof
verbsaslexicalitemsthatcombinewithnounargumentstoformsentences. This
researchanalyzestheconstraintsonverbs’argument-takingpropertiesintermsoftheir
semanticmakeup,basedontheassumptionthatthedistinctivesyntacticbehaviorof
verbsandverbclassesarisesfromtheirsemanticcomponents. Pinker(1989)undertakes
afine-grainedsemanticanalysisofverbsthatparticipateinsyntacticalternations,
claimingthatchildrencandiscernsubtledifferencesthatenablethemtodistinguish
semantically-basedverbclasseswithcertainsyntacticproperties. Gleitman(1990)
assertsthatchildrenexploitthesyntactic-semanticregularitiesofverbstoinfertheir
meaningsonthebasisoftheirsyntacticproperties.
WordNetwasdesignedtomodellexicalmemoryratherthanrepresentlexical
knowledge,soitexcludesmuchofaspeaker’sknowledgeaboutbothsemanticand
syntacticpropertiesofverbs. Thereisnoevidencethatthesyntacticbehaviorofverbs
(oranyotherlexicalcategory)servestoorganizelexicalmemory. Butthereisa
substantialbodyofresearch(citedinLevin,1989)showingundeniablecorrelations
betweenaverb’ssemanticmake-upanditssyntax,andthepossibleimplicationsfor
children’sacquisitionoflexicalknowledge(Pinker,1989;Gleitman,1990).
Tocoveratleastthemostimportantsyntacticaspectsofverbs,therefore,WordNet
includesforeachverbsynsetoneorseveralsentenceframes,whichspecifythe
subcategorizationfeaturesoftheverbsinthesynsetbyindicatingthekindsofsentences
theycanoccurin. Thisinformationpermitsonequicklytosearchamongtheverbsfor
thekindsofsemantic-syntacticregularitiesstudiedbyLevinandothers. Onecaneither
searchforallthesynsetsthatshareoneormoresentenceframesincommonandcompare
theirsemanticproperties;oronecanstartwithanumberofsemanticallysimilarverb
synsetsandseewhethertheyexhibitthesamesyntacticproperties. Anexplorationofthe
syntacticpropertiesofco-troponymsoccasionallyprovidesthebasisfordistinguishing
semanticsubgroupsoftroponyms.
Asacaseinpoint,considerverbslikefabricateandcompose,whicharemembers
ofthecreationverbclass. Manycreationverbsparticipateinasyntacticalternationthat
Levin(1989)termstheMaterial/Productalternation,illustratedbythefollowing
examples:
Shewovearugfromtheblacksheep’swool
Shewovetheblacksheep’swoolintoarug
Theymoldedaheadfromtheclay
Theymoldedtheclayintoahead
Someverbs,likefabricateandcompose,whichalsosharemembershipintheclassof
creationverbs,donotparticipateinthissyntacticalternation,despitetheirsemantic
similaritytoverbslikeweaveandmold:
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Thereporterfabricatedastoryoutofthegirl’saccount
*Thereporterfabricatedthegirl’saccountintoastory
Shecomposedaquartetoutoftheoldfolksong
*Shecomposedtheoldfolksongintoaquartet
Indiscussingtheseverbs,FellbaumandKegl(1988)pointoutthatthedatasuggesta
needforafine-grainedsub-classificationofcreationverbsthatdistinguishesaclassof
verbsreferringtoactsofmentalcreation(suchasasfabricateandcompose)fromverbs
denotingthecreationfromrawmaterials(suchasweaveandmold). Suchadistinction
wouldaccountforthesystematicdifferenceamongtheverbsinmostcases. Thus,Levin
(1989)distinguishestheseverbsintermsofmembershipinoneoftwoclasses:the
BUILD
class,whichcomprisesverbslikebake,andthe
CREATE
classconstitutedbysuchverbs
ascomposeandfabricate.However,Englishdoesnothavealexicalizedgenericverb
denotingtheconceptsofcreatefromrawmaterialandcreatementally,whichwould
makeitpossibletocapturethisgeneralizationbymeansofdifferentsuperordinates
whosetroponymsdiffersyntactically. Buttheobservationcanbeformulatedintermsof
differencesinthemannerrelationsthatlinkverbslikemoldontheonehand,andverbs
likecomposeontheotherhand,totheircommonsuperordinatecreate. Thisexample
demonstrateshowsyntacticdifferencesbetweenapparentlysimilarverbscanbecastin
termsoftheparticularwaythatthemeaningsofwordsarerepresentedinWordNet.
