Paper: “Was It Good? It Was Provocative.” Learning the Meaning of Scalar Adjectives

ACL ID P10-1018
Title “Was It Good? It Was Provocative.” Learning the Meaning of Scalar Adjectives
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2010
Authors

Texts and dialogues often express infor- mation indirectly. For instance, speak- ers’ answers to yes/no questions do not always straightforwardly convey a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. The intended reply is clear in some cases (Was it good? It was great!) but uncertain in others (Was it acceptable? It was unprecedented.). In this paper, we present methods for inter- preting the answers to questions like these which involve scalar modifiers. We show how to ground scalar modifier meaning based on data collected from the Web. We learn scales between modifiers and infer the extent to which a given answer conveys ‘yes’ or ‘no’. To evaluate the methods, we collected examples of question–answer pairs involving scalar modifiers from CNN transcripts and the Dialog Act corpus and use res...