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Margaret Mead
Research Article

Metaphor Interpretation Using Paraphrases Extracted from the Web


Interpreting metaphor is a hard but important problem in natural language processing that has numerous applications. One way to address this task is by finding a paraphrase that can replace the metaphorically used word in a given context. This approach has been previously implemented only within supervised frameworks, relying on manually constructed lexical resources, such as WordNet. In contrast, we present a fully unsupervised metaphor interpretation method that extracts literal paraphrases for metaphorical expressions from the Web. It achieves a precision of , which is high for an unsupervised paraphrasing approach. Moreover, the method significantly outperforms both the baseline and the selectional preference-based method of Shutova employed in an unsupervised setting.