Abstract: We present a formal Arabic wordnet built on the basis of a carefully designed ontology hereby referred to as the Arabic Ontology. The ontology provides a formal representation of the concepts that the Arabic terms convey, and its content was built with ontological analysis in mind, and benchmarked to scientific advances and rigorous knowledge sources as much as this is possible, rather than to only speakers’ beliefs as lexicons typically are. A comprehensive evaluation was conducted thereby demonstrating that the current version of the top-levels of the ontology can top the majority of the Arabic meanings. The ontology consists currently of about 1,800 well-investigated concepts in addition to 16,000 concepts that are partially validated. The ontology is accessible and searchable through a lexicographic search engine (http://ontology.birzeit.edu) that also includes about 150 Arabic-multilingual lexicons, and which are being mapped and enriched using the ontology. The ontology is fully mapped with Princeton WordNet, Wikidata, and other resources.
Keywords: Linguistic ontology, WordNet, Arabic wordnet, lexicon, lexical semantics, Arabic natural language processing