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The VerbCorner Project

The VerbCorner Project

Our current understanding of any word is simply based on its relationship with other words. Dictionaries have existed for centuries, but scientists still haven't worked out the exact meanings for most words. At VerbCorner, we are trying to work out what verbs mean. Rather than try to work out the definition of a word all at once, we have broken the problem into a series of tasks. Each task has a fanciful backstory but at its heart, each task is asking about a specific component of meaning that scientists suspect makes up one of the building blocks of verb meaning.

Ultimately, we hope to probe dozens of aspects of the meaning of thousands of verbs. This is a massive project, which is why we need help from citizen scientists. We will be sharing the results of this project freely with scientists and the public alike, and we expect it to make a valuable contribution to linguistics, psychology, and computer science.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Joshua Hartshorne, Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.)
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Data Processing
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

    Register on the Games with Words site.

See more projects in FreeData ProcessingAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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