I am looking for a way to know, a tool that tells me, that, for example, the verb to show is the ditransitive semantic extension of the verb to see, simply because to show X Y = to let X see Y.

Let us call this semantic relation the transitivity extension. In the same way as the previous example, this relation binds to know with to inform, to say with to tell, to die with to kill, and so on. It gives the transitive version of an intransitive verb, and gives the ditransitive version of a transitive verb.

There are other such semantic relations on pairs of different parts of speech.

Where can I find such information when I need it? Any accessible and usable semantic ontology that provides that kind of information?

edit: OK I made a mistake in explaining what I want. I meant that you give as input two things: the verb to see and the semantic relation, and the tool outputs to show.

1 Answer 1


For verbs, FrameNet might be what you're looking for.

If you search for "show" there, you'll find several entries for different frames, including lexical entries and annotated sentences. In this case, you're probably looking for the frame "cause to perceive", but there are also some others (mostly metaphorical extensions).

WordNet (web interface) doesn't go into as much detail regarding (possible) frame elements, but does offer different word senses, sentence frames and relations to other words. In the case of your example:

S: (v) show (make visible or noticeable) "She showed her talent for cooking"; "Show me your etchings, please"

  • [...]
  • cause
    • S: (v) see (perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight) "You have to be a good observer to see all the details"; "Can you see the bird in that tree?"; "He is blind--he cannot see"
  • [...]

Accordingly, if you search for "kill", you'll find this:

S: (v) kill (cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly) "This man killed several people when he tried to rob a bank"; "The farmer killed a pig for the holidays"

  • [...]
  • cause
    • S: (v) die, decease, perish, go, exit, pass away, expire, pass, kick the bucket, cash in one's chips, buy the farm, conk, give-up the ghost, drop dead, pop off, choke, croak, snuff it (pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life) "She died from cancer"; "The children perished in the fire"; "The patient went peacefully"; "The old guy kicked the bucket at the age of 102"
  • [...]

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