Entity Detection and Tracking - Phase 1

EDT and Metonymy Annotation Guidelines for Arabic

Version 1.0 20030502


1 Intro

The objective of the ACE program is to develop automatic content extraction technology to support automatic processing of source language data.  This includes classification, filtering, and selection based on the language content of the source data, i.e., based on the meaning conveyed by the data.  Thus the ACE program requires the development of technologies that automatically detect and characterize this meaning.


Ultimately, ACE applications will maintain a database of what is happening in the world.  Ideally, this will be in terms of who is doing what, where, and when.  As information from source language data is accumulated over time, the database will be updated and maintained.  In this way the database becomes a vehicle for tracking the information we are interested in.  The database should also maintain pointers into the source data so as to ensure more detailed examination of the information represented in the database.


The ACE research objectives are viewed as the detection and characterization of Entities, Relations, and Events.  ACE Phase 1 begins the technology R&D effort by focusing on entity detection.  This task is being defined so as to support applications as well as to provide a basis for further development in extracting relations and events.


The Entity Detection task requires that selected types of entities mentioned in the source data be detected, their sense disambiguated, and that selected attributes of these entities be extracted and merged into a unified representation for each entity.  Tracking of entities across document boundaries will be deferred until after the initial phase.


This document outlines the ACE Phase 1 annotation tasks (Entity Detection and Tracking, Metonymy Annotation, and Generic/Specific Classification).  It is intended to integrate section 6 of the ACE Pilot Study Task Definition v 2.2, EDT Metonymy Annotation Guidelines v 2.4, and various addenda to both documents into up-to-date annotation guidelines.  Please refer to NIST's ACE website (www.itl.nist.gov/iaui/894.01/tests/ace/index.htm) for the ACE task definition and evaluation plan.


2 Basic Concepts

An entity is an object or set of objects in the world.  A mention is a reference to an entity.  Entities may be referenced by their name, indicated by a common noun or noun phrase, or represented by a pronoun.  For example, the following are several mentions of a single entity:


Name Mention: Amro Mousa

عمرو موسی


Nominal Mention: the guy wearing a blue shirt

الرجل ذو القميص الازرق


Pronoun Mentions: he, him

هو / هي / ه / ها / هم


For Phase 1 of ACE, entities are limited to the following five types:


·        Person - Person entities are limited to humans.  A person may be a single individual or a group.

·        Organization - Organization entities are limited to corporations, agencies, and other groups of people defined by an established organizational structure.

·         Facility - Facility entities are limited to buildings and other permanent man-made structures and real estate improvements.

·        Location - Location entities are limited to geographical entities such as geographical areas and landmasses, bodies of water, and geological formations.

·        GPE (Geo-political Entity) - GPE entities are geographical regions defined by political and/or social groups.  A GPE entity subsumes and does not distinguish between a nation, its region, its government, or its people.



We do not identify mentions of animals or most inanimate objects at this time. 


For each entity, the annotation records the type of the entity (PER, ORG, GPE, LOC, or FAC), its class (Generic/Specific), all of the mentions of the entity from the text (Name, nominal, Pronoun), and the role of those mentions if applicable (see section GPE Mention Roles).



3 Text to Annotate

Only material between <TEXT> and </TEXT> tags is to be annotated.  In newswire documents, material in headlines and slug sections is not to be tagged.  In broadcast news, only the transcribed speech is to be tagged; added information, such as that within <TURN> tags or speaker identification tags, is not to be tagged.


4 Entities and Mentions

4.1 Entity Types

4.1.1 Persons


Each distinct person or set of people mentioned in a document refers to [AM1] an entity of type person.  People may be specified by name " نبيل اشقر ", occupation " اللحام ",  family relation " الوالد ", pronoun " هو " , etc., or by some combination of these.  Dead people and human remains are to be recorded as entities of type person.  So are fictional human characters appearing in movies, TV, books, plays, etc. 

There are  number of words that are ambiguous as to their referent.  For example, nouns, which normally refer to animals or non-humans, can be used to describe people.  If it is clear to the annotator that the noun refers to a person in a given context, it should be marked as a person entity.

He is [a real turkey]

هو اسد في المعركة



[The film star]


نجم السينماء / النجم السينمائي



She's known as [the brain of the family]


هي معروفة انها عقل العائلة


He is [a harmonic force]


هو القوة التناغمية Saints and other religious figures

Religious titles such as saint, prophet imam or archangel are to be treated as titles. 


مار مارون قديس الموارنة  /الامام / الشيخ / القديس/ سان

References to "God" will be taken to be the name of this entity for tagging purposes.  If it is used as a descriptor rather than a name, it will be considered a nominal mention.  

                        name mention

الايمان بالله

Although he felt like he was [a god], he...            nominal mention

شعر وكأنه اله Fictional characters, names of animals, and names of fictional animals

Names of fictional characters are to be tagged; however, character names used as TV show titles will not be tagged when they refer to the show rather than the character name.

باتمان مسلسل تلفزيوني شهير

زی آدم وست من مسلسل باتمان


Names of animals are not to be tagged, as they do not refer to person entities.  The same is true for fictional animals and non-human characters.  These two examples do not yield mentions.

Morris the cat

القط شعبان Groups of people

Groups of people are to be considered an entity of type Person unless the group meets the requirements of an organization or a GPE described below.



النجار / السياسي / الجزار

اللغويون عند الباب Ethnic, Religious, and Political Groups

Ethnic groups, religious groups and political groups are often referenced by the name of the ethnicity, religion and political party, for example:


الاكراد  / الارمن

السنة  / الموارنة


Those groups that have an organizing body are name mentions of the organization.  If a mention refers to the members of an organization in general, we consider the mention to refer to the organization. 

الحزب الديموقراطي  يۇيد الانفتاح


يصوم الكاثوليك كل سنة عن اكل اللحوم قبل العيد  الكبير

Democrats is an organization name because it is used in a context describing the beliefs of the greater organization of the Democratic Party.  When a mention refers to an individual person, as in


محمد من الحزب التقدمي

or to a small group of individuals, as in


محمد وحسن كلاهما من الحزب التقدمي

the mention is a person nominal and is a mention of the same entity as the person to whom the phrase is attributed. 

Ethnic groups do not generally have a formal organization associated with them.  As a result, we mark these mentions as names of a person entity.

{[PER-name] Cuban Catholics} are expecting the Pontiff to preach about the value of religious freedom, something they're just beginning to experience.

الشيعة اللبنانيون  ينتظرون عودة الامام موسی الصدر

This example would be tagged as a Person-Name.


When ethnic designation is given to an individual person or a small group of individuals, the mention is marked as a nominal mention of that person entity.

Joe is {[PER-nominal] a Cuban Catholic}.

حسين شيعي  ]PER-nominal [  من الجنوب

In this example, the mentions "حسين" and "شيعي من الجنوب" refer to the same entity. Family Names

Family names are to be tagged as Person.


عائلة كنيدي  / بيت شاتيلا / الجرجسيين )not commonly used in Arabic(

Please note that the  example contains two mentions of the same entity: one name mention and one nominal mention.

