A Semi-Automatic Framework to Discover Epistemic Modalities in Scientific Articles

Sviatlana Danilava, Christoph Schommer
Arxiv ID: 804.1033Last updated: 12/18/2008
Documents in scientific newspapers are often marked by attitudes and opinions of the author and/or other persons, who contribute with objective and subjective statements and arguments as well. In this respect, the attitude is often accomplished by a linguistic modality. As in languages like english, french and german, the modality is expressed by special verbs like can, must, may, etc. and the subjunctive mood, an occurrence of modalities often induces that these verbs take over the role of modality. This is not correct as it is proven that modality is the instrument of the whole sentence where both the adverbs, modal particles, punctuation marks, and the intonation of a sentence contribute. Often, a combination of all these instruments are necessary to express a modality. In this work, we concern with the finding of modal verbs in scientific texts as a pre-step towards the discovery of the attitude of an author. Whereas the input will be an arbitrary text, the output consists of zones representing modalities.

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