Viewingverbsintermsofsemanticrelationscanalsoprovidecluestoan
understandingofthesyntacticbehaviorofverbs. FellbaumandKegl(1989)studieda
classofEnglishverbsthatparticipateinthefollowingtransitive-intransitivealternation:
Maryateabagofpretzels
Maryate
Previousanalysesoftheseverbshaveexplainedthealternationintermsofdiscourse
control(Fillmore,1986)oraspect(Mittwoch,1982). However,ananalysisofthe
troponymsoftheverbeatshowedthattheyfallintotwosyntacticclasses:thosethat
mustalwaysbeusedtransitively,andthosethatarealwaysintransitive. Thefirstclass
includestheverbsgobble,guzzle,gulp,anddevour;thesecondclassincludesverbslike
dine,graze,nosh,andsnack. FellbaumandKeglsuggestthatthissyntacticdifferenceis
notjustatransitivityalternationcharacteristicofasingleverb,butissemantically
motivated. TheyshowthatEnglishhastwoverbseat,andthateachverboccupiesa
differentpositioninthenetwork,thatistosay,eachverbispartofadifferenttaxonomy.
Intransitiveeathasthesenseofeatameal. Insometroponymsofthisverb,suchasthe
denominalsdine,breakfast,picnic,andfeast,theverbeathasbecomeconflatedwith
hyponymsofthenounmeal. Theseverbsareintransitivebecausetheyareall
lexicalizationsoftheverbeatthatmeanseatameal. Otherintransitivetroponymsofthis
verbaremunch,nosh,andgraze. Althoughtheseverbsarenotconflationsofeatanda
noun,theyaresemanticallyrelatedinthattheyrefertoeatinginformalkindsofmealsor
repasts. Bycontrast,thetransitiveverbeathasthesenseofingestinsomemanner,and
itstroponymsallrefertoaspecificmannerofeating:gobble,gulp,devour,etc.3Thus,
3
KennethHale(personalcommunication)informsusthattwoeatverbshavingthissemantic
distinctionarefoundcross-linguistically.
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thesemanticsofthetroponymsineachcaseprovideaclassificationintermsoftwo
distincthierarchiesmatchingthesyntacticdistinctionbetweenthetwoverbgroups.
Summary
Differentsemanticgroupsofverbshavedistinctstructures. Somepartscanbecast
intoataxonomicframeworkbymeansofthetroponymyrelation;thisisgenerallytrue
forverbsofcreation,communication,competition,contact,motion,andconsumption.
Thetroponymyrelationcoversanumberofdifferentmannerrelations,oneormoreof
whichtendtoclusterinspecificsemanticdomains. Insomesemanticdomains,distinct
patternsoflexicalizationcanbediscerned;oftenabaseverbconflateswithnounsfrom
thecorrespondingsemanticdomain. Insuchverbhierarchies,whichtendtobemuch
flatterthannounhierarchies,onelevelcanbedistinguishedthatismorerichly
lexicalizedthantheotherlevels. Stativeverbsandverbsofchangeexhibitanentirely
differentstructure:theytendtobeorganizedintermsofoppositionandsynonymy
relationsandtheycanbemappedintothebipolarclustersthatcharacterizetheadjectives.
CommentsonSpecificVerbClusters
Thissectionlistsparticularpropertiesoftheseveralverbfiles.
1. VerbsofBodilyFunctionsandCare. Thisrelativelysmallfileofapproximately
275synsetscontainsmanyverbsreferringtoactionsoreventsthatarenotunderthe
controloftheargumentthatfunctionsastheirsubject(sweat,shiver,faint,burp,ache,
tire,sleep,freeze,etc.). Forthisreasontheseverbs,whicharemostlyintransitives,have
beencalledunaccusatives,thatis,theirsubjectsarethoughttobeunderlyinglyobjects.
Someverbs,likesnortandwink,thathaveabasicsensereferringtoaninvoluntary
action,acquireasenseofcommunicationwhentheactionisintendedandcontrolledby
theagent. Anumberofbodyverbsreferringtogroomingactivitiessuchaswash,and
dresshaveareflexivereadingintheirintransitiveform,andaretransitivewhenthe
actionisperformedonsomeoneotherthantheagent,oronaspecificbodypartofthe
agent.
