A Hypergraph Data Model for Building Multilingual Dictionary Applications

Abstract : A non-negligible part of learners of an East Asian language have an interest for another tongue from East Asia that may share some common areal features such as the use of Chinese Characters and limited word morphology. It makes sense to build for this niche a dictionary application that provides multiple languages in one bundle and allow easy navigation between them and in the lexicon. This paper describes a data model, a generic dictionary application architecture and a prototype that fit this use case. The task of merging lexical resources with vastly differing micro-structures and concerns is complex. Even more so is to update it to include new data types or languages after release. In this regard, lexical networks are appealing: they solve the problem by exploding the micro-structure into data nodes and explicitly linking them with edges that can be discovered and traversed automatically. One of these approach, The Linked Data, is gaining traction in lexicography. It is however plagued with issues within the Resource Description Framework (RDF) that backs it. Most notably, the lack of three-valent relationships make is harder than it should to handle the Chinese writing system. We therefore came up with a simple and consistent hypergraph data model whose main features are: hyperlinks (links of arity greater than two), a flat type system (non-ontological lexical network) and annotations for both node and link instances. We propose a generic application architecture based on this model and illustrate it with a working mobile application. The user interface is constructed from independent components, allowing displaying of complex data while increasing further its updatability and maintainability. We use data from the Revised Mandarin Chinese Dictionary of the Ministry of Education of Taiwan, augmented with open-data Japanese readings to fed the prototype.
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Louis Lecailliez, Mathieu Mangeot. A Hypergraph Data Model for Building Multilingual Dictionary Applications. ASIALEX 2018, Jun 2018, Krabi, Thailand. ⟨hal-01992846⟩

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