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 Global FrameNet initiative, an international effort to build language resources based on Frame Semantics and Construction Grammar started with Berkeley FrameNet 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 multimodal web annotation tool, 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
  • natural language understanding
  • multimodal communication
  • multilinguality
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FrameNet Brasil (UFJF) 2021 Projects

  • Aleksey Dorkin
    Automatic Qualia Extraction and Annotation Tools
    The proposed project is concerned with the implementation Automatic Generation of Qualia Relations between Lexical Units in FrameNet. The main point...