Common meanings by context

Registered by Michael Clay on 2009-04-01

I'd love to have a dictionary be able to do definition by context. Context can affect the meaning of a word, and the dictionary that could determine which meaning of the word, based on context, would be extremely helpful. An example of one approach to this is Space Alc (http://www.alc.co.jp). If you search for a sentence/sentence fragment it matches it to others, even in dialogue exchanges. This is highly beneficial to the user as they can see how people would actually say something rather than relying on a word by word literalistic approach which rarely produces the desired result.

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Providing context would require at least monolingual corpora, perhaps bi- or multi- lingual corpora.

The Tanaka corpus would be great for English-Japanese.

Also, thinking about this, we need to discriminate between "contextual search" and "results with context". The proposal as stated is for the latter, but the former would be interesting too. For example, with a English-Japanese dictionary, one could seach "spring (metal)" and it should find "発条", while "spring (water)" should find "樋川" or "温泉" and "spring (season)" should find "春".

"Results with context" would provide small example sentences with the results so the user can easily see some pragmatics and domain-limitations for each word.

(?)

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