jeudi 5 avril, 12:00 – 13:00
UFR Linguistique. 175, rue du Chevaleret, 75013. Salle 4C92 (4e étage) (plan)
Words Talking Factually. Lexical Resources for Event FactualityWhenever we talk about situations, we express our degree of certainty about their factual status. We characterize them as unquestionable facts, or qualify them with some degree of uncertainty if we are not sure whether the situation holds, or will hold, in the world. Identifying the factuality status of event mentioned in discourse is fundamental for reasoning about eventualities. Inferences derived from events judged as not having happened, or as being only possible, are different from those derived from events evaluated as factual.
Factuality is expressed through a complex interaction of different aspects in the overall linguistic expression. It involves polarity (events can be presented as positive or negative) as well as epistemic modality, which expresses the degree of certainty of a source regarding what is asserted. Other information at play is evidentiality (e.g., a seen event is presented with a factuality degree stronger than that of an event reported by someone else), and mood (e.g., indicative vs. subjunctive). Factuality is also a component in the semantics of certain types of predicates, most notoriously the so-called factive and implicative predicates, among many others.
In this talk, I will present the effort of designing and compiling lexical resources for event factuality in English, and exemplify its practical usage in a tool for automatically identifying the factuality degree of eventualities in discourse. Together with Prof. Laurence Danlos, we are currently exploring venues for creating an equivalent resource for French.