Alignment of conceptual structures in controlled vocabularies in the domain of Chinese art: a discussion of issues and patterns


In any effort that involves multilingual KOS, the language and cultural variants bring a great degree of complexity, especially when perspectives of different cultures need to be integrated. This paper attempts to explore, within the domain of Chinese art, the interoperability of multilingual/multi-cultural vocabularies by analyzing the issues of aligning the conceptual structures of Chinese and English terminology in the controlled vocabularies observed in our Chinese AAT-Taiwan Project (2010-present). The paper addresses the issues related to the conceptual structures of the concepts for Chinese art in the National Palace Museum (NPM) Vocabulary and Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT). The paper presents four patterns found in the effort of achieving semantic interoperability and shares a set of models that have been used to handle various situations. The findings help the understanding of the semantic interoperability of multilingual KOS, especially when dealing with cultural-related concepts that cannot be exactly aligned in vocabularies due to discrepancies in the conceptual structures.

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Correspondence to Shu-jiun Chen.

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Chen, Sj., Zeng, M.L. & Chen, Hh. Alignment of conceptual structures in controlled vocabularies in the domain of Chinese art: a discussion of issues and patterns. Int J Digit Libr 17, 23–38 (2016).

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  • Controlled vocabularies
  • Knowledge organization
  • Semantic mapping
  • Multilingual terminology