Experiments in Idiom Recognition

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Conference Proceeding

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Some expressions can be ambiguous between idiomatic and literal interpretations depending on the context they occur in, e.g., sales hit the roof vs. hit the roof of the car. We present a novel method of classifying whether a given instance is literal or idiomatic, focusing on verb-noun constructions. We report state-of-the-art results on this task using an approach based on the hypothesis that the distributions of the contexts of the idiomatic phrases will be different from the contexts of the literal usages. We measure contexts by using projections of the words into vector space. For comparison, we implement Fazly et al. (2009)'s, Sporleder and Li (2009)'s, and Li and Sporleder (2010b)'s methods and apply them to our data. We provide experimental results validating the proposed techniques.

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