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General Departmental Seminar Series

The language of bioscience: talking about biological processes and facts

Marc Light, PhD,
School of Library and Information Science, University of Iowa

Friday, March 5, 2004, 12-1 p.m.

1221 Computer Sciences and Statistics building, 1210 West Dayton St.

ABSTRACT

In this talk we will explore how the biologists talk about facts and processes. We discuss preliminary work on rhetorical structure and the use of nominalizations. In addition, we present results about the use of speculative language in MEDLINE abstracts: Results from a manual annotation experiment suggest that the notion of speculative sentence can be reliably annotated by humans. In addition, an experiment with automated methods also suggest that reliable automated methods can also be developed. Distributional observations are also presented as well as a discussion of possible uses for a system that can recognize speculative language.

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