4.1.2 Organizations

Each organization or set of organizations mentioned in a document gives rise to an entity of type organization.  An organization must have some formally established association and a persistent, established existence.  Typical examples are businesses, government units, sports teams, and formally organized music groups. Industrial sectors are also treated as organizations.

Sets of people who are not formally organized into a unit are to be treated as a person entity rather than an organization entity.  It is often difficult to tell the difference between organization entities and collections of individuals tagged as person entities.  Example organization-like nouns which are not organizations are " العائلة "  and " الطاقم ," الموظفون”

 In the latter two cases, although the members of a company or crew may work together in an organized and even hierarchical fashion, the groups are not organizations by themselves. 

Some words like "team,"فريق  "delegation"  وفد and "police" الشرطة achieve organizational status only in certain contexts.   "[The home team] flies to Connecticut to meet the Huskies in Hartford"

عاد الفريق الوطني من القاهرة حيث فاز علی الزمالك

clearly refers to a named sports team and is thus taggable as an organization.  However, the "[U.N. weapons inspection team]" 

 مفتشی الامم المتحدة


is less permanent and cohesive, and is thus a person entity rather than an organization.  The noun "police" is a person entity in contexts like "[police] outnumbered [demonstrators]"

زاد عدد رجال الشرطة علی عدد المتظاهرين

 but an organization entity in "[police in East Timor] have arrested [two men]."

اعتقلت  الشرطة في كراتشي رجلان مشتبه بهما Organization Entities used in Person Contexts

Whenever an organization takes an action, there are people within or in charge of the organization that one presumes actually made the decision and then carried it out.  Thus many organization mentions could be though of as metonymically referring to people within the organization.  However, there seems to be little to be gained in the usual case by thus "reaching inside the organization" to posit a PER metonymy.  It seems better to adopt the view that organizations can be agentive, and take action on their own.  Only when something in the context draws particular attention to the people within the organization should a separate mention of a PER entity be marked. First Person Pronouns Referring to Organizations

First person plural pronouns are often used by representatives of an organization to refer to that organization.  Pronouns are often used in this way by reporters representing a broadcasting station and spokespeople representing organizations.  For example, in our top story, our refers to the broadcasting organization.

في نشرتنا الساعة السادسة

 In these cases, annotators should mark first person plural pronouns as ORG mentions, and not as PER mentions.


4.1.3 Locations

Locations defined on a geographical or astronomical basis which are mentioned in a document and do not constitute a political entity give rise to location entities.  These include, for example,

المريخ / قمة جبل افرست / نهر النيل /  المجموعه الشمسيه / القارات  /  الشرق الاقصي / وادي الموت 


In general, terrestrial locations must have some two-dimensional extent.  Abstract coordinates ("31 S, 22( W") and positions relative to a GPE or location ("30 degrees miles east of Mount Fuji") are not themselves entities.  Borders, considered as (one-dimensional) boundaries between two regions, are not entities.  Positions distinguished only by the occurrence of an event at that position ("the scene of the murder", "the site of the rocket launching") are not entities.

مكان الانفجار / الجريمة Sub-parts of Locations and GPEs

Portions of GPE entities or location entities, such as “ the center of the city” constitute location entities in their own right.

 وسط المدينة/ جنوب شرق آسيا/ ضواحي المدينة

When general locative phrases like "top," "bottom," "edge," "periphery," "center," and "middle" are used to pinpoint a portion of a markable location, they are markable locations.

قمه - قاع= اطراف = وسط = داخل = خارج = محيط

محيط البلد /  وسط المدينة /  قمة الجبل


انهم يفضلون الضواحي للسكن بدلا من  وسط المدينة Non-Locations

It is easy to start interpreting all objects as locations.  Every physical object implies a location because the space that each physical object occupies is the "location" of that object.  In addition, our language is full of location modifiers (which are often prepositional phrases) that pinpoint objects and activities, and even abstract concepts:

المعطف تحت الكرسي

الارنب خلف الصخرة

لدي فكرة في رأسي

اخذ المعطف من الخزانة

وضع الكتاب في مكانه

However, none of these are taggable location expressions.  They do not fall within any of the classes defined above for taggable locations. The annotator must be careful not to fall down this slippery slope.

Do not tag compass points when they serve as adjectives or refer to directions, as in

اتجه الجيش نحو الشمال


 Compass points should only be tagged when they refer to sections of a region, as in "the far west."

الشرق الاوسط / الشرق الادنی

4.1.4 Facilities

A facility is a large, functional, primarily man-made structure.  These include buildings, and similar facilities designed for human habitation, such as houses, factories, stadiums, office buildings, gymnasiums, prisons, museums, and space stations; objects of similar size designed for storage, such as barns, parking garages and airplane hangars; elements of transportation infrastructure, including streets, highways, airports, ports, train stations, bridges, and tunnels.  Roughly speaking, facilities are artifacts falling under the domains of architecture and civil engineering.

الجسر / النفق / المطار / الطريق العام/ المنازل/ المصانع/ الاستاد/ المباني الاداريه/ الجمنزيوم/ السجون/ المتاحف/ محطات الفضاء/ مخازن الحبوب/ الجراجات/ حظائر الطائرات/ الشوارع/ الطرق السريعه/ المطارات/ محطات القطارات/ الكباري/ الانفاق

Individual rooms of buildings are facilities, but other portions of buildings, such as walls, windows, closets, or doors, are not facilities.

الحوائط/ النوافذ/ الحمامات/ الابواب Facility Entities used in Organization Contexts

In some cases, a facility name is used to refer to an organization (which, typically, operates the facility) or a set of people (the people employed by that organization). 

1. The museum is located on Fifth Avenue.

يقع المتحف في وسط نيو يورك 

2. I walked into the museum.

مشيت الی المتحف

3. Mary works for the museum.

هي تعمل في المتحف

4. The museum insisted that the exhibition was not obscene.

اصر المتحف ان العرض الجديد للصور له اثر ايجابي علی الجمهور

5. The museum received a gift of $100,000.

تسلم المتحف هبة مالية

Examples 1 and 2 clearly refer to the museum building.  Examples 3, 4, and 5 refer to the organization housed in or operating the museum facility.  In cases like this, the annotation will reflect both the facility and organization entities.  Please see the Metonymy section below for more information.

4.1.5 Geographical/Social/Political Entities (GPE)

Geo-Political Entities are composite entities comprised of a population, a government, a physical location, and a nation (or province, state, county, city, etc.).  All mentions of these four aspects of a GPEs will be marked GPE and coreferenced.  In this sentence,

رفض الشعب الفرنسي زيادة الضرائب

الشعب الفرنسي


The mention of the population of France is marked GPE, rather than PER. 

Explicit references to the government of a country (state, city, etc.) are to be treated as references to the same entity evoked by the name of the country.  Thus "the United States" and "the United States Government" are mentions of the same entity. 

الولايات المتحدة  /  حكومة الولايات المتحدة

On the other hand, references to a portion of the government ("the Administration", "the Clinton Administration") are to be treated as a separate entity (of type organization), even if it may be used in some cases interchangeably with references to the entire government (compare "the Clinton Administration signed a treaty" and "the United States signed a treaty").

