Simon Krek

Dictionary Matrix vs. Matrix Dictionary (in ELEXIS)

In ELEXIS Horizon 2020 infrastructure project, the creation of a new lexicographic resource titled “matrix dictionary” was included in the proposal. The concept of “matrix dictionary” incorporates two importantly different aspects that were later re-defined and split into two entities that could be described as “ELEXIS dictionary matrix” and “ELEXIS matrix dictionary”. The key aspect of the first – “dictionary matrix” – is providing extensive links between key structural elements found in different types of dictionaries. Therefore, it is focused on (direct or indirect) linking of existing lexicographic resources, either on the lemma level and other “simpler” levels, but also on the sense level by pivoting through one of the existing semantic resources – BabelNet. Ultimately, linked senses, meaning descriptions, etymological data, collocations, phraseology, translation equivalents, examples of usage and all other types of lexical information found in different types of existing lexicographic resources, monolingual, multilingual, modern, historical etc. from dictionary matrix will be available as part of the infrastructure in ELEXIS.

Building upon the first, the goal of the second – “matrix dictionary” – is more ambitious and involves possible long-term development beyond the ELEXIS project. To quote from the proposal:

“Ultimate goal is the creation of a universal (integrated and enriched) registry/network of semantic relations used as a semantic intermediary language for global knowledge exchange, focused on difficult polysemous vocabulary (single-word and multi-word), modern and historical; the realisation of a universal lexicographic metastructure; a matrix dictionary spanning across languages and time.”

To borrow from the goal followed by Universal Dependencies project (“cross-linguistically consistent grammatical annotation”), and extending it from syntax to semantics, one could describe this entity as “Universal Concepts”, empirically verifiable through massive linking available in the ELEXIS dictionary matrix. As part of its research agenda, ELEXIS project will primarily provide a testbed for “Universal Concepts” and – if proven viable and useful – a community for its further development. The talk will briefly present both challenges: how to link existing lexicographic resources and how to understand the (degree of) universality of a “universal concept”.

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