RE: notes at contepts vs notes at terms

I'm happy to agree there's an analogy there. (But I'm still hoping for
time to lay out in more detail some examples of needing to attach
various types of notes to Terms).

Stella Dextre Clarke
Information Consultant
Luke House, West Hendred, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8RR, UK
Tel: 01235-833-298
Fax: 01235-863-298

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark van Assem [] 
Sent: 20 October 2005 14:12
To: Stella Dextre Clarke
Cc: 'Sue Ellen Wright'; 'Miles, AJ (Alistair)'; 'Gail Hodge';
Subject: Re: notes at contepts vs notes at terms

Hi all,

I wasn't trying to assert that WN and thesauri have the same kind of 
model. I was merely using it as an example in my argument for the 
inclusion of a skos:Term class.

In some conversions of WordNet, the Words or WordSenses are labels or 
blank nodes. This makes it hard to use them in annotation, because 
there is no URI for them. A similar limitation holds for SKOS thesauri 
if we choose not to have a class Term, but keep using altLabel and 

It is another argument than already put forward (namely that it is 
necessary to attach labels to terms), but actually both arguments end 
in the same conclusion: we need URIs for terms to solve the issue in a 
straightforward way.

Does this make sense or am I still missing your point entirely?


Stella Dextre Clarke wrote:
> Absolutely! Sue Ellen has hit the nail on the head again. Wordnet is
> very nice, a lexical database that is useful for loads of linguistic
> literary purposes. But it is not a controlled vocabulary, and not 
> designed primarily for information retrieval. It is (correctly in my 
> view) built to a different model. Here I am back to my old
> it is dangerous to expect the same model to work for several different

> applications. (That said, I do accept that it may be possible and
> to have one "core" model with different "add-ons" for different 
> applications.)
> When I get time, I'll try to reply to Alistair's request for examples 
> of
> note types that may apply to terms rather than to concepts.
> Cheers
> Stella
> *****************************************************
> Stella Dextre Clarke
> Information Consultant
> Luke House, West Hendred, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8RR, UK
> Tel: 01235-833-298
> Fax: 01235-863-298
> *****************************************************
>     -----Original Message-----
>     *From:*
>     [] *On Behalf Of *Sue Ellen
>     *Sent:* 19 October 2005 18:38
>     *To:* Miles, AJ (Alistair); Gail Hodge
>     *Cc:* Mark van Assem;
>     *Subject:* Re: notes at contepts vs notes at terms
>     Hi, All,
>     I hope I'm catching everybody--I'm sort of carrying on the same
>     conversation in a couple different threads. The difficulty with
>     defining "term" arises from the fact that a term in a thesaurus
>     a term in a terminological collection are not the same thing. In
>     terminology management, a /term/ is "a verbal designation of a
>     general concept in a specific subject field." In practice, there
>     be a number of (sometimes many) terms associated with a given
>     concept. In terminology management, a preferred term is one of
>     designations that has been selected as the most common or correct
>     for use in a given environment. There may be multiple preferred
>     terms for the same concept, for instance in medicine, where
>     different terms are preferred for different registers (scientists,
>     medical health care professionals, educated middle class clients
>     illiterate dialect speakers, etc.). The important thing is all the
>     terms are indeed true or nearly true synonyms used in real
>     discourse, written or spoken.
>     Remember that a thesaurus (or other controlled vocabulary) is
>     designed to provide us with the -- let's say preferred string, to
>     avoid using the word "term" over again -- that we're going to
>     to an object or the representation of a object in a collection or
>     data collection. A non-preferred term in this sense is any other
>     word or string that people maybe associate with this preferred
>     string will be mapped to the preferred string for information
>     retrieval purposes. So, for instance, if I want to search for
>     /deoxyribo nucleic acid /I am probably going to find it under the
>     preferred term /DNA/.This particular example works just fine for
>     both thesaurus and terminology management because the two terms
>     both representations of a single concept. But many thesauri are
>     designed to streamline the search structures, so sometimes they
>     structured so that the preferred term actually represents a
>     concept, say /use "rock" /for / granite, feldspar, shale, etc./
>     wouldn't be very useful in a geological database, but in a general
>     language system without too much differentiated information, it
>     might work very well. So here the preferred term is /rock/, and
>     non-preferred terms all represent its children. /Stone/ might also
>     be a non-preferred term in the same system, but in terms of
>     modeling it resides on a different level, together with /rock/ as
>     synonym. In a terminological entry, stone and rock might appear
>     together as equal terms, and we might preference one of the other,
>     but the specific materials would each reside in a different entry.
>     They are all terms, but the relationship between them is very
>     different. This is why a terminological concept system can look
>     different from a thesaurus.
>     All this underscores the problem with citing WordNet as the
>     here. This is not to say that WordNet isn't great, good and
>     interesting, but it represents a marriage of several kinds of
>     ordering, so it's a little difficult to describe clear
>     differentiations based on WordNet structures.
>     Does that help -- or only muddle the issues?
>     Bye for now
>     Sue Ellen
>     On 10/19/05, *Miles, AJ (Alistair)* <
>     <>> wrote:
>         Hi Mark,
>          >  From one point of view ("maintenance", "future extensions"
>          > whatever you might call it) the class approach has the
>         advantage that
>          > you can always attach properties to terms, e.g. properties
>         that might
>          > turn out to be really useful somewhere in the future (i.e .
>         stuff we
>          > cannot anticipate now).
>          >
>          > Another reason is that Terms get a URI so that they can be
>         referred
>          > to. In the WordNet TF, this is a motivation to assign URIs
>          > WordSenses, instead of using blank nodes. You can then use
>         WordSenses
>          > e.g. to annotate texts. Similar uses might be envisioned
>          > SKOS terms.
>         The thing is, I don't think that a class of 'non-preferred
>         terms' in the thesaurus sense would correspond to the class of
>         wordnet WordSenses.  The wordnet metamodel (is [1] the latest
>         version?) has three main classes: 'Word' 'WordSense' and
>         'Synset'.  I think the class wn:Word (which is a super-class
>         wn:Collocation) is closest to the notion of a 'non-preferred
>         term', but even that I don't think matches, because a
>         non-preferred term is always embedded in a thesaurus, and
>         represents a relationship between several entities, whereas a
>         Word is kind of an entity in its own right ...
>         See how fuzzy things get when we try to work out what a 'term'

> is?
>         There are other alternatives to defining a class of
>         non-preferred terms, such as e.g.
>         eg:foo a skos:Concept;
>         skos:prefLabel 'Foo';
>         skos:altLabel 'Bar';
>         skos:note [
>            rdf:value 'Blah blah.';
>            skos:onLabel 'Foo';
>         ];
>         .
>         Cheers for now,
>         Al.
>         [1]
>         <>
>     -- 
>     Sue Ellen Wright
>     Institute for Applied Linguistics
>     Kent State University
>     Kent OH 44242 USA
> <>
> <>
> <>

  Mark F.J. van Assem - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam -

Received on Thursday, 20 October 2005 13:35:05 UTC