UNL-NL Dictionaries

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The UNL-NL dictionaries are bilingual dictionaries linking UWs to natural language (NL) words. They can be unidirectional (UNL-to-NL or NL-to-UNL) or bidirectional (NL-to-UNL-to-NL). UNL-to-NL dictionaries are used for deconversion, while NL-to-UNL are used for enconversion.


In the UNL System, the UNL-NL dictionaries are plain text files with a single entry per line in the following format:

[NLW]  {ID}  “UW”  (ATTR , ... )  < LG , FRE , PRI >; COMMENTS


The lexical item of the natural language. Its format should be decided by the dictionary builder. It can be:
  • a multiword expression: [United States of America]
  • a compound: [hot-dog]
  • a simple word: [happiness]
  • a simple morpheme: [happ]
  • a complex structure*: [[bring] [back]]
  • a non-motivated linguistic entity: [g]

* complex structures are used for infixation, as in “Bring him back”

The unique identifier (primary-key) of the entry.
The Universal Word of UNL. This field can be empty if a word does not need a UW.
The list of features of the NLW. It can be:
  • a list of simple features: (NOU, MCL, SNG)
  • a list of attribute-value pairs: (pos=NOU, gen=MCL, num=SNG)
  • a list of attribute and transformation rules: (plural:=”oo”:”ee”)

Attributes should be separated by “,”.

The two-character language code according to ISO 639-1.
The frequency of NLW in natural texts. Used for natural language analysis (NL-UNL). It can range from 0 (less frequent) to 255 (most frequent).
The priority of the NLW. Used for natural language generation (UNL-NL). It can range from 0 to 255.
Any comment necessary to clarify the mapping between NL and UNL entries. It should end with the return code.