LREC 2000 2nd International Conference on Language Resources & Evaluation

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Title What's in a Thesaurus?
Authors Kilgarriff Adam (ITRI, University of Brighton, Brighton, England,
Yallop Colin (Macquarie University, Sydney,
Keywords Polysemy, Semantic Similarity, Thesaurus
Session Session WO17 - Semantic Lexicons
Full Paper, 180.pdf
Abstract We first describe four varieties of thesaurus: (1) Roget-style, produced to help people find synonyms when they are writing; (2) WordNet and EuroWordNet; (3) thesauruses produced (manually) to support information retrieval systems; and (4) thesauruses produced auto-matically from corpora. We then contrast thesauruses and dictionaries, and present a small experiment in which we look at polysemy in relation to thesaurus structure. It has sometimes been assumed that different dictionary senses for a word that are close in meaning will be near neighbours in the thesaurus. This hypothesis is explored, using as inputs the hierarchical structure of WordNet 1.5 and a mapping between WordNet senses and the senses of another dictionary. The experiment shows that pairs of ‘lexicographically close’ meanings are frequently found in different parts of the hierarchy.