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Volume 21:3 March 2021
ISSN 1930-2940

         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
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WordNet and its dimensions -- A Textbook in Tamil

Dr. Rajendran Sankaravelayuthan
Dr. S. Arulmozi


The present monograph on “WordNet and its dimensions” written in Tamil aims to describe the lexical sematic studies in Tamil that went on for the last four decades focusing mainly on WordNet which is an online lexical resource. The monograph has been divided into eighteen chapters including a chapter on ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusion’. The details of the chapters are briefly discussed below:

Chapter 1: Introduction
The chapter introduces ‘WordNet’ and ‘ontology’ and discusses about the aims and objectives of the monograph.

Chapter 2: Lexical Semantics
The principles and practices of lexical semantics have been discussed citing examples from Tamil. This chapter lays foundation for the building of WordNet based on lexical semantics theories and principles.

Chapter 3: Computational lexical semantics
At the advent of introduction of computer for natural language processing, the lexical semantics takes a turn to focus on lexical semantics from computational point of view. Psychology, applied linguistics, linguistics, computational linguistics and application development have been discussed in relation to lexical semantics.

Chapter 4: Taxonomy and thesaurus
Here in this chapter the taxonomical classification of the vocabulary of a language behind the thesauri classification has been discussed elaborately. It is understood that there is ontology is behind WordNet creation and the ontology in turn is based on taxonomic classification. The taxonomic classification is the base for a thesaurus too. Taxonomy has its roots in the Aristotelian principles of classification based on generic and specific features. All kinds of taxonomical classification of a vocabulary have been discussed. The development of universal language and taxonomical principles behind this attempt have been elaborated upon. The classification of vocabulary in nikhantu and the classification by Nida (1975) have also been discussed.

Chapter 5: Ontology
Here in this chapter the principles behind ontology have been discussed. Here in this chapter the definition of ontology, the application of ontology, types of ontology, ontology and information extraction, extraction of ontologies and so on have been explained.

Chapter 6: Creation of ontology
This chapter elaborates on the creation of ontology taking as an example the domain ‘wine’.

Chapter 7: Ontology and WordNet
This chapter discusses about the ontological principles behind the creation of a WordNet.

Chapter 8: WordNet
This chapter discusses about the general characteristic features of WordNet. This includes how WordNet amalgamates the characteristic features of a dictionary and a thesaurus into its fold. It explains how the lexical semantic principles have been exploited to build WordNet. It also talks about its building block synonymy and the different kinds of lexical and semantic relations such as homonymy-hypernymy, meronymy-holonymy, antonymy, and troponymy which are the foundation for building the WordNet.

Chapter 9: Euro WordNet
This chapter discusses about the creation of Euro WordNet. It elaborates on the number and names of languages which have been linked to Euro WordNet. It also explains the lexical semantic principles by which the Euro WordNet has been built connecting WordNets of different European languages.

Chapter 10: Indo WordNet
The tenth chapter is on the creation of Indo WordNet. It discusses in details the efforts made to build Indo WordNet based on expansion approach. It explains how 18 Indian languages have been put into the fold of Indo WordNet and how many synsets are covered in each language? In addition, the problems faced while building WordNets for Indian languages based on Hindi by the expansion approach have been explained.

Chapter 11: Hindi WordNet
This chapter explains in details the characteristic features of Hindi WordNet. It elaborates on the number of synsets which have been included in building the Hindi WordNet. It also speaks about the creation of WordNets of other Indian languages form Hindi by expansion approach.

Chapter 12: Developing of WordNets of Dravidian languages
It discusses about the initiatives taken to build WordNet of Dravidian languages. It elaborates on how it was started by building a WordNet for Tamil based on a thesaurus prepared by Rajendran (2001) based on the principles of componential analysis of meaning propounded by Nida (1976a) and later on how it became a part of Indo WordNet building.

Chapter 13: Tamil WordNet
This chapter explains in details the principles behind building WordNet and how a Tamil WordNet can be built independently based on those principles. It also talks about how Tamil WordNet became a part of building WordNets for Dravidian languages.

Chapter 14: Telugu WordNet
This chapter explains the building of Telugu WordNet as a part of Indo WordNet from Hindi WordNet by expansion approach. It also discusses about the problems involved in building Telugu WordNet based on Hindi by expansion approach.

Chapter 15: Malayalam WordNet
This chapter describes the creation of Malayalam WordNet based on Hindi WordNet by expansion approach. It also discusses about the problems encountered while creating Malayalam WordNet based on Hindi by expansion approach.

Chapter 16: Aligning Indo WordNet with Princeton WordNet
This chapter explains how based on a collaborative research went on in Amrita University, Coimbatore and Trento University, Italy during the period of 2018-2019 culminates into aligning Indo WordNet with Princeton WordNet. It finds out the lexical gaps involved in matching Indo WordNet synsets with Princeton WordNet synsets. It also talks about the one to one correspondence, many to one correspondence and one to zero correspondence between Indo WordNet synsets and Princeton WordNet synsets. It elaborates on using UKC to solve the problem of lexical gaps and the mismatches in Indo WordNet and Princeton WordNet.

Chapter 17: Visual Onto-thesaurus for Tamil
This chapter elaborates on the principles of lexical semantics and the steps involved in building a Visual onto-thesaurus for Tamil based on these principles. It also talks about the ontology proposed by Nida (1976a) based on the principles of componential analysis of meaning. A classification of Tamil vocabulary has been made based on Nida’s proposal for building a thesaurus. The ontological principles are added into to it to convert the thesaurus into onto-thesaurus. These efforts culminate into a Software which represents the Visual Onto-thesaurus for Tamil from which the lexical semantic information of different types and the tree structure representation for each query can be extracted using the user interface created specially for this purpose.

Chapter 18: Conclusion


Dr. Rajendran Sankaravelayuthan
Retired Professor, Tamil University, Thanjavur
Visiting Professor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University

Dr. S. Arulmozi
Associate Professor
Central University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad

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