Semantics via Conceptual and Lexical Relations

  • Christiane Fellbaum
Part of the Text, Speech and Language Technology book series (TLTB, volume 10)


We give a brief outline of the design of the English lexical database WordNet. The meanings of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are represented in terms of their relations to other (groups of) lexical items, with which they are interlinked by means of conceptual-semantic and lexical relations. A relational approach to the lexicon is particularly useful in studying discrepancies between the conceptual and the lexical inventory of a language and detecting lexical gaps. We compare WordNet’s semantic classification of the verb lexicon with a syntactically-driven approach like the one undertaken by Levin (1993). These two approaches do not always overlap in terms of yielding the same verb classes, but the relational approach, which structures verbs primarily into hierarchies and allows for nodes occupied by non-lexicalized concepts, can provide for more fine-grained structures that reconcile both semantic and syntactic classifications.1


Prepositional Phrase Transitive Verb Word Association Norm Middle Formation Lexical Relation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christiane Fellbaum
    • 1
  1. 1.Cognitive Science LaboratoryPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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