2. VerbsofChange. Theverbsofchangeconstituteoneofthelargestverbfilesin
WordNet(about750synsets),owinginparttothefactthattheconceptofchangeis
flexibleenoughtoaccommodateverbswhosesemanticdescriptionmakesthemunfitfor
anyothersemanticallycoherentgroup. Dowty(1979)analyzesallverbsasultimately
beingcomposableasstativepredicates,which,bymeansofaspectualconnectivesand
operatorssuchas
DO
,yieldotherverbclasses. Withtheexceptionofthestatives,Dowty
additionallyassignstoallverbstheoperator
BECOME
aspartoftheirlexicalmake-up.
Hisanalysisshowsthatall(non-stative)verbscanbeclassifiedasverbsofchange,either
asintransitives(stativepredicatesplustheoperator
BECOME
)orastransitives(withthe
additionaloperator
DO
). AnanalysislikeDowty’sisbasedonthedecompositionof
verbs,ratherthanonarelationalanalysisofthekindWordNethasundertaken,butit
showsthat,giventheabstractconceptof
CHANGE
,allverbscanbederivedfromit. In
WordNet,thisconcepthasbeenbrokendownintoseveralsuperordinateverbsofchange:
{change,alter,vary,modify},{change1,changestate},{change2,changebyreversal,
-58-
turn,revert},{changeintegrity},{changeshape},and{change3,adjust,conform,
adapt}. Mostverbsinthechangefilearederivedfromtheseverbsviatroponymy. Thus,
WordNetcharacterizestheverbsofchangenotbythepresenceofasemanticcomponent
CHANGE
butbyasemanticrelationtooneofthesemorespecificconceptsofchange.
Thefactthatthechangefileissolargeisalsodue,inpart,tothefactthatEnglish
hasproductivemorphologicalrulesderivingchangeverbsfromadjectivesornounsvia
affixessuchas-ifyand-ize.Thederivedverbs,suchashumidifyandmagnetize,generally
refertoastateorattribute,andthereisusuallyanoppositestateorattributevalue
expressedbyaverbthatisidenticalexceptforanegativeprefix(dehumidifyand
demagnetize). Manychangeverbsarealsoderivedfromadjectivesviathe-ensuffix;
theytendtohaveanantonymicverbderivedfromthebaseadjective’santonym:
weaken-strengthen,shorten-lengthen,etc.
3. VerbsofCommunication. Thecommunicationverbs,whichcompriseover710
synsets,includeverbsofverbalandnonverbalcommunication(gesturing);theformerare
furtherdividedintoverbsofspeakingandverbsofwriting. Mostcommunicationverbs
involvinglanguage,suchaspetitionandhail,canbeclassifiedastroponymsofspeech
actverbs(Austin,1962). Verbsofverbalcommunciationarerichlylexicalizedin
English.Theyareelaboratedintermsofmannerofspeaking(lisp,stammer,babble)or
thespeaker’sintention(beg,order,thank). Thecommunicationverbfileisalsorichin
denominals(mandate,appeal,quiz,andmanymore). Manysub-areasoflexicalization
showwheresocietyvaluescommunication:politics(veto,inaugurate),law(libel,plead,
pardon),religion(preach,proselytize,catechize),education(teach,examine),
telecommunciations(denominalsderivedfromthenounsdenotingthemediumof
communication,likefax,telex,ande-mail),tonamejustafew. Thisfilealsocontains
verbsreferringtoanimalnoises(neigh,moo,etc.)andverbsofnoiseproductionand
utteringthathaveaninanimatesourceandlackacommunicativefunction(creak,
screech).
4. CompetitionVerbs. Theseverbs,groupedintoover200synsets,coverthe
semanticareasofsports,games,andwarfare. Inthisfile,theL-1layerisrelativelywell
lexicalizedformanyhierarchies,becausetherearemanyverbsreferringtoactionsthat
arespecifictogamesorsports,andthataretroponymsofverbswithmoregeneral
meanings. Wefindmanycompositetroponyms(face-off,run-off,counterstrike)and
denominals(referee,handicap,arm,team,campaign,chicken-fight,duel). Manyofthe
verbscanbeusedreciprocally,i.e.,theycantakeapluralsubject,andeitherasurfaceor
animplicit‘‘eachother’’referringtothetwoopposingsides(fight,race,etc.).
