Cloudspotting: visual analytics for distributional semantics
This PhD study belongs to WP1 of the KU Leuven C1 research programme 'Nephological Semantics', (PI Dirk Geeraerts) which explores the use of distributional semantic methods for linguistic semantics. Specifically, the study aims at a realistic assessment of the possibilities and limitations of vector space semantics and word embeddings. The project will take the form of a number of case studies comparing polysemy analyses under three methods: a definitional lexicographical analysis, a 'behavioral profile' approach, and a semantic vector space approach. In general, the methodological goal of WP1 is to bring together a number of distributional methods that were developed in different contexts, and to refine, complement and systematize them, in order to turn them into an overarching, methodologically unified toolset in support of the analysis of various types of interplay between onomasiological, semasiological, and lectal variation. For validation and descriptive purposes, the methods are applied in case studies on English and Dutch lexical items.