oa South African Journal of Information Management - Bootstrapping an XML Schema of syntactic functions into a skeleton ontology



Information Systems is regarded as an interdisciplinary science. Therefore, insights from the humanities are important for this discipline, although this is not always recognised or valued. One outstanding example is the current upsurge in the study and use of 'ontologies' in information systems, bridging the disciplines of philosophy and computing. The article begins with an overview of an XML Schema that was used as a thesaurus to ensure consistency in the syntactic tagging of the Hebrew text in Genesis 1. The broader syntactic taxonomy, on which the XML Schema is based, and which may be used to analyse the syntax of Biblical Hebrew texts, is discussed in detail. The research also investigates how the concept of 'ontologies' is used in computational linguistic projects. These concepts form the building blocks for suggesting an ontology of syntactic functions for Biblical Hebrew, which may be implemented and used by linguistic information systems to ensure its quality and reliability (i.e. an ontology for information systems). Some possibilities are also proposed of how such an ontology may be put to use.


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