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Within a piece of text, I'm trying to detect who did what to whom.

For instance, in the following sentences:

CV hit IV. CV was hit by IV.

I'd like to know who hit whom.

I can't remember what this technique is called. Thanks for any help!

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You might be referring to Semantic role labeling. SRL is the task of assigning labels to words or phrases in a sentence that shows their semantic role in that sentence.

In your example CV was hit by IV, the task is to identify the verb "hit" carried out by the actor "CV" affected "IV" the recipient.

Note: If you're only interested in the syntactic relationship among words or phrases in a sentence, not the semantic relationship between them, simple dependency parsing would do the job.

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