On the Semantics of Troponymy

  • Christiane Fellbaum
Part of the Information Science and Knowledge Management book series (ISKM, volume 3)


The principal relation linking verbs in a semantic network is the manner relation (or “troponymy”). We examine the nature of troponymy across different semantic domains and verb classes in an attempt to arrive at a more subtle understanding of this intuitive relation. Troponymy is not a semantically homogeneous relation; rather, it is polysemous and encompasses distinct sub-relations. We identify and discuss Manner, Function, and Result.

Furthermore, different kinds of troponyms differ from their semantically less elaborated superordinates in their syntactic behavior. In some cases, troponyms exhibit a wider range of syntactic alternations; in other cases, the troponyms are more restricted in their argument-projecting properties.1


Semantic Similarity Semantic Relation Semantic Network Manner Elaboration Manner Relation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cruse, D. A. (1986). Lexical Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Fellbaum, C. (1990). The English verb lexicon as a semantic net. International Journal of Lexicography, 3, 278–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fellbaum, C. (Ed.). (1998). Word Net: An Electronic Lexical Database. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Fellbaum, C., & Miller, G. A. (1991). Semantic networks of English. Cognition, 41, 197–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fellbaum, C., & Chaffin, R. (1990). Some principles of the organization of the verb lexicon. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 420–428. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  6. Levin, B. (1993). English Verb Classes and Alternations: A Preliminary Investigation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Miller, G. A. (Ed.). (1990). Word Net. Special Issue of International Journal of Lexicography, 3.Google Scholar
  8. Miller, G. A. (1998). Nouns in Word Net. In C. Fellbaum (Ed.), Word Net: An Electronic Lexical Database, 23–46. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Miller, K. J. (1998). Modifiers in WordNet. In C. Fellbaum (Ed.), WordNet: An Electronic Lexical Database, 47–67. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  10. Papafragou, A., Massey, C., & Gleitman, L. (2000). Shake, rattle, nroll. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  11. Pustejovsky, J. (1995). The Generative Lexicon. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  12. Rappaport Hovav, M., & Levin, B. (1998). Building verb meanings. In M. Butt & W. Geuder (Eds.), The Projection of Arguments, 97–134. Stanford, CA: CSLI.Google Scholar
  13. Talmy, L. (1985). Lexicalization patterns: Semantic structure in lexical form. In T. L. Shopen (Ed.), Language Typology and Syntactic Description, 3:57–149. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christiane Fellbaum
    • 1
  1. 1.Cognitive Science LaboratoryPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

Personalised recommendations