Enriching TimeBank: Towards a more precise annotation of temporal relations in a text

We propose a way of enriching the TimeML annotations of TimeBank by adding information about the Topic Time in terms of Klein (1994). The annotations are partly automatic, partly inferential and partly manual. The corpus was converted into the native format of the annotation software GraphAnno and POS-tagged using the Stanford bidirectional dependency network tagger. On top of each finite verb, a FIN-node with tense information was created, and on top of any FIN-node, a TOPICTIME-node, in accordance with Klein{'}s (1994) treatment of finiteness as the linguistic correlate of the Topic Time. Each TOPICTIME-node is linked to a MAKEINSTANCE-node representing an (instantiated) event in TimeML (Pustejovsky et al. 2005), the markup language used for the annotation of TimeBank. For such links we introduce a new category, ELINK. ELINKs capture the relationship between the Topic Time (TT) and the Time of Situation (TSit) and have an aspectual interpretation in Klein{'}s (1994) theory. In addition to these automatic and inferential annotations, some TLINKs were added manually. Using an example from the corpus, we show that the inclusion of the Topic Time in the annotations allows for a richer representation of the temporal structure than does TimeML. A way of representing this structure in a diagrammatic form similar to the T-Box format (Verhagen, 2007) is proposed.

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