الادارة /  ادارة كلنتون


Sometimes the names of GPE entities may be used to refer to other things associated with a region besides the government, people, or aggregate contents of the region.  The most common examples are sports teams: 

New York defeated Boston 99-97 in overtime. 

فاز فريق نيو يورك علی فريق بوستون

These are to be recorded as distinct entities, not as mentions of the GPE entity.  Thus, in this example, both "New York" and "Boston" would evoke organization entities. GPE Clusters to be treated as GPEs

Like GPEs, clusters of GPEs consist of a populace, a well-defined physical territory, and in some cases (like Europe) , have an organizing body (the European Union) associated with it. 

اوروبا / الاتحاد الاوروبي

Because of their similarities to GPEs, these entities appear in contexts similar to those of GPEs.  For example:


السعودية حالت دون مشاركة اسرائيل في مؤتمر إعمار افغانستان


For this annotation task, named geographical entities that are commonly referred to by those names will be considered GPEs rather than Locations.   Following is a non-exhaustive list of entities that were Locations in the Pilot Study, but should be GPEs for this task.

Asia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, EU, the Middle East, Palestine, Southeast Asia, New England, South Africa, all continents.

آسيا /  اوروبا / الاتحاد الاوروبي / افريقيا الجنوبية/ اوروبا الشرقيه/ اوروبا الغربيه/ الشرق الاوسط/ فلسطين/ جنوب شرق اسيا/ جنوب افريقيا/ بالاضافه الي جميع القارات


Other, more incidental clusters of GPEs are still considered Locations.  For example, the southern United States is a Location.

جنوب لبنان / جنوب الولايات المتحدة

  On the other hand coalitions of governments, as well as the UN, are organizational bodies and should be marked Organization. 

 الامم المتحدة Nested Region Names

A series of nested region names, such as بيروت - لبنان  evokes one entity for each region.  This evokes one entity for the city  and a second one for the state (with mention لبنان) GPE Mention Roles

Annotators need to decide for each entity mention in the text which role (Person, Organization, Location, GPE) the context of that mention invokes. This judgment typically depends on the relations that the entity enters into. 


            Organization Role

وقعت فرنسا اتفاقا مع المانيا

                        Location Role

اجتمع رۇساء الدول الفرانكوفونية في فرنسا امس

In the examples above, the name "France" refers to a range of concepts.  Annotators must select the Role which matches the function of the GPE mention. 

The GPE role may be used in contexts that highlight the nation (or state or province or city, etc.) aspect of the GPE entity, as distinct from the government, populace, and location, but that it may also be used in contexts referring to an indistinct amalgam of more than one of the aspects of a GPE (government, population, location, and nation).

GPE Role (whole nation)

تنتج فرنسا افضل نبيذ في العالم

GPE Role (indistinct referent)

اهم تحف فرنسا

Even if more than one aspect of the entity is invoked by the context, only one role should be assigned.  This usually occurs in the case of conjoined predicates.  For example,

Washington is preparing for potentially massive demonstrations against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as ministers from those organizations arrive for Sunday's opening session.

تتهيأ واشنطن  للتصدي لمظاهرات عنيفة ضد البنك الدولي و صندوق النقد الدولي عند وصول وزراء  من هاتان المنظمتان للمؤتمر الافتتاحي يوم الاحد

In the above example, it is the government of Washington (ORG) that is preparing for the demonstrations, but ministers will arrive at the location Washington.  In these cases, the annotator should assign a role based on the closest local predicate.  In this example, only the ORG role should be assigned to Washington because "preparing..." is the local predicate and invokes an ORG reading.

The following sections give particular guidelines for frequently encountered cases, with examples.

GPEs Modifying People and Artifacts

Pre-modifiers are inherently vague and difficult to decompose.  For this reason, all GPE pre-modifiers of people and artifacts will be assigned the role GPE.GPE.  For the sake of consistency, the corresponding post-modifiers should also be marked GPE.GPE.  For example, [[GPE.GPE] French} president should be marked in the same way as president of {[GPE.GPE] France}.

الرئيس الفرنسي   / رئيس فرنسا

  More examples of GPEs modifying people include:


{[GPE.GPE] Israeli} troops

الجيش الاسرائيلي

{[GPE.GPE] New York} policemen

شرطة نيو يورك

Prime Minister of {[GPE.GPE] Britain}

رئيس وزراء بريطانيا

Joe Smith of {[GPE.GPE] the United States}

وزير الدولة البريطاني طوني بلير

{[GPE.GPE] New York} attorney

محامي من نيو يورك

{[GPE.GPE] U.S.} Commander-in-Chief

القائد المصري العظيم

GPEs modifying artifacts should also be marked GPE.GPE.  Common artifacts modified by GPEs include but are not limited to vehicles, weapons, and flags.  Some examples follow:

{[GPE.GPE] U.S.} surveillance aircraft 

طائرة الاستطلاع الاميركية

{[GPE.GPE] Iraqi} flag

العلم العراقي

Activities Associated with GPEs

Certain activities are associated with GPEs and therefore invoke a GPE role.  For example, in a pro-Iraq rally, Iraq is assigned a GPE.GPE annotation.  A rally is generally concerned with a nation, rather than exclusively a location or government.


منعت حكومة مبارك التظاهرات المؤيدة للعراق  ]GPE.GPE [

Military Activity 

Similarly, military activities like invasions, military strikes, bombings, etc. are considered to be acts carried out by and directed at entire nations (not distinguishable from the government, people and location of that nation) and therefore are associated with GPEs.  Both the aggressors and the victims in these cases are marked GPE.GPE. 


بدأ امس العدوان الاميركي ]GPE.GPE [  علی العراق ]GPE.GPE [

Political Communication and Decision-making

On the other hand, ORGs are responsible for decisions to take military actions.  ORGs are also responsible for political communication events such as announcements, agreements, statements, denials, expressions of approval and disapproval, etc. 

اتفقت الصين ]GPE.ORG [ . مع الحكومة التايوانية


Political associations

وزير داخلية جزيرة مالطا GPE.GPE.


قال ممثل ولاية اوهايو ]GPE.GPE[ في مجلس الشيوخ



GPE names embedded in mentions of the government have a GPE role. 

الحكومة اللبنانيةGPE.GPE.

 This annotation conveys the relationship between nation and government.  Similarly, in cases in which the embedded GPE conveys a political relationship with the location, the GPE is assigned a GPE role, as in }. 

المستوطنات الاسرائيلية ]GPE.GPE[

However, in cases in which there is only a locative relationship between the GPE and the LOC, the GPE is assigned a LOC role.  For example, in the heartland of America, America is a GPE.LOC because a locative relation is conveyed. 

صرحت وزيرة الخارجية الاميركية انها ستلتقي مع وزير الدفاع في بلد ]GPE.LOC[  لم يسمی في الغرب الاميركي ]GPE.LOC[


في منطقة واشنطونGPE.LOC


Athletes, Sports Teams, and GPEs

Athletes and teams are associated with GPE.GPEs as in the example of Austria below. 


فازت) فلانة ( من النمساGPE.GPE في سباق التزلج

However, when a GPE name is used as a team name (as in Boston beat Philly), the entity is marked as a metonymy, with the Literal mention being the city and the Intended mention being the team. 

