Base Concepts in the African Languages Compared to Upper Ontologies and the WordNet Top Ontology

TitleBase Concepts in the African Languages Compared to Upper Ontologies and the WordNet Top Ontology
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsAnderson, Winston, Pretorius Laurette, and Kotzé Albert E.
Refereed DesignationRefereed
BooktitleProceedings of the Seventh Conference on International Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'10)
PublisherEuropean Language Resources Association (ELRA)
LocationValletta, Malta
EditorCalzolari, Nicoletta, Choukri Khalid, Maegaard Bente, Mariani Joseph, Odijk Jan, Piperidis Stelios, Rosner Michael, and Tapias Daniel
ISBN Number2-9517408-6-7

Ontologies, and in particular upper ontologies, are foundational to
the establishment of the Semantic Web. Upper ontologies are used as equivalence
formalisms between domain specific ontologies. Multilingualism brings one of the
key challenges to the development of these ontologies. Fundamental to the
challenges of defining upper ontologies is the assumption that concepts are
universally shared. The approach to developing linguistic ontologies aligned to
upper ontologies, particularly in the non-Indo-European language families, has
highlighted these challenges. Previously two approaches to developing new
linguistic ontologies and the influence of these approaches on the upper
ontologies have been well documented. These approaches are examined in a unique
new context: the African, and in particular, the Bantu languages. In particular, we address the following two
questions: Which approach is better for the alignment of the African languages
to upper ontologies? Can the concepts that are linguistically shared amongst the
African languages be aligned easily with upper ontology concepts claimed to be
universally shared?