5. ConsumptionVerbs. Theconsumptionfileincludes,besidesverbsofingesting,
verbsofusing,exploiting,spending,andsharing,organizedintoapproximately130
synsets.Manyverbsaresyntacticunergatives—thatistosay,theyareeitherstrictly
intransitiveortheyselectonlycognateobjectsortheirsubordinates. Forexample,drink,
whenitisnotusedintransitively,takesasitsobjectthecognatenoundrink(usuallywith
amodifier)oroneofitssubordinates(water,beer,etc.). Theanalysisoftransitiveand
intransitiveverbslikeeat(Fellbaum&Kegl,1989)describedaboveshowshow
transitivitypatternscanservetoteaseoutsemanticsubgroupsofverbs.Theconsumption
-59-
verbfilecontainsotherunergativeslikeeat,whichcanbeanalyzedinasimilarfashion.
6. ContactVerbs. Thisfileisthelargestverbfile,consistingofover820synsets.
Becausemostofitsverbsaretroponymsofveryfewbaseverbs,thelargesttree
structuresaretobefoundinthisfile. Thecentralverbconceptsare{fasten,attach},
cover,cut,andtouch. Manytroponymsarederivedviaamannerrelationencodingthe
force,intensity,oriterationoftheaction. Forexample,thetroponymsofrubdenote
differentdegreesofforce(scrub,wipe,fray,chafe,scour,abrade,andothers). Thereare
manyverbsofholding(grasp,squeeze,grab,pinch,grip,andothers),andtouching(paw,
finger,stroke,hit,jab,poke). Someofthebaseverbsrequireaninstrumentormaterial;
Carter(1976)andJackendoff(1983)refertotheseas‘‘entailed’’or‘‘open’’arguments,
respectively.Theseargumentsarefrequentlyconflatedintroponymstogetherwiththe
baseverbcharacterizingtheaction. Troponymsofcutencodetheinstrument:(knife,
saw)ortheresultantshape(cube,slice);troponymsofcoverexpressthematerialwith
whichanobjectiscovered(paint,tar,feather);troponymsofencloseencodethe
container(box,bag,crate,shroud). Verbsofremovalrefertotheremovedstuff(skin,
bark,fleece)ortheresultantemptyspace(furrow,hole,groove). Bodypartdenominals
indicatewhatkindofcontactactionthebodypartistypicallyusedfor:shoulder
(support,carry);elbow(push);finger,thumb(touch,manipulate),andsoon.
7. CognitionVerbs. Thisfilecontainsverbsdenotingvariouscognitiveactionsand
states,suchasreasoning,judging,learning,memorizing,understanding,andconcluding.
Theorganizingrelationinthisfileistroponymy. Sometroponymsexpresskindsof
reasoning(deduce,induce)ordegreesofcertainty(infer,guess,assume,suppose).The
cognitionverbsoverlaptoalargedegreewiththecommunicationverbs;oneverbcan
referbothtothementalactivityof,say,reasoningandjudgingandtotheactionof
articulatingone’sreasoningandjudging.
8. CreationVerbs. Thecreationverbs,organizedintoabout250synsets,fallinto
severalsubgroupsthatarebothsemanticallyandsyntacticallymotivated,butwhose
superordinates,referringtomannersofcreation,arenotlexicalized:createbymentalact
(invent,conceive,etc.);createbyartisticmeans(engrave,illuminate,print);createfrom
rawmaterial(weave,sew,bake). Manyoftheseverbscanappeareithertransitively,
wherethedirectobjectreferstothecreation,orintransitively,wheretheverbnolonger
necessarilyhasthecreatesensebutrefersonlytoamanipulationofsomematerial
(compareHesewedandHesewedashirt)withoutimplyingtheaccomplishmentofa
creation. Othertroponymsofcreationverbsaresuchdenominalsaslithograph,fresco,
andsilkscreen,wherethecreatedobjecthasbeenconflatedwiththeverb.
