Dr. Christian M. Meyer

Wiktionary: A new rival for expert-built lexicons?

Exploring the possibilities of collaborative lexicography

Abstract. With the rise of the Web 2.0, collaboratively constructed language resources are rivalling expert-built lexicons. The collaborative construction process of these resources is driven by what is called the “Wisdom of Crowds” phenomenon, which offers very promising research opportunities in the context of electronic lexicography. The vast number and broad diversity of authors yield, for instance, quickly growing and constantly updated resources. While expert-built lexicons have been extensively studied in the past, there is yet a gap in researching collaboratively constructed lexicons. We therefore provide a comprehensive description of Wiktionary – a freely available, collaborative online lexicon. We study the variety of encoded lexical, semantic, and cross-lingual knowledge of three different language editions of Wiktionary and compare the coverage of terms, lexemes, word senses, domains, and registers to multiple expert-built lexicons. We con­clude our work by discussing several findings and pointing out Wiktionary’s future directions and impact on lexicography.

Submitted: 01.11.2011 | Published: 01.11.2012
Overlap of lexemes between the English lexicons.
Overlap of lexemes between the English lexicons.