Language Resources and Evaluation

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 185–215 | Cite as

A flexible text analyzer based on ontologies: an application for detecting discriminatory language

  • Alberto SalgueroEmail author
  • Macarena Espinilla
Original Paper


Language can be a tool to marginalize certain groups due to the fact that it may reflect a negative mentality caused by mental barriers or historical delays. In order to prevent misuse of language, several agents have carried out campaigns against discriminatory language, criticizing the use of some terms and phrases. However, there is an important gap in detecting discriminatory text in documents because language is very flexible and, usually, contains hidden features or relations. Furthermore, the adaptation of approaches and methodologies proposed in the literature for text analysis is complex due to the fact that these proposals are too rigid to be adapted to different purposes for which they were intended. The main novelty of the methodology is the use of ontologies to implement the rules that are used by the developed text analyzer, providing a great flexibility for the development of text analyzers and exploiting the ability to infer knowledge of the ontologies. A set of rules for detecting discriminatory language relevant to gender and people with disabilities is also presented in order to show how to extend the functionality of the text analyzer to different discriminatory text areas.


Text analyzer Document text model Methodology Ontology Discriminatory language 



This contribution has been supported by the Andalusian Institute of Women, Junta de Andalucía, Spain (Grant No. UNIVER09/2009/23/00).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer SciencesUniversity of CádizCádizSpain
  2. 2.Department of Computer SciencesUniversity of JaénJaénSpain

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