Semantic properties of the root-pattern array

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes a program (and a grammar) for carrying out the semantic phase of 'root-pattern' word formation in Hebrew. This is achieved by first automatically extracting semantic features of roots from a Hebrew thesaurus. Once the roots are reduced to feature-value sets, a grammar is used to combine a specific root with a specific grammatical pattern. The result of the grammar operation yields the final set of semantic features and values for the word. Thus, the root-pattern words are not the minimal units of grammatical investigation. They are products of the grammar. In addition to the ability to automatically generate word meanings, the semantic information derived in this way can serve also for syntactic ambiguity resolution and automatic compilation of machine-oriented dictionaries, thesauri etc. The method described here can also be used for treating affixation and thus be useful for a wide scope of languages, including English, Hebrew and Finnish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-236
Number of pages22
JournalComputers and Translation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1988


  • Hebrew
  • dictionary
  • semantic analysis
  • thesaurus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Engineering (all)
  • Hardware and Architecture


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