More circularities in the frame element hierarchy

As suggested in another post, the assignment of hypernyms to frame elements may introduce additional circularities into the frame element hierarchy. This process is really quite elegant, and illustrates the value of the digraph analysis technique. First, the focus of making assignments is on frame elements that are viewed as primitives, i.e., without hypernyms and without any specific position in the hierarchy. Second, a decision to make a hypernym assignment is strictly local, made without consideration of placement into the hierarchy. Finally, rerunning the digraph analysis takes only a matter of seconds and immediately reveals the fact that an additional circularity has arisen, thus enabling a detailed analysis to break the circularity. This post chronicles the analysis of these additional circularities.

(Relation, Connection, Relationship)

This circularity arose when Relation was assigned the hypernym Connection, based on its definition as “The type of connection between the Individuals”. Links among these three frame elements are (Relation hyp Connection), (Connection hyp Relationship), and (Relationship hyp Relation). The second link was also created based on the frame element definition, specif., “Connection is the personal relationship between Individuals …”, while the third arose from the frame-to-frame relation Personal_relationship USES Relation_between_individuals. Each of these frame elements is used in only one frame and these terms may be viewed as essentially synonymous, but Relation seems to be the most general term. Both Relation and Relationship are defined as “the way in which two or more people or things are connected”, suggesting that Relation should be given the hypernym Manner.

(Evaluee, Victim, Patient, Entity)

This circularity arose when Patient was assigned the hypernym Entity, based on its definitions in 11 frames, mostly in some variation of “the entity that is being acted on”. The link from Entity to Evaluee comes from the frame-to-frame relation Aesthetics INHERITS Desirability and from Labeling USES Judgment_communication. The link from Evaluee to Victim comes from the frame-to-frame relation Corporal_punishment INHERITS Cause_harm. Making Evaluee the more general frame element in Desirability and Judgment_communication seems to have been a slightly inappropriate assignment. To break the circularity, Evaluee was deleted as the hypernym of Entity (making Entity the more primitive frame element, where Evaluee will eventually inherit Entity via the links from Evaluee to Victim to Patient to Entity).

(Degree, Amount_of_information)

This circularity arose when Amount_of_information was given the hypernym Degree. It’s definition (“The amount of information exchanged when communication occurs”) was not informative, but the example (“He never really [Amount_of_information fully] COMMUNICATED his intentions”) suggests that the meaning of this frame element can be suitably characterized as Degree. The reverse link, Degree having the hypernym Amount_of_information, arose from the frame-to-frame relations Attempt_suasion USES Communication, Communication_noise INHERITS Communication, Suasion USES Communication, and Volubility USES Communication. In these cases, Communication is the more general frame, so the use of Amount_of_information as the frame element seems overly specific. To break this circularity, Amount_of_information was removed as the hypernym of Degree.

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