Representing and Aligning Similar Relations: Parts and Wholes in isiZulu vs. English

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10318)


Ontology-enabled medical information systems are used in Sub-Saharan Africa, which require localisation of Semantic Web technologies, such as ontology verbalisation, yet keeping a link with the English language-based systems. In realising this, we zoom in on the part-whole relations that are ubiquitous in medical ontologies, and the isiZulu language. The analysis of part-whole relations in isiZulu revealed both ‘underspecification’—therewith also challenging the transitivity claim—and three refinements cf. the list of common part-whole relations. This was first implemented for the monolingual scenario so that it generates structured natural language from an ontology in isiZulu. Two new natural language-independent correspondence patterns are proposed to solve non-1:1 object property alignments, which are subsequently used to align the part-whole taxonomies informed by the two languages.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

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

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