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Grouping Synonyms by Definitions

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We present a method for grouping the synonyms of a lemma according to its dictionary senses. The senses are defined by a large machine readable dictionary for French, the TLFi (Tr\'esor de la langue fran\c{c}aise informatis\'e) and the synonyms are given by 5 synonym dictionaries (also for French). To evaluate the proposed method, we manually constructed a gold standard where for each (word, definition) pair and given the set of synonyms defined for that word by the 5 synonym dictionaries, 4 lexicographers specified the set of synonyms they judge adequate. While inter-annotator agreement ranges on that task from 67% to at best 88% depending on the annotator pair and on the synonym dictionary being considered, the automatic procedure we propose scores a precision of 67% and a recall of 71%. The proposed method is compared with related work namely, word sense disambiguation, synonym lexicon acquisition and WordNet construction.


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