Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Retrieving implicit positive meaning from negated statements


This paper introduces a model for capturing the meaning of negated statements by identifying the negated concepts and revealing the implicit positive meanings. A negated sentence may be represented logically in different ways depending on what is the scope and focus of negation. The novel approach introduced here identifies the focus of negation and thus eliminates erroneous interpretations. Furthermore, negation is incorporated into a framework for composing semantic relations, proposed previously, yielding a richer semantic representation of text, including hidden inferences. Annotations of negation focus were performed over PropBank, and learning features were identified. The experimental results show that the models introduced here obtain a weighted f-measure of 0.641 for predicting the focus of negation and 78 percent accuracy for incorporating negation into composition of semantic relations.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. Bos 2008. Wide-coverage semantic analysis with boxer. In J. Bos , and R. Delmonte (eds.), Semantics in Text Processing. STEP 2008 Conference Proceedings, vol. 1. Research in Computational Semantics, pp. 277–86. London: College Publications.

J. Bos , and J Spenader . 2011. An annotated corpus for the analysis of VP ellipsis. Language Resources and Evaluation 45 (2): 132.

J. Boucher , and Charles E Osgood . 1969, February. The pollyanna hypothesis. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 8 (1): 18.

X. Carreras , and L. Màrquez 2005. Introduction to the CoNLL-2005 shared task: semantic role labeling. In Proceedings of the Ninth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CONLL '05), Morristown, NJ, pp. 152–64. Stroudsburg, PA: Association for Computational Linguistics.

C. J. Fillmore 1976, October. Frame semantics and the nature of language. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Origins and Evolution of Language and Speech), 280: 2032.

M. Hall , E. Frank , G. Holmes , B. Pfahringer , P. Reutemann , and Ian H. Witten 2009, November. The weka data mining software: an update. SIGKDD Exploration Newsletter, 11 (1): 10–18.

J. Hintikka 2002. Negation in logic and in natural language. Linguistics and Philosophy, 25 (5/6): 585600.

P. Kingsbury , M. Palmer , and M. Marcus 2002. Adding semantic annotation to the Penn TreeBank. In Proceedings of the Human Language Technology Conference, San Diego, CA.

P. Koomen , V. Punyakanok , D. Roth and Wen T. Yih 2005, June. Generalized inference with multiple semantic role labeling systems. In Proceedings of the Ninth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL-2005), Ann Arbor, MI, pp. 181–4. Stroudsburg, PA: Association for Computational Linguistics.

S Löbner . 2000, June. Polarity in natural language: predication, quantification and negation in particular and characterizing sentences. Linguistics and Philosophy, 23 (3): 213308.

L. Màrquez , X. Carreras , Kenneth C. Litkowski , and S Stevenson . 2008, June. Semantic role labeling: an introduction to the special issue. Computational Linguistics, 34 (2): 145–59.

Leif A Nielsen . 2004. Verb phrase ellipsis detection using automatically parsed text. In Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING '04), Stroudsburg, PA, Stroudsburg, PA: Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 10931099.

A. Özgür and Dragomir R. Radev 2009, August. Detecting speculations and their scopes in scientific text. In Proceedings of the 2009 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Singapore, pp. 1398–407. Stroudsburg, PA: Association for Computational Linguistics.

M. Palmer , D. Gildea , and P. Kingsbury 2005. The proposition bank: an annotated corpus of semantic roles. Computational Linguistics, 31 (1): 71106.

M Rooth . 1992. A theory of focus interpretation. Natural Language Semantics, 1: 75116.

Carolyn P. Rose , A. Roque , D. Bhembe , and K Vanlehn . 2003. A hybrid text classification approach for analysis of student essays. In Building Educational Applications Using Natural Language Processing, Stroudsburg, PA: Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 6875.

G Sandu . 1994. Some aspects of negation in English. Synthese, 99: 345–60.

R. Saurí , and J Pustejovsky . 2009, September. FactBank: a corpus annotated with event factuality. Language Resources and Evaluation, 43 (3): 227–68.

G. Szarvas , V. Vincze , R. Farkas , and J. Csirik 2008, June. The bioscope corpus: annotation for negation, uncertainty and their scope in biomedical texts. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Current Trends in Biomedical Natural Language Processing, Columbus, OH, pp. 3845. Stroudsburg, PA: Association for Computational Linguistics.

Morton E. Winston , R. Chaffin , and D. Herrmann 1987. A taxonomy of part-whole relations. Cognitive Science, 11 (4): 417–44.

H. Zeijlstra 2007. Negation in natural language: on the form and meaning of negative elements. Language and Linguistics Compass, 1 (5): 498518.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Natural Language Engineering
  • ISSN: 1351-3249
  • EISSN: 1469-8110
  • URL: /core/journals/natural-language-engineering
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 31 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 384 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.