Factorization of Verbs: An Analysis of Verbs of Seeing

Aravind Joshi


In 1972, I spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, as a Guggenheim Fellow. I was invited to join a group of visitors, all interested in various aspects of language. George Miller was heading this group. The other visitors were Phil Johnson Laird, now at Princeton University and Pim Levelt, now at Max Plank Institute, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. It was truly a wonderful year. I was allowed to continue my research in Computational Linguistics and branch out in other directions of my choosing. I continued my work in Mathematical Linguistics, ‘testing’ it by explaining it to George, Phil, and Pim. These interactions allowed me to formulate a long term program in Mathematical Linguistics (ML). At the same time I was quite attracted by the work on Verbs of Motion that George and Phil had initiated. I thought it might be interesting to look at the Verbs of Seeing from this perspective. George encouraged me very strongly, always reminding me to follow an independent direction. The enclosed manuscript was finished in June 1972, a couple of months before I returned to Penn, where they roped me into the job of the Department Chair for Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania, a newly created Department. I was ‘stuck’ in this job for almost 12 years. Over the years, I have talked about this paper and the general topic of lexical decomposition but I never got around to write a long paper on this topic.


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