The cultural classification of ‘things’

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We begin by distinguishing between an ontology and a semantic system networkfor noun senses. i.e. a cultural classification of ‘things’. Next, we locate this ina systemic functional lexicogrammar, and evaluate two ways of representingit. Then we explore: (i) the reason for its overall structure; (ii) the central roleof probabilities; (iii) how to model the [mass] v [count] distinction (and twoothers; (iv) two crucial non-taxonomic relationships; (v) three types of non-experientialmeaning; and (vi) the key role of realization rules in generatingnouns as heads of nominal groups. With nearly 5,000 noun senses, the CardiffGrammar’s network for the cultural classification of “things” is probably thelargest in existence. Yet it needs further development, and readers are invitedboth to use this valuable resource and to help expand it.


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