wngloss - glossary of terms used in WordNet system
The WordNet Reference Manual
consists of Unix-style manual pages divided
into sections as follows:
||WordNet User Commands
||WordNet Library Functions
||WordNet File Formats
||Miscellaneous Information about WordNet
The WordNet system consists of lexicographer files, code to convert these files
into a database, and search routines and interfaces that display information
from the database. The lexicographer files organize nouns, verbs, adjectives
and adverbs into groups of synonyms, and describe relations between synonym
(1WN) converts the lexicographer files into a database
that encodes the relations between the synonym groups. The different
interfaces to the WordNet database utilize a common library of search routines
to display these relations. Note that the lexicographer files and
(1WN) program are not generally distributed.
Information in WordNet is organized around logical groupings called synsets.
Each synset consists of a list of synonymous words or collocations (eg.
, "take in"
), and pointers
that describe the relations between this synset and other synsets. A word or
collocation may appear in more than one synset, and in more than one part of
speech. The words in a synset are grouped such that they are interchangeable
in some context.
Two kinds of relations are represented by pointers: lexical and semantic.
Lexical relations hold between semantically related word forms; semantic
relations hold between word meanings. These relations include (but are not
limited to) hypernymy/hyponymy (superordinate/subordinate), antonymy,
entailment, and meronymy/holonymy.
Nouns and verbs are organized into hierarchies based on the hypernymy/hyponymy
relation between synsets. Additional pointers are be used to indicate other
Adjectives are arranged in clusters containing head synsets and satellite
synsets. Each cluster is organized around antonymous pairs (and occasionally
antonymous triplets). The antonymous pairs (or triplets) are indicated in the
head synsets of a cluster. Most head synsets have one or more satellite
synsets, each of which represents a concept that is similar in meaning to the
concept represented by the head synset. One way to think of the adjective
cluster organization is to visualize a wheel, with a head synset as the hub
and satellite synsets as the spokes. Two or more wheels are logically
connected via antonymy, which can be thought of as an axle between the wheels.
Pertainyms are relational adjectives and do not follow the structure just
described. Pertainyms do not have antonyms; the synset for a pertainym most
often contains only one word or collocation and a lexical pointer to the noun
that the adjective is "pertaining to". Participial adjectives have
lexical pointers to the verbs that they are derived from.
Adverbs are often derived from adjectives, and sometimes have antonyms;
therefore the synset for an adverb usually contains a lexical pointer to the
adjective from which it is derived.
(5WN) for a detailed description of the database files and how
the data are represented.
Many terms used in the WordNet Reference Manual
are unique to the WordNet
system. Other general terms have specific meanings when used in the WordNet
documentation. Definitions for many of these terms are given to help with the
interpretation and understanding of the reference manual, and in the use of
the WordNet system.
In following definitions word
is used in place of word or
- adjective cluster
- A group of adjective synsets that are organized around
antonymous pairs or triplets. An adjective cluster contains two or more
head synsets which represent antonymous concepts. Each head
synset has one or more satellite synsets.
- A noun for which adjectives express values. The noun
weight is an attribute, for which the adjectives light and
heavy express values.
- base form
- The base form of a word or collocation is the form to which
inflections are added.
- basic synset
- Syntactically, same as synset. Term is used in
wninput(5WN) to help explain differences in entering synsets in
- A collocation in WordNet is a string of two or more words,
connected by spaces or hyphens. Examples are: man-eating shark,
blue-collar, depend on, line of products. In the
database files spaces are represented as underscore ( _)
- Coordinate terms are nouns or verbs that have the same
- cross-cluster pointer
- A semantic pointer from one adjective cluster to
- derivationally related forms
- Terms in different syntactic categories that have the same
root form and are semantically related.
- direct antonyms
- A pair of words between which there is an associative bond
resulting from their frequent co-occurrence. In adjective clusters,
direct antonyms appears only in head synsets.
- A topical classification to which a synset has been linked
with a CATEGORY, REGION or USAGE pointer.
- domain term
- A synset belonging to a topical class. A domain term is
further identified as being a CATEGORY_TERM, REGION_TERM or
- A verb X entails Y if X cannot be done
unless Y is, or has been, done.
- exception list
- Morphological transformations for words that are not
regular and therefore cannot be processed in an algorithmic manner.
- Verb senses that similar in meaning and have been manually
- Each synset contains gloss consisting of a
definition and optionally example sentences.
- head synset
- Synset in an adjective cluster containing at least
one word that has a direct antonym.
- The name of the whole of which the meronym names a part.
Y is a holonym of X if X is a part of Y.
- The generic term used to designate a whole class of
specific instances. Y is a hypernym of X if X is a
(kind of) Y.
- The specific term used to designate a member of a class.
X is a hyponym of Y if X is a (kind of)
- indirect antonym
- An adjective in a satellite synset that does not
have a direct antonym has an indirect antonyms via the direct
antonym of the head synset.
- A proper noun that refers to a particular, unique referent
(as distinguished from nouns that refer to classes). This is a specific
form of hyponym.
- Lower case ASCII text of word as found in the WordNet
database index files. Usually the base form for a word or
- lexical pointer
- A lexical pointer indicates a relation between words in
synsets (word forms).
- lexicographer file
- Files containing the raw data for WordNet synsets, edited
by lexicographers, that are input to the grind program to generate
a WordNet database.
- lexicographer id (lex id)
- A decimal integer that, when appended onto lemma,
uniquely identifies a sense within a lexicographer file.
- Having only one sense in a syntactic category.
- The name of a constituent part of, the substance of, or a
member of something. X is a meronym of Y if X is a
part of Y.
- part of speech
- WordNet defines "part of speech" as either noun,
verb, adjective, or adverb. Same as syntactic category.
- participial adjective
- An adjective that is derived from a verb.
- A relational adjective. Adjectives that are pertainyms are
usually defined by such phrases as "of or pertaining to" and do
not have antonyms. A pertainym can point to a noun or another
- Having more than one sense in a syntactic category.
- polysemy count
- Number of senses of a word in a syntactic category, in
- A postnominal adjective occurs only immediately following
the noun that it modifies.
- An adjective that can be used only in predicate positions.
If X is a predicate adjective, it can only be used in such phrases
as "it is X" and never prenominally.
- An adjective that can occur only before the noun that it
modifies: it cannot be used predicatively.
- satellite synset
- Synset in an adjective cluster representing a
concept that is similar in meaning to the concept represented by its
- semantic concordance
- A textual corpus (e.g. the Brown Corpus) and a lexicon
(e.g. WordNet) so combined that every substantive word in the text is
linked to its appropriate sense in the lexicon via a semantic
- semantic tag
- A pointer from a word in a text file to a specific sense of
that word in the WordNet database. A semantic tag in a semantic
concordance is represented by a sense key.
- semantic pointer
- A semantic pointer indicates a relation between synsets
- A meaning of a word in WordNet. Each sense of a word is in
a different synset.
- sense key
- Information necessary to find a sense in the WordNet
database. A sense key combines a lemma field and codes for the
synset type, lexicographer id, lexicographer file number, and information
about a satellite's head synset, if required. See
senseidx(5WN) for a description of the format of a sense key.
- Same as hyponym.
- Same as hypernym.
- A synonym set; a set of words that are interchangeable in
some context without changing the truth value of the preposition in which
they are embedded.
- A verb expressing a specific manner elaboration of another
verb. X is a troponym of Y if to X is to Y in
- unique beginner
- A noun synset with no superordinate.