AdjScales: Visualizing Differences between Adjectives for Language Learners

Vera SHEINMAN  Takenobu TOKUNAGA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E92-D   No.8   pp.1542-1550
Publication Date: 2009/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E92.D.1542
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Educational Technology
Keyword: 
language education,  semantic relations,  adjective scales,  lexical semantics,  natural language processing,  

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Summary: 
In this study we introduce AdjScales, a method for scaling similar adjectives by their strength. It combines existing Web-based computational linguistic techniques in order to automatically differentiate between similar adjectives that describe the same property by strength. Though this kind of information is rarely present in most of the lexical resources and dictionaries, it may be useful for language learners that try to distinguish between similar words. Additionally, learners might gain from a simple visualization of these differences using unidimensional scales. The method is evaluated by comparison with annotation on a subset of adjectives from WordNet by four native English speakers. It is also compared against two non-native speakers of English. The collected annotation is an interesting resource in its own right. This work is a first step toward automatic differentiation of meaning between similar words for language learners. AdjScales can be useful for lexical resource enhancement.