{[GPE.GPE-Lit] [ORG-Int] New York} had a shot to win but Chris Childs missed a three.

فاز فريق نيو يورك ].GPE.GPE-Lit] [ORG-Int[ في مباراة كأس العالم

In addition, because all GPEs are assigned a role, the Literal GPE mention is assigned a GPE role.


GPEs modifying organizations

In cases where GPEs modify organizations, the organizations are considered to be located in that GPE.  Those GPEs should be marked GPE.LOC. 

اعلنت الشركة اللبنانيةGPE.LOC  عن تعيين جورج قرداحي



While the entity type for governments is GPE, the role for governments should always be GPE.ORG.


سيكون موقف )الحكومة الروسية ] GPE. GPE  ] [GPE. ORG [(   حرجا اذا ما  تجاهلت واشنطن متطلباتها


(In that particular example, Russian would also be marked, so that the full annotation for that phrase would be {[GPE.ORG] the {[GPE.GPE] Russian} government}, and the two GPE mentions would be coreferential.)


GPEs and Government Organizations

GPEs modifying government organizations, like New York police department

دائرة الشرطة في نيو يورك / شرطة نيو يورك

 قسم الاطفئية في الضفة الغربية / الدفاع المدني اللبناني

 reflect a relationship between the organizations and the governmental aspect of the GPE, so they are assigned a GPE.ORG markup.


سمح له ان يستأنف للمحكمة العليا البلجيكية / ا لمحكمة العليا في بلجيكا

GPEs and Populations

As stated above, populations of a GPE are treated as GPE.PER.  However, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a reference to people is a reference to the population. 


يتحمل اليابانيون  مسؤولية كبيرة عن حروب القرن الماضي

 هذا المثل يخضع لعدة احتمالات كما هو موضح لاحقا 

In this example, the phrase the Japanese may be interpreted as the population of Japan, or the government of Japan, or the Japanese military, or even some part of the Japanese population.  If the annotator believes that the phrase in question refers to the population of the GPE, or most of the population of a GPE, then the annotation should be GPE.PER and the mention is a name mention.  However, if the annotator believes the phrase refers to a group of people, then PER is the assigned annotation and the mention is nominal because it does not refer to the name of a person.  Examples:


ينتظر الفلسطينيون      ]GPE.PER - name[     يوم التحرير بفارغ الصبر


تعتبر   )]GPE.PER - nom  [   الاكثرية الامريكية  ] GPE.PER - name [(    ان الرئيس كلنتون اخطأ بتصرفه


ابتكار فرنسي  ]GPE.PER - name[    جديد


يقول بتلر ان علی العراقيين   ]  GPE.GPE. name [    السماح للمفتشين بمتابعة عملهم


سترسو السفينة الحربية میسوري  ].GPE.GPE. name[  قرب النصب التذكاري للسفینة  الاريزونا  و التي اغرقها اليابانيون 


الاتراك     ]PER - nom  [  الوطنيون



4.2 Mentions

For each entity, we record and coreference all mentions of the entity.  Mentions are names, nominal phases, or pronominal phrases that refer to or describe the entity.  For each mention, we record its full extent and its head.

Mentions will frequently be nested; that is, they will contain mentions of other entities.  For example, the phrase

The president of Ford

رئيس شركة فورد

is a mention of an entity of type person, and contains the name "Ford", a mention of an entity of type organization.   It is even possible for a noun phrase to contain an embedded mention of the same entity.   For instance, the phrase

The historian who taught herself COBOL

المعلمة التي علمت نفسها  استعمال  الكمبيوتر

evokes a person entity with two mentions, the entire phrase and the word "herself".    نفسها

4.2.1 Mention Extent

The extent of a mention consists of the entire nominal phrase.  In case of structures where there is some irresolvable ambiguity as to the attachment of modifiers, the extent annotated should be the maximal extent.  In the case of a discontinuous constituent, the extent goes to the end of the constituent, even if that means including tokens that are not part of the constituent.  Thus, in

I met some people yesterday who love chess.

تعرفت امس علی اشخاص يحبون لعبة الشطرنج

the extent of the mention is the entire phrase

[Some people yesterday who love chess]                   [اشخاص يحبون لعبة الشطرنج ]

The extent includes all the modifiers of a nominal phrase, including prepositional phrases, relative clauses, appositional phrases, etc.  Thus the phrase

Fred Smith, the noted general

 الجنرال العظيم فرد سميث

constitutes two mentions of one entity.

[Fred Smith, the noted general]

]الجنرال العظيم فرد سميث[

[the noted general]

]الجنرال العظيم[


Generally speaking, tokens are broken at white space, and each item of punctuation is treated as a separate character.  As a rule, we do not include punctuation such as commas, periods, and quotation marks in the extent of a mention unless words included within the extent continue on after the punctuation mark.    Extents must begin at the beginning of a token and end at the end of a token.

4.2.2 Mention Head

In addition to the extent of the nominal phrase, the head of the phrase must be marked. In

The hurricane destroyed [the new glass-clad skyscraper].

دمر الاعصار  ]ناطحة السحاب الشامخة الجديدة[

the full mention is

The new glass-clad skyscraper

and the head is skyscraper       ناطحة   Except for proper nouns and adjectives, the head is always a single token. If the syntactic head of the phrase is a multi-token item, the first token is marked.  If the head is a proper name, however, then the whole extent of the name is considered to be the head. In the following examples, the mention is enclosed in brackets and the head is un derlined:


[Fred Smith] became [the new prime minister].

اصبح ]فرد سميث[ ] رئيسا للوزراء[   في الحكومة الجديدة                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

If the phrase is "headless", as in the case of a partitive construction, the last modifier of the empty head is to be marked:


A course in linguistics for [the young] and [the restless]

مركز رياضي ]للصغار[ و]الكبار[

He was introduced to [five of the analysts]

تعرف علی خمسة من المحللين

Note that in the last example, there is a second entity, whose full mention and  head  is   [analysts] [المحللين] 


4.2.3 Markability Plurals

A plural can be an entity:

The injured passengers

المسافرون الجرحی

Two distinct sets produce separate entities, regardless of whether they have elements in common; so, for example,

Ten passengers were injured, six seriously

جرح عشرة ركاب  ستة منهم بجروح خطرة

evokes two entities, one for the ten passengers, one for the six.  Distinct sets produce separate entities, even if they have the same string, so

Five people like vanilla, five people like chocolate

وصل خمسة اشخاص وغادر اربعة آخرون

evokes two entities (the five people who like vanilla and the five who like chocolate).  Furthermore, a set is a distinct entity from each of its members;

Fred Smith married Harriet Hope;  they lived happily for 6 weeks.

تزوج فرد سميث وهاريت هوب وعاشا معا سنة كاملة

evokes three entities, one for Fred Smith, one for Harriet Hope, and one for the set with members Fred and Harriet.   The only mention of the set is the pronoun ending of the verb Conjunctions

In conjoined expressions, there should always be one and only one Nominal Entity per head noun.  Thus, conjoined noun phrases with no elision of the head noun are to be tagged separately.  If a pre-nominal modifier is present it gets included only with the initial noun phrase of the conjunct, and if a post-nominal modifier is present, it gets included only with the final noun phrase of the conjunct.

