International Journal of Speech Technology

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 201–218 | Cite as

Deliberate word access: an intuition, a roadmap and some preliminary empirical results

  • Michael ZockEmail author
  • Olivier Ferret
  • Didier Schwab


No doubt, words play a major role in language production, hence finding them is of vital importance, be it for writing or for speaking (spontaneous discourse production, simultaneous translation). Words are stored in a dictionary, and the general belief holds, the more entries the better. Yet, to be truly useful the resource should contain not only many entries and a lot of information concerning each one of them, but also adequate navigational means to reveal the stored information. Information access depends crucially on the organization of the data (words) and the access keys (meaning/form), two factors largely overlooked. We will present here some ideas of how an existing electronic dictionary could be enhanced to support a speaker/writer to find the word s/he is looking for. To this end we suggest to add to an existing electronic dictionary an index based on the notion of association, i.e. words co-occurring in a well balanced corpus, the latter being supposed to represent the average citizen’s knowledge of the world. Before describing our approach, we will briefly take a critical look at the work being done by colleagues working on automatic, spontaneous or deliberate language production,—that is, computer-generated language, simulation of the mental lexicon, or WordNet (WN),—to see how adequate they are with regard to our goal.


Lexical access Index based on associations Mental lexicon Navigation 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Informatique Fondamentale (LIF)CNRS & Aix-Marseille UniversitéMarseille Cedex 9France
  2. 2.Vision and Content Engineering LaboratoryCEA, LISTFontenay-aux-RosesFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble, équipe GETALPUniversité Grenoble 2Grenoble Cedex 9France

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