9. MotionVerbs. Themotionverbs,groupedintoover500synsets,derivefrom
tworoots:{move,makeamovement},and{move,travel}. Thefirstsense,exemplified
byshakeandtwist,iswhatMillerandJohnson-Laird(1976,p.529)call"motion-in-
place"(1976,p.529)andPinkercalls‘‘contained’’motion(1989);thesecondisthe
conceptoflocomotion,asinrunandcrawl. Bothsensesofmovecanalsohavea
transitivecausativemeaning(thisisnottrueforalloftheirtroponyms,though).
Troponymsencodethespeedoflocomotion(gallop,race),themediumoftransportation
(canoe,taxi),andthemediuminwhichthetraveltakesplace(fly,swim),aswellasother
-60-
elaborations.
10. EmotionorPsychVerbs. Theseverbsfallintotwogrammaticallydistinct
classes:thosewhosesubjectistheanimateExperiencerandwhoseobject(ifthereisone)
istheSource(fear,miss,adore,love,despise);andthosewhoseobjectistheanimate
ExperiencerandwhosesubjectistheSource(amuse,charm,encourage,anger). Inboth
cases,theSourcemaybeeitheranimateorinanimate. IftheSourceisanimate,itmaybe
eitherintentionallycausingtheemotion,i.e.,itmayanAgent,oritmaybethe
unintentionalSourceoftheemotion. ThisdistinctionisshownbytheambiguityofThe
teacherfrightenedthechildren. Inanimatesareofcoursealwaysunintentionalsources:
Theskeleton/Thecryoftheowlscaredthechildren. Mostoftheverbshavebeen
structuredalongtheanalysisgiveninJohnson-LairdandOatley(1989)fornouns,where
fivebasicemotions(happiness,sadness,fear,anger,disgust)arepositedalongwiththeir
subordinates;mostofthesenounshavecorrespondingverbs. Besidesbeinglinkedby
troponymy,someemotionsenterintooppositionrelations(love-hate,hope-despair).
11. StativeVerbs. Stativeverbs(some200synsets)areforthemostpartverbsof
beingandhaving. Manystativeverbsalsohavenon-stativesensesthathavebeenplaced
intootherfiles. Forexample,verbslikesurround,cross,andreachhavebothastative
sensereferringtospatialrelations,andanon-stativesensedenotingverbsofmotion.
Manyverbshavethemeaningofbe
ADJECTIVE
:equal,suffice,necessitate,toname
justafew. Likeadjectives,theyusuallyhaveoppositeterms(differ,lack,obviate)and
synonyms(match,cover,require),buttheyrarelyhavesuperordinates,otherthanbeor
{have,feature,haveasafeature}.Thestativeverbfile,therefore,consistsofsmall,
semanticallyindependentclusters,andresemblestheadjectivefile.
12. PerceptionVerbs. Thetopnodesinthisfileofabout200synsetsareverbs
referringtoperceptionbymeansofthefivesenses. Theirtroponymsencodedifferent
elaborations. Forexample,thetroponymsofthebaseverbseeconflatetheintentionon
thepartoftheperceiver(watch,spy,survey),thecircumstances(witness,discover),and
manner(gaze,stare,ogle,glance).Verbsofsmelling,forexample,takeastheirsubject
eitherexperiencer(snuff,sniff,whiff)orthesourceoftheperception(reek,stink);smell
andscentcanbeusedineitherframe. Verbsdenotingboththecausationandthe
perceptionofcutaneousirritationareparticularlyrichlylexicalized:ache,hurt,prickle,
sting,prick,tingle,tickle,scratch,itch,bite,andothers.
13. VerbsofPossession. Theverbsofpossession,organizedintoalmost300
synsets,aremostlyderivedfromthreebasicconcepts:{have,hold,own},{give,
transfer},and{take,receive},whichdenotethechangeofpossessionanditsprioror
resultantstate. Troponymsoftheseverbsrefertowaysinwhichthetransferof
possessiontakesplaceinoursociety:bylegalorillegalmeans,suchasinheritance
(bequeath,will,inherit)vs. theft(rob,plagiarize,loot);byformalorinformalgifts
(bestow,confer,grantvs.beg,bribe,extort);andbyvariousbusinesstransactions
(peddle,scalp,auction,retail),tonameafewofthepossibleelaborations.
14. VerbsofSocialInteraction. Thisfilecontainswellover400synsetswithverbs
fromdifferentareasofsociallife:law,politics,economy,education,family,religion,etc.
Manyhaveaspecializedmeaning,restrictedtoaparticulardomainofsociallife,and
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