3

I'm currently working on a project for which I have a need to identify certain aspects of a sentence. What markers can I use to algorithmically detect a prepositional phrase in a sentence?

Obviously, I could start by looking for prepositions, but how could I detect the end of the phrase?

2

This can be solved by chunking. NLTK has a rule-based chunker, and the Illinois NLP group has a statistical chunker written using their LBJ machine learning framework.

5
  • This is very interesting, I'll have to look into it. I was getting worried because I couldn't find any papers or anything on the topic. I began to think Is computational linguistics really so immature that they haven't come up with this basic stuff yet!? – Nick Anderegg Aug 7 '12 at 0:40
  • 2
    CL is relatively new, but I would be surprised if for fifty years nobody wondered how to parse a sentence. – jogloran Aug 7 '12 at 0:43
  • 1
    Definitely. I'm glad it's immature though, because I had a terrific idea a few weeks ago, I've begun doing the research for it, and it appears both feasible and completely unique. – Nick Anderegg Aug 7 '12 at 1:01
  • 1
    It might be good to find someone in the field that you trust to make sure you're breaking new ground, and that it wasn't that it's called something else in the literature. That said, great ideas are rediscovered all the time -- just look at the history of maximum entropy methods. – jogloran Aug 7 '12 at 12:40
  • Oh definitely. I'm waiting to hear back from my linguistics advisor, she's just on vacation. I'm sure she'll refer me to the appropriate person. – Nick Anderegg Aug 7 '12 at 14:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.