Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The two sentences below are for a user input form for a semantic network. It is a standard, HTML-based form with two drop down menus (the square brackets represent the drop-down menus). Users use the form to correlate their new 'knowledge nodes' into the network.

1) "This new node [points to, is pointed at from] the existing node. "
2) "The 'pointer' is [a, a kind of, prerequisite to, a part of, an example of] the 'pointee'."
(Phew, it hurts to read those.)

I would like to accomplish two things:
1)I would like to combine those sentences into one sentence (I think it will read easier).
2)I would like to know of any lists of words/phrases for the 'relationship' words that are typically associated with a semantic network (two common ones are 'is a' and 'a kind of').

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

Since there are only two choices for the direction of the arrow, perhaps a drop-down menu is not appropriate. You could have the sentence include the names of the two nodes with a button to swap them. For example:

Apple [is a kind of, has, is related to, etc.] Fruit

with a button called "swap nodes" or something, very easily noticeable.

As far as relationship words, in addition to H&B's suggestions, you can use:

is the opposite of
is the same as

share|improve this answer
    
opposite is a good one. 'same as' is a long discusion, but I will think about. Regarding the single sentence, that sounds good, but the problem is if the new node is the fruit and the existing node is the apple: Fruit[]Apple. I would need the opposite of "is a kind of" etc. Hmmm, Fruit _____ apple. (?) –  John R Jun 30 '11 at 18:38
    
That's where the swap button could come in. You could swap the position of apple and fruit in the sentence and then the relationship would make sense. –  jackgill Jun 30 '11 at 18:52
    
Yes, I had thought of that... I guess I might have to write some JavaScript. –  John R Jun 30 '11 at 21:19

Here's my best shot:

The 'pointer' directs from the existing node to the new node.

A list of these relationship words are:

is a i.e. Canary is a bird
part of i.e. Leaves are part of trees
has i.e. A whale has fins
a kind of ( similar to is a) i.e. An orang-utan is a kind of ape
related to i.e. Water is related to life

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. Those are good (and useful). Are those a standard for 'semantic networks', or did you think them up? Is there a standard? 'Rabbits are a kind of mammal' but it's not correct to say 'Bugs Bunny is a kind of Rabbit'. 'is a' is for single entities of a class. 'a kind of' is for classes and sub classes. –  John R Jun 30 '11 at 18:45
    
@John R, they were taken from a semantic network, but I don't know of any compiled list unfortunately. –  Thursagen Jul 1 '11 at 5:36

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.