An inheritance-based lexicon formalism
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This paper describes a lexicon formalism (IBL for inheritance-based lexicon) that uses multiple default inheritance to state generalizations and exceptions in a natural and efficient way. The formalism is inspired by the lexicon formalism in ELU (Environnement Linguistique d'Unification). However, IBL contains important extensions and modifications: 1. use of typed feature structures for intensive static error-checking and efficient implementation on the computer; 2. finer distinction between defeasible and non-defeasible information; 3. means for defining an interface to applications which use a lexicon; 4. special form of a letter tree to decrease the size of lexicons; 5. more readable syntax. The paper defines the syntax and semantics of IBL lexicons, provides examples of lexicon fragments, discusses the extensions with respect to ELU, compares IBL with other approaches that use inheritance, and gives an overview of the implementation of IBL in Prolog.