Degaetano-Ortlieb, Stefania; Strötgen, Jannik

Diachronic variation of temporal expressions in scientific writing through the lens of relative entropy

Rehm, Georg; Declerck, Thierry (Ed.): Language Technologies for the Challenges of the Digital Age: 27th International Conference, GSCL 2017, September 13-14, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 10713, Springer International Publishing, pp. 250-275, Berlin, Germany, 2018.

The abundance of temporal information in documents has lead to an increased interest in processing such information in the NLP community by considering temporal expressions. Besides domain-adaptation, acquiring knowledge on variation of temporal expressions according to time is relevant for improvement in automatic processing. So far, frequency-based accounts dominate in the investigation of specific temporal expressions. We present an approach to investigate diachronic changes of temporal expressions based on relative entropy – with the advantage of using conditioned probabilities rather than mere frequency. While we focus on scientific writing, our approach is generalizable to other domains and interesting not only in the field of NLP, but also in humanities.