On the Uses of Word Sense Change for Research in the Digital Humanities


With advances in technology and culture, our language changes. We invent new words, add or change meanings of existing words and change names of existing things. Unfortunately, our language does not carry a memory; words, expressions and meanings used in the past are forgotten over time. When searching and interpreting content from archives, language changes pose a great challenge. In this paper, we present results of automatic word sense change detection and show the utility for archive users as well as digital humanities’ research. Our method is able to capture changes that relate to the usage and culture of a word that cannot easily be found using dictionaries or other resources.

In International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries, TPDL 2017
Nina Tahmasebi
Researcher in Natural Language Processing