In so many words: Knowledge as a lexical phenomenon

  • Willem Meijs
  • Piek Vossen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 627)


Lexical knowledge is knowledge that can be expressed in words. Circular though this may seem, we think it provides a perfectly reasonable point of departure, for, in line with a long-standing philosophical tradition it posits communicability as the most characteristic aspect of lexical knowledge. Knowledge representation systems should be designed so as to fit lexical data rather than the other way round. A broad view of the possible scope of lexical semantics would thus be one which tries to chart out the systematic, generalizable aspects of word meanings, and of the relations between words, drawing on readily accessible sources of lexical knowledge, such as machine readable dictionaries, encyclopedias, and representative corpora, coupled with the kind of analytic apparatus that is needed to fruitfully explore such sources, for instance custom-built parsers to cope with dictionary definitions (Vossen 1990b), statistical programs to deal with the distributional properties of lexical items in large corpora (Church & Hanks 1990) etc. At the same time this kind of massive data-acquisition should be made sensitive to the borders between perceptual experience, lexical knowledge and expert knowledge.


Natural Language Expert Knowledge Lexical Item Perceptual Image Lexical Knowledge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Willem Meijs
  • Piek Vossen

There are no affiliations available

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