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Re: Best practices: representing homonym relationships in SKOS

From: Thomas Bandholtz <thomas.bandholtz@innoq.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2009 20:10:18 +0100
Message-ID: <4AFF009A.7040806@innoq.com>
To: Bradley Allen <bradley.p.allen@gmail.com>
CC: public-esw-thes@w3.org, karl+w3c@la-grange.net, public-lod@w3.org
Hi Bradley,

thanks a lot for raising this question, as currently we have discussions
about different approaches of Label management in SKOS(XL), and the
homograph issue has been somehow neglected so far.

Karl has mentioned the difference between homographs and homophones already.
I would say: homographs - same spelling, different meaning ("graph" has
nothing to do with an RDF graph in this case).
homophones - same sound (phonetics), different meaning.

As SKOS(XL) is dealing with lexical aspects ("literal form") rather than
with phonetics (at least so far), we have to care for homographs at first.

One example:
"bass [fish]" and "bass [music]", which are about "bass" as a homograph
(not a homophone).

You see I used some kind of "qualifier" to distinguish the two meanings.
This is a common practise, not a standard.

In SKOS you may say:

<A> a skos:Concept ;
    skos:prefLabel "bass [fish]" .

<B> a skos:Concept ;
    skos:prefLabel "bass [music]" .

You might also drop the qualifiers:

<A> a skos:Concept ;
    skos:prefLabel "bass" .

<B> a skos:Concept ;
    skos:prefLabel "bass" .

Then express the different meanings by some semantic relation to a more
specific thing for each of them:

<A> skos:related <fishConcept> .
<B> skos:related <musicConcept> .

There is absolutely no semantic relation between <A> and <B>, it is only
a lexical relation.

Such a lexical relation you can express in SKOSXL in detail (if you want
to do so at all).

In UMTHES we use the following pattern:

<A> a skos:Concept ;
    skosxl:prefLabel  <bass--fish> .

<B> a skos:Concept ;
    skosxl:prefLabel <bass--music> .

<bass--fish> a skosxl:Label ;
    skosxl:literalForm "bass [fish]" ;
    umt:homograph <bass> ;
    umt:qualifier <fish> .

<bass--music>  a skosxl:Label ;
    skosxl:literalForm "bass [music]" ;
    umt:homograph <bass> ;
    umt:qualifier <music> .

<bass> a skosxl:Label ;
    skosxl:literalForm "bass" .

<fish> a skosxl:Label ;
    skosxl:literalForm "fish" .

<music> a skosxl:Label ;
    skosxl:literalForm "music" .

where umt:homograph and umt:qualifier both are subProperties of

Note that we have only one label "bass" here, as we think that semantics
are in the Concepts, not in the Labels.
Labels are dumb character strings only.

Well, I would be curious to see more examples from different vocabularies.

Best regards,


Bradley Allen schrieb:
> Apologies if you've seen this on the LOD or SW lists, but it is
> probably better posed to this audience: is there any best practice or,
> failing that, good ideas for representing homonymy in SKOS? Best I can
> come up with is subclassing skos:semanticRelation with something like
> skos:homonym, and letting the client sort out which of the lexical
> labels might be involved. Not excited about the need to go to a class
> representation for labels; even less interested in anything involving
> RDF collections. - cheers, BPA
> Bradley P. Allen
> http://bradleypallen.org
> +1 310 951 4300

Thomas Bandholtz, thomas.bandholtz@innoq.com, http://www.innoq.com 
innoQ Deutschland GmbH, Halskestr. 17, D-40880 Ratingen, Germany
Phone: +49 228 9288490 Mobile: +49 178 4049387 Fax: +49 228 9288491
Received on Saturday, 14 November 2009 19:10:49 UTC

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