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Hierarchies in dictionary definition space

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

A dictionary defines words in terms of other words. Definitions can tell you the meanings of words you don't know, but only if you know the meanings of the defining words. How many words do you need to know (and which ones) in order to be able to learn all the rest from definitions? We reduced dictionaries to their "grounding kernels" (GKs), about 10% of the dictionary, from which all the other words could be defined. The GK words turned out to have psycholinguistic correlates: they were learned at an earlier age and more concrete than the rest of the dictionary. But one can compress still more: the GK turns out to have internal structure, with a strongly connected "kernel core" (KC) and a surrounding layer, from which a hierarchy of definitional distances can be derived, all the way out to the periphery of the full dictionary. These definitional distances, too, are correlated with psycholinguistic variables (age of acquisition, concreteness, imageability, oral and written frequency) and hence perhaps with the "mental lexicon" in each of our heads.

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Citation

Picard, Olivier, Blondin-Masse, Alexandre, Harnad, Stevan, Marcotte, Odile, Chicoisne, Guillaume and Gargouri, Yassine (2009) Hierarchies in dictionary definition space At 23rd Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems: Workshop on Analyzing Networks and Learning With Graphs, Canada. 11 - 12 Dec 2009.

More information

Published date: December 2009
Additional Information: Event Dates: 11-12 December 2009
Venue - Dates: 23rd Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems: Workshop on Analyzing Networks and Learning With Graphs, Canada, 2009-12-11 - 2009-12-12
Keywords: categories, definition, dictionary, feedback vertex set, graph theory, language learning, lexicography, mental lexicon, semantics, symbol grounding, vocabulary, word meaning
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 268267
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/268267
PURE UUID: 21d0332a-d910-4c78-bad4-93e7332ebdd0

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Nov 2009 15:56
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:56

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Contributors

Author: Olivier Picard
Author: Alexandre Blondin-Masse
Author: Stevan Harnad
Author: Odile Marcotte
Author: Guillaume Chicoisne
Author: Yassine Gargouri

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