[muslims] and [croats]

المسلمون والمسيحيون

[many streams] and [rivers]

انهار كثيرة وجبال

[almost every serb], [croat] and [muslim in bosnia]

اكثرية الاكراد  والاتراك  والارمن في لبنان

[bus stations], [train stations], and [shopping areas throughout the country]

محطات القطار والمطارات  والاسواق في المدينة

Note: there is no white space in arabic between  “and” ,  “و”   and the word immediately after. Pronouns Referring to GPEs

Pronouns that refer to GPEs are marked as mentions of the same entity as their antecedent, but are assigned the role invoked by the context of the pronoun, which may not be the same as the role of the antecedent GPE.

Composite Example:  The president flew to {[GPE.LOC] Israel} to meet with {[GPE.GPE] its} Prime Minister.

غادر الرئيس الی كندا لمقابلة  رئيس وزرائها                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Similarly, in the case of classic metonymies (where two entities are created), pronoun annotation is determined in part by the link to the antecedent and in part by the context in which the pronoun appears.  If the antecedent is a classic metonymy, the pronoun will be a mention of the same entity as either the literal mention or the intended mention of the antecedent.

Metonymy Example: Thousands of parochial school and college students are joining this year's demonstration, including 1,500 high school students from across the country who spent last night at {[ORG-Literal][FAC-Intended] Catholic University}.  {[FAC] It}'s in Georgetown.

امضی طلاب الجامعة  المتظاهرين  الليلة داخل حرم جامعة الازهر في القاهرة

In some cases, the antecedent is not a metonymy but the context of the pronoun invokes an entity with a type that is different from that of the antecedent.  In such cases, in addition to the mention of the new entity, the annotator should also mark the pronoun as a literal mention of the antecedent entity.  (This allows us to maintain the connection between the pronoun and the antecedent.)

Metonymy Example:  {[FAC] The museum} is located on 45th Street.  {[FAC-Literal] [ORG-Intended] They} just hired a new guard. Elision

Where elision of the head noun occurs in a conjunction, a single entity is delineated (these could also be viewed as conjoined modifier phrases):

[british and irish governments]

الحكومتان ]البريطانية والایرلندية[ Range Expressions and Elision

Components of range expressions are tagged separately if there is no elision of any head noun:

from [the foothills] to [the prairie]

من  ]المحيط[ الی ]الخليج[

from [the downtown area] to [the suburbs]

من ]وسط المدينة[ الی ]الضواحي[

However, in examples like the following there is only a single head noun.  In these cases we will treat the range expression as a pre-modifier, so that it gets included in the maximum extent of the entity:

ranging from [five to six companies] per day

 يتراوح   من ]خمسة الی ستة شركات[  يوميا

from [blue collar to white collar workers]

من ] اصغر موظف الی اكبرهم[ Predicate complements

Mentions should include nominal predicate complements that are affirmatively asserted of a reportable entity, since they describe the entity.  Thus

Fred is a real linguist.

رامز لغوي شهیر

evokes an entity of type person with two mentions, "Fred" and "a real linguist".   On the other hand,

Fred is not a real linguist.

رامز ليس بلغوي شهیر

evokes two entities: one of type person with only one mention, "Fred" and one of type person that is generic with only one mention "a real linguist". Similarly,

Fred is studying to be a real linguist.

يريد رامز ان يصبح لغويا مشهورا

evokes a specific entity of type person with only one mention, "Fred" and a generic entity of type person with one mention, "a real linguist", because the text does not assert that Fred has been, is, or will be a real linguist. Apposition

Appositional modifiers are treated like predicate complements:  they are recorded as mentions of the head, without regard to the criteria regarding generic usage.  Thus the phrase

Fred, a real linguist, knows ten languages, none fluently

اللغوي المشهور رامز  يعرف عشرة لغات

evokes an entity with mentions "Fred, a real linguist", and "a real linguist".

المتحدث الرسمي لوزارة الخارجية حسين متولي

حسين متولي متحدثاً رسمياً لوزارة الخارجية Proper adjectives

A proper adjective is to be treated as a name mention of the noun from which it is derived.  Thus, if "France" and "French" both appear in a single document, they are to be marked as mentions of the same GPE entity (if only "French" appears in a document, it evokes a GPE entity).  The adjective is marked as a name mention of the GPE entity.

A noun indicating a national of a given country is a nominal mention of an entity of type person.  In many cases - "Iranian", "American", "German", etc. - the same word is used both as a proper adjective and as the name of a national.  When used as an adjective

I love Iranian caviar for breakfast.

الكافيار الايراني / الليرة اللبنانية   / النبيذ الفرنسي


it is marked as a name mention of the GPE entity; when used as a noun ("I met three Iranians."), it is marked as a nominal mention of a person entity.

تعرفت علی ثلاث ايرانيين

Similar rules apply to adjectives derived from names of organizations.  Thus, "Republican" in "Republican platform" is a name mention of an organization entity,

الجمهوري / الحزب الجمهوري

while in "That Republican likes macaroni and cheese." it is a nominal mention of a person entity. Quantified and partitive phrases

A partitive construction of the form  quantifier of ENP gives rise to two mentions:  one for the entire phrase, and one for the embedded noun phrase ENP that is the object of "of".  If the entire phrase represents a subset of ENP, these will be mentions of distinct entities.  Thus in

three of the women

ثلاثة من النساء

evokes two entities, for "the women" and "three of the women".

النساء  /  ثلاثة من النساء


some of the women

بعض النساء

evokes two entities.  On the other hand,

all of the women

جميع النساء


has two mentions of one entity:  "the women" and "all of the women" (the same set).  This is also the case with the partitive-like phrase

a team of five experts

فريق من خمس اختصائيين

since the team is identical to the set of five experts.


4.2.4 Types of Mentions

We distinguish between mentions with a named head (name-mentions), those with a noun head (nominal or nom-mentions) and those with a pronominal head (pro-mentions).  Mentions with empty heads ("five of the analysts") are classified as pro-mentions. Names

For each entity, we record the occurrences of names (if any) used to refer to this entity in the document.  For the purposes of ACE, a name is a noun phrase headed by a proper noun.  Often the proper noun head is also the full extent of the noun phrase.  We record each occurrence of the name of a given entity.  If a name appears twice, both instances must be recorded. 

Names are atomic.  This means that entity names wholly contained within another name are not annotated.  For example, in the following phrase only one entity is referenced.

The New York Times

 النيو يورك تايمز

This phrase references the organization of the newspaper.  It does not evoke a separate entity for the city of "New York". Head and Extent of Names

The following are head and extent rules that are specific to Name mentions. 

Definite articles

When a definite article is commonly associated with an entity name, it also must be included in the head of the mention. 


The Rolling Stones

 الرولنغ ستونز


الثلاثي المرح


Titles and honorifics

Titles such as "Mr." And role names such as "President" are not considered part of a person name.  However, appositives such as "Jr.," "Sr." and "III" are considered part of a person name. 

Mr Harry Schearer   Secretary Robert Mosbacher   John Doe, Jr.

