2. What Computers Need to Know about Verbs

  1. Phillip C.-Y. Sheu,
  2. Heather Yu,
  3. C. V. Ramamoorthy,
  4. Arvind K. Joshi and
  5. Lotfi A. Zadeh
  1. Susan Windisch Brown and
  2. Martha Palmer

Published Online: 20 JUL 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470588222.ch2

Semantic Computing

Semantic Computing

How to Cite

Brown, S. W. and Palmer, M. (2010) What Computers Need to Know about Verbs, in Semantic Computing (eds P. C.-Y. Sheu, H. Yu, C. V. Ramamoorthy, A. K. Joshi and L. A. Zadeh), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9780470588222.ch2

Editor Information

  1. University of California, Irvine, California, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUL 2010
  2. Published Print: 19 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470464953

Online ISBN: 9780470588222



  • natural language processing (NLP);
  • verbs


Verbs are generally considered the core of a sentence because they provide complex information about events or situations and about the relationships between the other items in the sentence. This chapter tries to define the criteria for such a lexicon, taking into consideration evidence from psycholinguistics, the fluid nature of language, and the needs of various language processing applications. It reviews existing lexical resources, including WordNet, VerbNet, PropBank, and FrameNet, and evaluate how well they match these criteria. Exactly how useful these lexicons will be for current statistical natural language processing (NLP) systems remains an open question. Verbs are the primary means of expressing predication. Indeed, in some languages, the verb often is the only word in a sentence, with participants in the utterance expressed as affixes on the verb. The most familiar lexical resource is, of course, the dictionary.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

natural language processing