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ERIC Number: ED108510
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1974
Pages: 43
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Polysemy and Homonymy: An Investigation of Word Forms and Concept Representation.
Keller, Howard H.
Language teaching requires textbook material that contains the most frequent concepts of a language. The computer brings its tremendous information processing ability to the task of establishing word frequency rankings, but the computer is limited to counting word-forms and not semantic concepts. The most recent word frequency dictionaries, in fact, exclude parsing and lemmatization from their data base (Kucera and Francis, 1967: John B. Carroll, 1971). This paper describes the problems involved in adjusting a list of the 7,000 most frequent English words (word-forms) for polysemantic variants (e.g., cardinal "bird" vs. "church dignitary") and for homonyms (e.g., pawn "chess piece" vs. "pledge for a loan"). Polysemy and homonymy present a significant problem in that one word-form often expresses two or more differing concepts. The converse of this problem is synonymy--two or more word-forms expressing one concept (e.g., "freedom", "liberty"). The resolution of the difference between word-form and concept representation is important for accurate computerized frequency rankings and for concept inclusion in various "thousand" frequency groups. These problems will also be studied in connection with the establishment of a universal concept list for student review of foreign language vocabulary. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A