Language Resources and Evaluation

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 797–816 | Cite as

Large, huge or gigantic? Identifying and encoding intensity relations among adjectives in WordNet

  • Vera Sheinman
  • Christiane Fellbaum
  • Isaac Julien
  • Peter Schulam
  • Takenobu Tokunaga
Original Paper


We propose a new semantic relation for gradable adjectives in WordNet, which enriches the present, vague, similar relation with information on the degree or intensity with which different adjectives express a shared attribute. Using lexical-semantic patterns, we mine the Web for evidence of the relative strength of adjectives like “large”, “huge” and “gigantic” with respect to their attribute (“size”). The pairwise orderings we derive allow us to construct scales on which the adjectives are located. To represent the intensity relation among gradable adjectives in WordNet, we combine ordered scales with the current WordNet dumbbells based on the relation between a pair of central adjectives and a group of undifferentiated semantically similar adjectives. A new intensity relation links the adjectives in the dumbbells and their concurrent representation on scales. Besides capturing the semantics of gradable adjectives in a way that is both intuitively clear as well as consistent with corpus data, the introduction of an intensity relation would potentially result in several specific benefits for NLP.


Gradable adjectives Scales Intensity relation WordNet 



Fellbaum, Julien and Schulam were supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation (CNS 0855157, IIS 1139844 and CCF 0937139).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vera Sheinman
    • 1
  • Christiane Fellbaum
    • 2
  • Isaac Julien
    • 2
  • Peter Schulam
    • 2
  • Takenobu Tokunaga
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentTokyo Institute of TechnologyMeguro-ku, TokyoJapan
  2. 2.Computer Science DepartmentPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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