Natural Language Understanding with structured computational semantics

FrameNet Brasil (FN-BR) is a Computational Linguistics lab of the Graduate Programs in Linguistics and Computer Sciences at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil. It is also the Brazilian branch of the FrameNet initiative, a global effort to build language resources based on Frame Semantics and Construction Grammar started in 1997 by Charles Fillmore, in the International Computer Science Institute, in Berkeley California. FN-Br builds lexical and grammatical language resources and apply them to address issues in Natural Language Understanding. Frame Semantics takes a cognitive approach to study the meaning of words and expressions. Instead of using formal logics (a common view in computational semantics field), the meaning is structured considering how the language users understand and use the words in a given context. FrameNet is the computational implementation of this idea, building a lexical resource cognitively motivated.

The Database

FN-Br implements a relational database storing a set of frames - or scenes -, the elements structuring these frames, the language specific material (words, MWEs and grammatical constructions), and several typed relations between all those items. Such a database provides a model and a structure for semantic representation of the knowledge about a given language. Currently, FN-Br includes data about Brazilian Portuguese, English and Spanish.

The Applications

FN-Br database is the base for the development of different software: a frame-based annotation tool Webtool, a domain-specific dictionary - the FrameNet Brasil World Cup Dictionary; a system for recommending tourist attractions - m.knob; a semantically enhanced sentence translator and a constructional parser - CARMA.

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  • php
  • mysql
  • javascript
  • python


  • Data and Databases
  • natural language processing
  • multimodality
  • natural language understanding
  • image processing
  • machine translation
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FrameNet Brasil at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora 2019 Projects

  • Debanjana Kar
    Machine Translation Metric leveraging FrameNet
    Machine Translation is one of the most essential tasks of Natural Language Processing where a lot of research has been done. There are various...
  • E. P. Hackett
    Multi-modal Annotation Tool
    I propose to expand the current FrameNet Brasil Web Annotation Tool to allow for users to annotate video, pictures, and audio, in addition to their...