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Comparing the UCREL Semantic Annotation Scheme with Lexicographical Taxonomies

Archer, DE and Rayson, P and Piao, S and McEnery, AM (2004) Comparing the UCREL Semantic Annotation Scheme with Lexicographical Taxonomies. In: 11th EURALEX (European Association for Lexicography) International Congress (EURALEX 2004), 06 July 2004 - 10 July 2004, Lorient (France), Université de Bretagne Sud.


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Annotation schemes for semantic field analysis use abstract concepts to classify words and phrases in a given text. The use of such schemes within lexicography is increasing. Indeed, our own UCREL semantic annotation system (USAS) is to form part of a web-based ‘intelligent’ dictionary (Herpiö 2002). As USAS was originally designed to enable automatic content analysis (Wilson and Rayson 1993), we have been assessing its usefulness in a lexicographical setting, and also comparing its taxonomy with schemes developed by lexicographers. This paper initially reports the comparisons we have undertaken with two dictionary taxonomies: the first was designed by Tom McArthur for use in the Longman Lexicon of Contemporary English, and the second by Collins Dictionaries for use in their Collins English Dictionary. We then assess the feasibility of mapping USAS to the CED tagset, before reporting our intentions to also map to WordNet (a reasonably comprehensive machine-useable database of the meanings of English words) via WordNet Domains (which augments WordNet 1.6 with 200+ domains). We argue that this type of research can provide a practical guide for tagset mapping and, by so doing, bring lexicographers one-step closer to using the semantic field as the organising principle for their general-purpose dictionaries.

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