Volume 11, Number 1

An Ontological Analysis and Natural Language Processing of Figures of Speech


Christiana Panayiotou, Technological University of Cyprus, Cyprus


The purpose of the current paper is to present an ontological analysis to the identification of a particular type of prepositional figures of speech via the identification of inconsistencies in ontological concepts. Prepositional noun phrases are used widely in a multiplicity of domains to describe real world events and activities. However, one aspect that makes a prepositional noun phrase poetical is that the latter suggests a semantic relationship between concepts that does not exist in the real world. The current paper shows that a set of rules based on WordNet classes and an ontology representing human behaviour and properties, can be used to identify figures of speech due to the discrepancies in the semantic relations of the concepts involved. Based on this realization, the paper describes a method for determining poetic vs. non-poetic prepositional figures of speech, using WordNet class hierarchies. The paper also addresses the problem of inconsistency resulting from the assertion of figures of speech in ontological knowledge bases, identifying the problems involved in their representation. Finally, it discusses how a contextualized approach might help to resolve this problem.


Ontologies, NLP, Linguistic creativity