Every Object Tells a Story

COLING 2018  ·  James Pustejovsky, Nikhil Krishnaswamy ·

Most work within the computational event modeling community has tended to focus on the interpretation and ordering of events that are associated with verbs and event nominals in linguistic expressions. What is often overlooked in the construction of a global interpretation of a narrative is the role contributed by the objects participating in these structures, and the latent events and activities conventionally associated with them. Recently, the analysis of visual images has also enriched the scope of how events can be identified, by anchoring both linguistic expressions and ontological labels to segments, subregions, and properties of images. By semantically grounding event descriptions in their visualization, the importance of object-based attributes becomes more apparent. In this position paper, we look at the narrative structure of objects: that is, how objects reference events through their intrinsic attributes, such as affordances, purposes, and functions. We argue that, not only do objects encode conventionalized events, but that when they are composed within specific habitats, the ensemble can be viewed as modeling coherent event sequences, thereby enriching the global interpretation of the evolving narrative being constructed.

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