Titles, honorifics, and determiners are all treated as modifiers, and are included in the extent of the mention of the person entity.

السيد / الامام / الاستاذ / الاسقف / الدكتورة

قداسة البابا شنوده الثالث

Multi-modifier Expressions

A single-name expression containing conjoined modifiers with no elision should be marked as a single expression.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

مديرية شركة الكهرباء العامة اللبنانية

The entire string is to be treated as the name of the organization. Markable Names

The following are markability rules that apply specifically to name mentions.

Aliases and Nicknames

Generally, aliases for entities are to be tagged.  Taggable aliases will include the following forms of entity names:

Acronyms, formed from the initial letter(s) or syllable(s) of successive or major parts of a compound term.  Note that speech examples of acronyms may appear in a non-standard format.  For example:


شركة آي بي ام /  شركة باكتل  /  شركة اي تي اند تي


_a_t and _t

Nicknames and other aliases are tagged as names when they are established alternate ways of referring to an entity; if the annotator does not recognize the status of the nickname, it may be possible to determine from context whether the nickname is "established" or not. 

The Big Apple                nickname for New York City

المطربة صباح ;  شحرورة الوادي

مصر \ القاهرة ;  ام الدنيا

باريس \ عاصمة النور

Entity Names that Modify Persons/Titles

Entity names modifying a person or their title/role are to be tagged.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates

مؤسس  مايكروسوفت  بل جيتس

The U.S. Vice-President

نائب الرئيس الاميركي


Each of the examples above gives us two mentions.  Please note that nominal mentions of entities, which modify a person or their title, are not to be tagged.

company chairman James Smith

رئيس ادارة الشركة جيمس سميث

This example yields only one mention.  "company"         الشركة   is not tagged. Nominals

For the purposes of the ACE project, a nominal is a noun phrase headed by a common noun. Nominal Left Modifiers

Nominal adjectives and non-possessive common nouns directly modifying other nouns are not markable mentions.  


I love {French} food.

احب الاكل }العربي{

Not Markable:

I love {prison} food.

احب طعام السجن Pronominals

A pronominal is a word used as a substitute for a noun phrase.  They refer to persons or things that are previously specified or understood from the context.  Pronominals are marked whenever they reference a salient entity.  When used as location pronouns, here and there are markable.  Demonstratives this, that, these, and those are markable when they stand for a noun and not markable when the simply modify a noun.  The various forms of he, she, and it are markable.

Here are examples where the pronoun should be tagged.

هنا / هناك / هذا / هذه /هؤولاء / التي / الذي

* Northern Idaho is beautiful in the early summer. Motorcycle tourists love to come {here} and ride along the snowmelt-rivers.

لبنان بلد جميل جدا يقصده السواح ويتمتعوا هناك بالطبيعة الخلابة

* {this} is my grandmother

هذه جدتي

* {those} are the guys who stole my car.

هوؤلاء هم اللصوص الذين سرقوا سيارتي

Here are examples where the pronoun should  NOT be tagged.

هوؤلاء لصوص سرقوا سيارتي            


* The White House and {its} surrounding area.


The following are some additional rules that apply to pronominal mentions. Headless Mentions

Mentions with empty heads are classified as pro-mentions. 

five of the analysts

خمسة من المحللين

Please note that this example also includes the nominal mention [the analysts].


4.2.5 Coreference of Mentions

If two mentions refer to the same underlying entity, we must indicate this by coreferencing them.  In most cases, this is very straightforward. In an article  we want all mentions of the person to be lumped together in the same entity and marked with the base type PER.  So, if the following sentences appeared in the same article, we would want to include all the bold mentions in the person entity.


نفی وزير الدفاع الايراني ان تكون بلاده قد ضبطت اي مواطن خليجي مشيرا الی الاوضاع  مؤكدا في الوقت نفسه    ان بلاده  تسيطر علی الحدود

Please note, however, that we must coreference all mentions that refer to the entity that is وزير الدفاع. This will include nominal mentions  and pronominal mentions

]الهاء في بلاده  و الميم في مشيرا و الميم في مؤكدا و الهاء في بلاده [


5 Metonymy

Metonymy occurs when a speaker uses a reference to one entity to refer to another entity (or entities) related to it. For example, in the sentence below Beijing is a capital city name that is used as a reference to the Chinese government:

Beijing will not continue sales of anti-ship missiles to Iran.


عاودت بيجنغ  بيع الاسلحة الی سوريا


Classic metonymies make reference to two entities, one explicit and one indirect reference.  Common examples are cases of capital city names standing in for national governments, as shown above.  Other common examples involve facilities and organizations, which are closely related in that organizations typically have facilities, and facilities are typically owned and administered by organizations.  Thus when a facility is mentioned, the organization is sometimes also referenced.  So, in the museum announced its new exhibit, the entity museum is a facility that houses artwork, but in this context it is the organization running the museum that is doing the announcing. 

اعلن المتحف ]FAC] [ORG[ عن معرضه الجديد


اعلن مكتب  ]ORG]   [FAC[    وزارة السياحة  عن فتح صالة عرض  جديدة في الطابق الاول من المبنی


In cases like this, where both entities are expressed by the same phrase, two entity mentions should be marked, one for each of the corresponding references.  If only one entity is expressed, then only one entity mention is marked.  In the above example, the annotator would mark mentions of a FAC and an ORG entity for the museum.

Classic metonymies are to be annotated with two separate mentions, one for each of the entities referred to. This naturally means that each of those mentions will need to be linked appropriately to any other mentions of that entity in the document.  For example, there is a building (a FAC) called the "Holocaust Memorial Museum" but the name of this building is also often used to refer to the organization that runs its business in that building.  Thus, in a sentence like the following, "the museum" would be marked as two mentions, one associated with the FAC entity and the other associated with the ORG entity.

But Lerman also added that {[FAC][ORG] the museum} would not extend Arafat the formal courtesies that are routine for other world leaders.

If, elsewhere in the document, a mention of "the museum" occurred in the context "New windows were ordered for the museum", that mention would be marked as an additional mention of the same FAC entity referred to above, but not as an additional mention of the ORG entity. 

In cases like the above, where two mentions are marked on the same text, annotators are to specify which of the two mentions is the "literal" one and which the "intended" metonymic one.  The Alembic Workbench will support this by allowing the properties "literal" or "intended" to be added to mentions. In examples in these guidelines, the literal mention will always be listed first. Both the literal and the intended mentions, with the entities underlying them, will be counted in the scoring.

The remainder of this section outlines specific annotation guidelines for metonymy in different contexts.

5.1 Capital City for Governmental GPE

Cases in which the capital city is used to refer to the nation's government are marked as true metonyms.  (Because two separate GPEs are involved, this is not an exception to the general rule that GPEs are marked as one entity with a role rather than as two entities.)


صرح وزير الدفاع الاميركي وليم كوهن ان بيجنغ             ] GPE.GPE][GPE.ORG[            الغت بيع اسلحة جديدة لكوريا الشمالية

In this example there are two mentions covering the word Beijing.  The GPE.GPE is a mention of the city Beijing and the GPE.ORG is a mention of China. The GPE.ORG mention is a mention of the same China entity that would be referred to by other GPE mentions of "China" that might be found elsewhere in the document.  Also if there were a later mention of the city of Beijing (for example, Cohen left the city this morning),

ثم غادركوهن المدینة هذا الصباح

it would be a GPE.LOC mention of the same Beijing entity referred to by the GPE.GPE mention in the above example.


