Using Distributed Patterns as Language Independent Lexical Representations

Richard F. E. Sutcliffe, Annette McElligott, and Gerry O'Neill

As is well known, dictionaries contain much taxonomic information (Amsler, 1984). This information can be extracted automatically by parsing the dictionary definitions and extracting taxonomic pointers from them in a recursive fashion. For example both Vossen (1990) and Guthrie et al. (1990) constructed exhaustive taxonomies for the Longmans Dictionary of Contemporary English in this way. We have shown one manner in which it is possible to traverse such a taxonomy determining both the features germane to a particular concept and their appropriate centralities (strengths). In the present work we have taken this idea further by showing how lexicons different languages can be mapped into the same feature space thus allowing lexical translation between those languages.

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