Problems and Procedures to Make Wordnet Data (Retro)Fit for a Multilingual Dictionary
The data compiled through many Wordnet projects can be a rich source of seed information for a multilingual dictionary. However, the original Princeton WordNet was not intended as a dictionary per se, and spawning other languages from it introduces inherent ambiguity that confounds precise inter-lingual linking. This paper discusses a new presentation of existing Wordnet data that displays joints (distance between predicted links) and substitution (degree of equivalence between confirmed pairs) as a two-tiered horizontal ontology. Improvements to make Wordnet data function as lexicography include term-specific English definitions where the topical synset glosses are inadequate, validation of mappings between each member of an English synset and each member of the synsets from other languages, removal of erroneous translation terms, creation of own-language definitions for the many languages where those are absent, and validation of predicted links between non- English pairs. The paper describes the current state and future directions of a system to crowdsource human review and expansion of Wordnet data, using gamification to build consensus validated, dictionary caliber data for languages now in the Global WordNet as well as new languages that do not have formal Wordnet projects of their own.