FrameNet's Frames vs. Levin's Verb Classes


  • Collin F. Baker
  • Josef Ruppenhofer



The classification of verbs in Levin's (1993) English Verb Classes and Alternations: A preliminary Investigation, on the basis of both intuitive semantic grouping and their participation in valence alternations, is often used by the NLP community as evidence of the semantic similarity of verbs (Jing & McKeown 1998; Lapata & Brew 1999; Kohl et al. 1998). In this paper, we compare the Levin classification with the work of the FrameNet project (Fillmore & Baker 2001), where words (not just verbs) are grouped according to the conceptual structures (frames) that underlie them and their combinatorial patterns are inductively derived from corpus evidence. This means that verbs grouped together in FrameNet (FN) might be semantically similar but have different (or no) alternations, and that verbs which share the same alternation might be represented in two different semantic frames.