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Learning to identify animate references

Constantin Orasan and Richard Evans

Information about the animacy of nouns is important for a wide range of tasks in NLP. In this paper, we present a method for determining the animacy of English nouns using WordNet and machine learning techniques. Our method firstly categories the senses from WordNet using an annotated corpus and then uses this information in order to classify nouns for which the sense is not known. Our evaluation results show that the accuracy of the classification of a noun is around 97% and that animate entities are more difficult to identify than inanimate ones.

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Last update: July 12, 2001.