Supply-Side and Demand-Side Lexical Semantics

  • Sergei Nirenburg
  • Victor Raskin
Part of the Text, Speech and Language Technology book series (TLTB, volume 10)


Two methodological positions coexist in lexical semantics. The supply-side approach selects the topics of research from among the issues that are perceived as those that can be done. It relies on what is perceived as “possible” and “available” with respect to tools and resources. The demand-side places a premium on what must be done to put together a useful working application and, therefore, strives for the comprehensive coverage of a sublanguage/domain in descriptive semantic terms, licensing extensions to its methodology in the process. There are far-reaching consequences in the respective views of the two approaches on such essential issues as the relations between (computational) syntax and (computational) semantics, the feasibility and status of language-independent ontology as the basis of lexical semantics, and the amount of attention to comprehensive semantic description/representation of input text. The distinction between the two approaches is rooted both in the history of linguistics and in the philosophy of science. It is important to understand the two positions in order to match the expectations concerning practical results and declared goals of research in lexical semantics.


Machine Translation Word Sense Word Sense Disambiguation Computational Linguistics Lexical Knowledge 
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

  • Sergei Nirenburg
    • 1
  • Victor Raskin
    • 1
  1. 1.Computing Research LaboratoryNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA

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