Generating Polarity Lexicons with WordNet propagation in 5 languages

In this paper we focus on the creation of general-purpose (as opposed to domain-specific) polarity lexicons in five languages: French, Italian, Dutch, English and Spanish using WordNet propagation. WordNet propagation is a commonly used method to generate these lexicons as it gives high coverage of general purpose language and the semantically rich WordNets where concepts are organised in synonym , antonym and hyperonym/hyponym structures seem to be well suited to the identification of positive and negative words. However, WordNets of different languages may vary in many ways such as the way they are compiled, the number of synsets, number of synonyms and number of semantic relations they include. In this study we investigate whether this variability translates into differences of performance when these WordNets are used for polarity propagation. Although many variants of the propagation method are developed for English, little is known about how they perform with WordNets of other languages. We implemented a propagation algorithm and designed a method to obtain seed lists similar with respect to quality and size, for each of the five languages. We evaluated the results against gold standards also developed according to a common method in order to achieve as less variance as possible between the different languages.

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