The Global WordNet Association – founded in 2000 by Vossen & Fellbaum – is a free, public and non-commercial organization that provides a platform for discussing, sharing and connecting wordnets for all languages in the world. The aims of the association are:
- To establish distribution facilities for the dissemination of the Association and Association publications and information materials:
- To promote cooperation and information exchange among related professional and technical societies that build or use wordnets.
- To provide information on wordnets to the general public.
- To promote the standardization of the specification of wordnets for all languages in the world, including:
- the standardization of the Inter-Lingual-Index for inter-linking the wordnets of different languages, as a universal index of meaning
- the development of a common representation for wordnet data
- To promote the development of sense-tagged corpora in all the linked languages.
- To promote sharing and transferring of data, software and specifications across wordnet builders for different languages
- To promote the development of guidelines and methodologies for building wordnets in new languages
- To promote the development of explicit criteria and definitions for verifying the relations in any language
- To promote the development of consistency checking, comparison and evaluation modules
- To promote research into the psychological adequacy of models of the mental lexicon
GWA organized 8 international conferences: the First Global Wordnet Conference (India, 2002), the Second Global Wordnet Conference (Czech Republic, 2004), the Third Global Wordnet Conference (Korea, 2006), the Fourth Global Wordnet Conference (Hungary, 2008), the Fifth Global Wordnet Conference (India, 2010), the 6th Global WordNet Conference (Matsue, Japan, 2012), the 7th Global WordNet Conference (Tartu, Estland, 2014) and the 8th Global WordNet Conference (Romania, 2016).
Since the start of GWA, wordnets were developed for all European languages, many Asian languages, African languages and even dialects (Welsh) and dead languages (Latin). All wordnets (almost 100) are linked to the inter-lingual-index through the same model.The Global WordNet Association has stimulated the development of wordnets all over the globe, which are all inter-connected though the same database. In addition to supporting and advising many wordnet projects, Vossen has also activily been involved in projects developing wordnets, such as BalkaNet and the development of the Arabic wordnet “(Constructing Arabic Wordnet (AWN) in Parallel with an Ontology” (sponsored by the American government and headed by Princeton University), for which he was responsible for the European part of the project.
In February 2006, the idea of the Global Wordnet Grid was launched at the 3rd GWC in Jeju, Korea: the building of a complete free worldwide wordnet grid. This grid will be built around a shared set of concepts, such as the Common Base Concepts used in many wordnet projects. These concepts will be expressed in terms of Wordnet synsets and ontology concepts. People from all language communities are invited to upload synsets from their language to the Grid. Gradually, the Grid will then be represented by all languages. The Grid will be available to everybody and will be distributed completely free.