Modeling Graduality in Computerized Research of Synonyms

Farida Redjai

This paper deals with the problem of synonymy in linguistics and tries to bring a solution integrating the two notions of graduality and point of view in the automatic research on synonyms. The renunciation of the strict definition of synonymy which consists in interchanging two terms in all contexts allows us to sketch out a solution considering only the synonyms with respect to a given point of view. The dictionary of synonyms, as we conceive it, is a domain-structured dictionary. In fact, it is obvious that a user who is looking for the synonyms of a word, already knows the domain, and wants to find the synonyms of this word precisely in this domain. Our system constructs a "Domain-Fields-Taxemes" tree as a function of differential sema given by the expert. The leaves of this tree are taxemes and contain some words which, may be considered as equivalent with respect to one or several points of view. In this way, we can avoid the often circular and infinite lists used in the current synonym dictionaries, and which may contain words which have nothing in common with the initial word. Furthermore, the use of many-valued logic has enabled us to present to the user an ordered list of synonyms, with the best synonym at the top of this list.

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