5.2 Metonymies Involving ORG Base Entities

There is a table (see the Pilot Study task definition, Section 6.2.5) that specifies a "base" type for various kinds of entities. Mentions of entities with ORG base types like schools, restaurants, or churches are sometimes used to refer to the organization itself, and sometimes used to refer to the facility that houses that organization. Every mention of such an entity is to be marked (at least) as a mention of an entity of its base type. A second mention of a different type should also be marked if the context invokes a metonymic entity. Thus a mention whose base type is ORG but that is used in a FAC context will have mentions of both of those two entities associated with it.

Below are some examples of ORGs that refer either to a single base type entity, or else to both a base type and metonymic type entity.

Example 1

Universities have an ORG base type so both mentions of the university in 1A and 1B invoke an ORG entity.  But 1B also invokes a FAC entity because it refers to the site.

Lee Jung Hoon, a political science professor at {[ORG-1] Yonsei University}...  (From 9801.162)

استاذ العلوم السياسية في الجامعة اللبنانية

Thousands of parochial school and college students are joining this year's demonstration, including 1,500 high school students from across the country who spent last night at {[ORG-2] [FAC-3] Catholic University}.  (From 9801.175)

امضی المتظاهرون الليلة داخل حرم الجامعة اللبنانية

Example 2

Embassies have an ORG base type so both 2A and 2B invoke an ORG entity.  But 2A also invokes a FAC entity because FACs, not ORGs have gates.

...a few hundred ethnic Albanians laid a black wreath at the gate of {[ORG-4] [FAC-5] Yugoslavian embassy}.  (From  APW19980308.0201)

تظاهر الطلاب امام مبنی    ] ORG ] [FAC[     السفارة الاميريكية             

 "Our Ministry of Defense is working very hard with {[ORG-6] the U.S. Embassy in Bogota} to get the information together," Cano said.   (From 9801.382)

ارسلت السفارة الاميريكية انذارا لرعاياها

5.3 Metonymies Involving FAC Base Entities

The same approach used for ORG entity mentions that refer to an associated FAC should also be used when a FAC entity mention refers to an associated ORG.

Here are two examples from the same document (9801.266):

Competing self-images of victim hood have long prevented Israelis and Arabs from acknowledging the full weight of each other's historical tragedies, and many Arab leaders have resisted efforts to lure them to {[FAC-7] the museum} and the similar Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem.

Lerman, reached at his New Jersey home, said the subject of Arafat and Israel's talks with the Palestinian Authority still profoundly divided U.S. and world Jewry and "we believe {[FAC-8] [ORG-9] the museum} should not get involved in a political dispute where half of the people are for something and half are against it."

Since museums have a FAC base type, both examples A and B invoke a FAC entity.   But example B also invokes an ORG entity because it is the organization that should not get involved in the dispute.

Note in the above examples that FAC mention 7 and FAC mention 8 refer to the same FAC entity, as shown in the following table of entities and mentions:

Entity 1:  {[FAC-7] the museum}, {[FAC-8] the museum}

Entity 2:  {[ORG-9] the museum}

Another common class of FAC metonymies is found when named buildings are used to refer to the organizations based there:

It is unlikely {[FAC] [ORG] the White House} would nominate a successor who did not support sampling, and equally unlikely Republican leaders would look favorably on such a candidate.

ليس من المحتمل ان يسمح البيت الابيض     ]ORG  ]  [FAC [ للمراسلين الصحفيين ان يطرحوا هذه الاسئلة

5.4 Special Rule for Offices and Branches

Because the term "office" is often used to refer to an organization, as in "the Office of the Attorney General," the base type for offices will be ORG. 

مكتب المدعي العام ORG

When the context suggests a reference to the physical entity, the entity should be marked both ORG and FAC.  Examples that are ambiguous as to whether a facility or an organization is intended should be marked metonymically, with both an ORG and a FAC mention.  Thus in the following example the office is marked both ORG and FAC because it is unclear whether the context suggests that the investigators are from the physical office or from the organization.

Investigators from {[ORG-9] [FAC-10] the Kentucky state fire marshal's office}.

المحقق من مكتب  مديرية الدفاع المدني في قطاع غزة

(In that particular example, Kentucky would also be marked, so that the full annotation for that phrase would be {[ORG-9] [FAC-10] the {[GPE.ORG] Kentucky} state fire marshal's office}.)

The same general guidelines apply to other facility terms like "branches" (as in the local branch of a bank).

فرع البنك

5.5 Metonymies Involving LOC Base Entities

Entities whose base type is LOC can also be used in metonymic senses. In the following example, "the world" has literal type LOC but intended type PER, and thus is annotated with two separate mentions:

{[LOC] [PER] The whole world} was watching.

العالم كله ينتظر مباراة كرة القدم

6 Entity Class (Generic/Specific)

An entity is generic when it does not refer to a particular object or particular set of objects in the world.  Every entity must be designated as either generic or specific.  In some cases this distinction is difficult to make.  This section will outline several tests that will help differentiate between the two classes.

6.1 Definition of Generic and Specific

A given common noun (girl, motorcycle, bookmark, semantic theory, etc.)

بنت / سيارة / نظرية فلسفية

 denotes a set of objects, each of which is an example of the noun in question. In such a system, "boy" would refer to the set BOY whose membership would be precisely all the boys in the world (or perhaps: in the Universe).

The manner in which NPs refer can be easily explained relative to this backdrop:

1. Some NPs are used to refer to a particular object in the world. The set X (the common noun's referents) from which that object is drawn has little significance to the audience, other than to help in the selection of the (particular) object in question.

These NPs say something like: there is a specific example of X, one that I have in mind, that ... and are considered to be non-generic.

(Note that we will use non-generic and specific interchangeably in the present set of documents. The former is arguably more appropriate, since the annotation conventions adopted here tag the feature GENERIC as either true or false, but we will let the latter serve as form of shorthand notation.)

2. Other NPs are used to refer to underspecified objects that may be an example of the set (X) in question, but need not be particular. Here the set X has a greater degree of significance, since the only constraint on the entity in question is that it be drawn from that set.

These NPs say something like:

"Any member of the set X ..."; or

اي عضو / كل عضو في المجموعة

"Each member of the set X ..."

and are considered to be generic.

In short, a generic mention is used to refer to any member of the set in question rather than some particular, identifiable member of that set (which would be picked out by a Non-generic mention) and a formal definition seems altogether impossible. As shall soon become clear, we can do little better in providing this notion with a precise definition.

We have therefore allowed the above informal (folk) definition --- together with the following discussion of the phenomena; the subsequent taxonomy of common generic-denoting mentions; and the concluding short list of (non-deterministic) tests for the applicability of generic status to a given mention --- to serve as the basis of our tagging decisions with regard to the attribution of generic status.

