Separating the Sheep from the Goats: On Recognizing the Literal and Figurative Usages of Idioms

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PDTiCal
Conf. Rm #689
This event is open to the public.
NL Seminar
Rebecca Hwa (Univ of Pitt)

Abstract: Typically, we think of idioms as colorful expressions whose literal interpretations don't match their underlying meaning. However, many idiomatic expressions can be used either figuratively or literally, depending on their contexts. In this talk, we survey both supervised and unsupervised methods for training a classifier to automatically distinguish usages of idiomatic expressions. We will conclude with a discussion about some potential applications.

Bio: Rebecca Hwa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Her recent research focuses on understanding persuasion from a computational linguistics perspective. Some of her recent projects include: modeling student behaviors in revising argumentative essays, identifying symbolisms in visual rhetorics, and understanding idiomatic expressions. Dr Hwa is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award. Her work has also been supported by NIH and DARPA.

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