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Are Verbs, Semantic Makeup and Syntactic Behavior Correlated?

Are Verbs, Semantic Makeup and Syntactic Behavior Correlated?

Fellbaum, C. (2006). WordNet(s). In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of language and linguistics (2nd ed., Vol. 13, pp. 665–670). Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier.  

This article details the history and characteristics of WordNet, an electronic lexical database for English begun in 1986 at Princeton University. Inspired by the psycholinguist George A. Miller, it was developed by AI researchers to test theories of human semantic memory. The database itself is a large semantic network that interlinks words and groupings by lexical and conceptual relations represented in arcs (i.e., synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy, meronymy, troponymy). It has four main components: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. It also uses inheritance and reversibility as design components. Users can look up meaning-related words and concepts from multiple access points; arcs are expressed in “a finite number of well-defined relations” (p. 667) as opposed to a traditional thesaurus. The database provides evidence supporting Levin (1993) that “at least for verbs, semantic makeup and syntactic behavior are correlated” The article also briefly discusses other wordnets that have been created since the 1990s, including the EuroWordNet Model and databases in other languages.  

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