The (un-)reliability of syntactic or contextual tests here will become clear as the discussion proceeds --- it is helpful to correspondingly consider each of the examples which follow as having a (frequently secondary) role in illustrating this fact, whether or not this expository role is explicitly stated.

6.2 Classes of Mentions Frequently Associated with Generic Entities

We can make some loose generalizations about the classes of NPs, which are likely to refer to generic entities, but it is important to bear in mind the source of our reluctance to offer such categorical (or syntactic) criteria for the assignment of generic status to a given NP.

Typically, generic entities include types of entity, suggested attributes of entities, hypothetical entities, and generalizations across a set or sets of entities.

6.2.1 A Type of Entity

{Mammals} are live bearers.

الحيوانات البرمائية تسبح في النهر

{Good students} do all the reading.

الطلاب المجتهدون هم الناجحون

{Typical firemen} work hard all their lives in dangerous conditions.

يعمل الاطفائي في ظروف خطرة

6.2.2 A Suggested Attribute of an Entity

John seems to be {a nice person}.

يبدو ان جان رجل كريم

{Misfits} are sometimes {the best employees}.

الصحفيون مجتهدون

6.2.3 A Hypothetical Entity

If {a person} steps over the line, {they} must be punished.

سوف يعاقب كل من يخطو عن الخط الاحمر

Aides say he's plotting a political comeback, even considering a run for president} in two thousand.

يقال انه سيخوض معركة الانتخابات للرئاسة

6.2.4 A Generalization across a Set of Entities

{Outsiders} think that New Jersey is a different country.

يری الغريب / المسافر / المهاجر كل  الامور بنظرة مختلفة

{Purple houses} are really ugly.

البيوت البنفسجية جميلة

Even if the property or the set underlying the entity in question is extremely constrained (i.e. such that there are very few possible members), that entity should still be considered generic.

{People who drive at night in red cars} are likely to get tickets.

كل من لا يقوم بواجبه سوف يندم


The police are looking for {a man who wears green suits and carries a purple briefcase}.

تبحث الشرطة عن رجل يحمل محفظة خضراء ويرتدي معطف احمر

The first of these examples falls into the Type of Entity category. The second is a Hypothetical Entity. The man in the second example may or may not exist (even though the police are looking for him).

Note that this mention would not be generic if the context went on to say specific things about the man wearing green suits. We have seen several examples of this case above. This is only generic if it is unclear if such a person actually exists.

6.3 Tests for Generic-hood

6.3.1 Words that are commonly generic

'anyone', 'most Xs', 'more Xs' tend to be generic, even if the author has someone in mind.

كل / كل من /  اكثر / أغلب / بعض / اي

{Anyone who carries a gun} is dangerous.


اي شخص  يحمل مسدس يكون خطرا علی المجتمع

{Most doctors} are just in it for the money.

اكثر الاطباء / المفتشين / المعلمين / السياسيين


6.3.2 Determiners

Generic noun phrases of the type  or bare plurals (without  the article) can be distinguished using tests such as:

1. These noun phrases in negated contexts are generic:

I didn't see {gorillas} here. [generic]

لم اری اسدا هنا \  لم اری اسودا هنا

I saw gorillas {a gorilla} here. [specific]

رأيت الاسد

2. These noun phrases in modal contexts (such as belief, desire, ...) are generic:

I want to see {gorillas}.

اريد ان اری اسدا

ظننت اني سمعت اسدا

I thought I heard {a gorilla}.

3. These noun phrases in questions are generic:

Have you seen {a gorilla} walking by?

هل رأيت اسدا يمر من هنا

Have you seen {gorillas} wearing hats?

هل ريت اسودا حمراء

Bare plurals with individual-level predicates are generic. Individual-level predicates mark characteristics of individual members of a set, e.g., "birds have wings" means that each bird has wings. In contrast, stage-level predicates ("Gorillas are wrecking my garden", "Gorillas are available") can be either generic or non-generic, depending on context.

Thus the subjects are generic in the following sentences:

{Gorillas} are intelligent

الاسود ذكية

{Linguists} know French.

اللغويون يتكلمون الفرنسية

{Birds} have wings.

للطيور اجنحة


6.3.3 Positive Assertion Test

This test applies to predications such as "X is Y" (as in the subsequent example). If X is specific, then Y will be as well, because Y is positively asserted of X. Y is assumed to be coreferential with X and therefore specific.

{Joe} is {a nice guy}.

جو رجل طيب

If X is generic and Y is positively asserted of X, then Y is also generic.

{Firemen} are {nice guys}.

رجال الاطفاء طيبون

This test is less effective when someone other than the author of the story makes the positive assertion. This is just an instance of the case in which a modal context forces a generic reading

Mary says that {Joe} is a {a nice guy}.

تعتقد ماري ان جو رجل كريم

This sort of statement falls into the pattern

person Z says/said/thought/etc. that X is Y

This only counts as a positive assertion if Y is not an attribute and person Z is a trustworthy source of information. This case, however, is the exception rather than the rule. Most modal contexts are entirely opaque, and the assertions found inside will not generally hold "in the real world." This means that even the entities at play in such assertions cannot be reliably anchored in "reality;" that there is probably not a specific entity in the world to which the beliefs/desires/assertions of the speaker are linked (via the embedded proposition within which the mention intimating such an entity is located). In the case of:

John believes that a gorilla stole his lunch.

We must assume that "any gorilla will do" (or, at least, that "it could be the case that any gorilla will do").


1. Negated pronouns are generic.

I saw no one.

لم اری احدا

3. Negated full NPs can be specific.


Neither {Joe}, nor {Mary} said anything.

لا جو ولا ماري قالا شيئا

4. Common nouns modified by "neither"   لا  ولا  and partitives with "neither" can be specific (depending on coreference) because the negative properties of "neither" have scope over more than just the NP.

لا هذا ولا ذاك الشخص






!)  foreign names of sports teams, organizations, newspapers ect are always identified as “team X” or “NYT Newspaper” etc. , whereas refernces to arabic organizations usually are given as the name without explanation.  For example,                    

     “فاز الاهلي علی الزمالك                                      حسب مصادر “النهار


2)  Numbers

numbers can be femimine, masculine, dual and multiple plural

ثلاث مرات /  ثلاثة رجال /  ثلاثين  / ثلاثة عشر/ ثلاث و عشرون /  ثلاثون كتاب


3) Pronouns:


١) personal pronouns are obvious


2) prounoun endings (known as dependent personal suffixes)  appear at the end of words (nouns, prepositions, particles, verbs) as listed  here:


ي  ني  ك  ه  ها  كما  هما  كم  كن  هم  هن 


كتابي   my book       اخوك your brother           بيتهم their house

منهم       from them    تحتي       under me        عليها on her

In the past tense, pronouns are added to the end of the verb

اخذني    he took me   كتبوا لي   they wrote to me   كلمها   he talked to her

In the present tense,  both the beginning of the verb and the end are added on to, for ex the verb to go:


اذهب     تذهب  / تذهبين    يذهب    تذهب  نذهب   تذهبون    يذهبوا


In the future tense likewise

ساذهب        ستذهب /ستذهبين       سيذهب      ستذهب       سنذهب       ستذهبون      سيذهبوا