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Re: [ontolog-forum] Fact Guru, Controlled NLs, and OOR

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Doug Skuce <drskuce@xxxxxxxxx>, John Talbot <johntalbot@xxxxxxxxxx>
From: Simon Spero <ses@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:26:11 -0400
Message-id: <AANLkTi=pm+Oaa29p3pLynM6tSwGVS6m6CkGRL15MC5-6@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 11:22 AM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Chris and Ron,

> Is your point that "professional terminologists" avoid homonyms  in their 'controlled vocabularies' to help to ensure a one-many
> relationship - and avoid many-many relationships?

The explicit goal of a terminologist is to develop a controlled vocabulary for a subject that is clear and unambiguous for the
experts on that subject.
The one mandatory characteristic of all controlled vocabularies is that they MUST control for homonymy*.  If a term corresponds to more than one Concept then the term must be qualified, using a parenthetical qualifier (a Concept is what a document to which the term is applied is "about" from an intentional stance).

Most controlled vocabulary forms must  also control for synonymy (which is slightly more inclusive than linguistic synonymy, since controlled vocabularies are defined in terms of documents (information bearing objects, which can be books, web pages, antelopes, etc).

WRT domain specificity, there are differences between standards on what allowances can be made for relationships that may be true in a specialized domain v. the general domain - the canonical example is  "Blades BT Turbines", in a thesaurus developed for  Turbine manufacturing.

As Ed mentioned, ISO TC-37 is devoted to terminologies and controlled vocabularies.  Those terminologies reflect the consensus of the experts, and they are periodically revised and updated whenever any ambiguities or inaccuracies are found.

[Note: The ISO standard for controlled vocabularies are currently being revised and is in pre-pre-ballot drat form.  They are being brought into alignment with the BSI standards.  I think Stella Dextre Clarke is also the editor of the ISO standards.]


* there is some confusion between polysemy and homonymy in some of the standards, but they mean homonyms (strictly, homographs)

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