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On the Uses of Word Sense Change for Research in the Digital Humanities

Conference paper
Authors Nina Tahmasebi
Thomas Risse
Published in Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries - 21st International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries, TPDL 2017, Thessaloniki, Greece, September 18-21, 2017. Proceedings / edited by Jaap Kamps, Giannis Tsakonas, Yannis Manolopoulos, Lazaros Iliadis, Ioannis Karydis
ISBN 978-3-319-67007-2
ISSN 1611-3349
Publisher Springer Verlag
Place of publication Cham
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Swedish
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-6...
Subject categories General Language Studies and Linguistics, Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)


With advances in technology and culture, our language changes. We invent new words, add or change meanings of existing words and change names of existing things. Unfortunately, our language does not carry a memory; words, expressions and meanings used in the past are forgotten over time. When searching and interpreting content from archives, language changes pose a great challenge. In this paper, we present results of automatic word sense change detection and show the utility for archive users as well as digital humanities’ research. Our method is able to capture changes that relate to the usage and culture of a word that cannot easily be found using dictionaries or other resources.

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