Disambiguating a disambiguation tool: Babelfy from a linguistic point of view


  • Natalia López Cortés Universidad de Zaragoza

Palabras clave:

disambiguation, ambiguity, context, NLP, polysemy


Babelfy is an online tool, developed in the context of Natural Language Processing. When an item with more than one meaning is introduced in Babelfy, it chooses the appropriate meaning considering the context. The objective of this research study is to test the Word Sense Disambiguation skills of Babelfy in Spanish from a linguistic approach. To do so, a descriptive and comparative study between Babelfy and native Spanish speakers was carried out. Twenty-two pairs of sentences with an ambiguous word were designed, the first sentence of the pair had a neutral context and the second one a facilitating context. These sentence-pairs were introduced in Babelfy to check which meaning of the ambiguous word was selected and to explore whether there were differences depending on the type of context. These results were then compared to the answers of sixty-two Spanish native speakers. The data show that the behaviour of speakers when encountering an ambiguous word is not equivalent to the way Babelfy performs Word Sense Disambiguation, especially when the context is neutral, and the word has related meanings.

Biografía del autor/a

Natalia López Cortés, Universidad de Zaragoza

Natalia López Cortés es Doctora en Lingüística Hispánica por la Universidad de Zaragoza. Su tesis doctoral analizó la naturaleza de las palabras ambiguas en español, desde un punto de vista tanto teórico como experimental. Desde 2016 pertenece al grupo de investigación Psylex (Lenguaje y cognición; UZ-DGA H11_17R), centrado en el estudio científico del lenguaje humano, y es miembro del proyecto de investigación Conceptos, estructuras y sonidos (CONESSO; FFI2017-82460-P). Sus áreas de interés principales son la investigación psicolingüística sobre el procesamiento del lenguaje, la estructura del lexicón mental y la interpretación subjetiva de la unidades léxicas. Además, le interesa la enseñanza de gramática en ámbito no universitario.


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