A Model for Verbalising Relations with Roles in Multiple Languages

  • C. Maria Keet
  • Takunda Chirema
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10024)


Natural language renderings of ontologies facilitate communication with domain experts. While for ontologies with terms in English this is fairly straightforward, it is problematic for grammatically richer languages due to conjugation of verbs, an article that may be dependent on the preposition, or a preposition that modifies the noun. There is no systematic way to deal with such ‘complex’ names of OWL object properties, or their verbalisation with existing language models for annotating ontologies. The modifications occur only when the object performs some role in a relation, so we propose a conceptual model that can handle this. This requires reconciling the standard view with relational expressions to a positionalist view, which is included in the model and in the formalisation of the mapping between the two. This eases verbalisation and it allows for a more precise representation of the knowledge, yet is still compatible with existing technologies. We have implemented it as a Protégé plugin and validated its adequacy with several languages that need it, such as German and isiZulu.


Language Model Description Logic Object Property Standard View Natural Language Generation 
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.



This work is based on research supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (Grant Number 93397).


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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