Most of my compositional semantics research has had a lexical semantics component (e.g. on the lexical semantics of adverbs, but I have a long-standing interest classical lexical semantics topics such as argument structure and thematic roles. My strategy has been to approach these topics using converging evidence from multiple research methods, rather than to focus on strictly linguistic approaches (Miozzo, Rawlins & Rapp 2014; Reisinger et al. 2015; Rissman, Rawlins & Landau 2015; White et al. 2016; Rissman & Rawlins 2017; White, Rawlins & Van Durme 2017; Rissman, Rawlins & Landau 2019; Kim et al. 2019). One central idea has been empirical explorations of ways in which “traditional” thematic roles can be decomposed into more basic elements, for example in the context of Dowty’s Proto-Role hypothesis.

Recently, I have been especially focused on the sublexicon of predicates that embed clauses, particularly in collaboration with Aaron Steven White (White & Rawlins 2016 etc.); See the section on Clause-embedding as well as The MegaAttitude Project for more on this research.

Related teaching: Semantics 1 and 2 the basics of lexical semantics, and I have often taught seminars and lab meetings that cover advanced topics in this area.

See also: modification, clause-embedding

  1. Kim, Najoung, Kyle Rawlins, Benjamin Van Durme & Paul Smolensky. 2019. Predicting argumenthood of English preposition phrases. In Proceedings of the 33rd AAAI conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-2019), 6578–6585. DOI: 10.1609/aaai.v33i01.33016578
  2. Miozzo, Michele, Kyle Rawlins & Brenda Rapp. 2014. How verbs and non-verbal categories navigate the syntax/semantics interface: Insights from cognitive neuropsychology. Cognition 133. 621–640. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2014.08.004
  3. Reisinger, D., Frank Ferraro, Craig Harman, Rachel Rudinger, Kyle Rawlins & Benjamin Van Durme. 2015. Semantic proto-roles. Transactions of the ACL 3. 475–488. DOI: 10.1162/tacl_a_00152
  4. Rissman, Lilia & Kyle Rawlins. 2017. Ingredients of Instrumental Meaning. Journal of Semantics 34(3). 507–537. DOI: 10.1093/jos/ffx003
  5. Rissman, Lilia, Kyle Rawlins & Barbara Landau. 2015. Using instruments to understand argument structure: evidence for gradient representation. Cognition 142. 266–290. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.05.015
  6. Rissman, Lilia, Kyle Rawlins & Barbara Landau. 2019. Event Participants and Verbal Semantics: Non-Discrete Structure in English, Spanish and Mandarin. In A. K. Goel, C. M. Seifert, & C. Freksa (eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 960–966. Download:
  7. White, Aaron Steven & Kyle Rawlins. 2016. A computational model of S-selection. In Mary Moroney, Carol-Rose Little, Jacob Collard, & Dan Burgdorf (eds.), Proceedings of SALT 26, 641–663. DOI: 10.3765/salt.v26i0.3819
  8. White, Aaron Steven, Kyle Rawlins & Benjamin Van Durme. 2017. The semantic proto-role linking model. In Proceedings of the European chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 92–98. ACL. Download:
  9. White, Aaron Steven, D. Reisinger, Keisuke Sakaguchi, Tim Vieira, Sheng Zhang, Rachel Rudinger, Kyle Rawlins & Benjamin Van Durme. 2016. Universal decompositional semantics on universal dependencies. In Proceedings of the 2016 conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, 1713–1723. ACL. DOI: 10.18653/v1/D16-1177