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Christiane Fellbaum

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Christiane D. Fellbaum
Known forCo-creating WordNet
Academic background
Alma materPrinceton University (Ph.D., 1980)
Academic work
Sub-disciplineCognitive linguistics
InstitutionsPrinceton University

Christiane D. Fellbaum is an American linguist and computational linguistics researcher who is Lecturer with Rank of Professor in the Program in Linguistics and the Computer Science Department at Princeton University.[1] The co-developer of the WordNet project, she is also its current director.


Fellbaum received a Ph.D. from Princeton University in linguistics in 1980 and later joined Princeton's Cognitive Science Laboratory, working with George Armitage Miller. Together with Miller and his team, she was a creator of WordNet,[1] a large lexical database that serves as a widely used resource in computational linguistics and natural language processing. Many researchers have since built upon her work, including AI researcher Fei-Fei Li, the inventor of ImageNet, which was inspired by a 2006 conversation with Fellbaum as well as by the name and design of the original WordNet.[2]

She is a founder and president of the Global WordNet Association, which guides the construction of lexical databases in many languages.[3] She is a site coordinator of the North American Computational Linguistics Open competition.[4] Her research focuses on lexical semantics, the syntax-semantics interface, and computational linguistics.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2001, Fellbaum was one of fourteen scientists to receive the Wolfgang-Paul Prize of the Humboldt Foundation. She used her award money (1.53 million Euros) to construct an electronic database of German idioms ('Kollokationen im Wörterbuch'), a three-year project that she led at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.[6][7] The goal of the project, which focused on collocations that combine nouns with verbs, was to analyze and record a wide range of German-language idioms.[8]

In 2006, she and WordNet collaborator George A. Miller were awarded the Antonio Zampolli Prize of the European Language Resources Association.[9] According to the ELRA website, the prize recognizes "individuals whose work lies within the areas of Language Resources and Language Technology Evaluation with acknowledged contributions to their advancements."[9]


  1. ^ a b "Fellbaum receives $1.6 million award for linguistics research". Princeton University. November 28, 2001. Retrieved May 5, 2019. At Princeton, she is one of the creators of WordNet, a database of English words that are linked to each other according to their meanings...Fellbaum received her Ph.D. in linguistics from Princeton. After several teaching and research positions, she returned to Princeton to work as a research scientist in 1987.
  2. ^ Gershgorn, George (July 26, 2017). "The data that transformed AI research—and possibly the world". Quartz. Retrieved May 5, 2019. Having read about WordNet's approach, Li met with professor Christiane Fellbaum, a researcher influential in the continued work on WordNet, during a 2006 visit to Princeton.
  3. ^ "the Board – Global WordNet Association". Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  4. ^ "NACLO at Princeton". lingclub.mycpanel.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  5. ^ "Computer Science Bibliography - Christiane Fellbaum". DBLP.
  6. ^ "The Wolfgang Paul Award". Humboldt Foundation. 2001. Retrieved July 22, 2020. The Wolfgang Paul Award ... offered foreign award winners (13 males and one female) the opportunity to pursue their research projects free from administrative constraints at a research institution in Germany and to build up their own working groups of highly qualified junior researchers.
  7. ^ "Christiane Fellbaum: Forscherpreis für die Hebung des Sprachschatzes (Christiane Fellbaum: Research award for the enhancement of the language treasure)". Wissenschaft.de (in German). November 7, 2001. Retrieved July 22, 2020. Ihr Preisgeld will Fellbaum in ein dreijähriges Projekt der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften stecken, das „Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache des 20. Jahrhunderts". Dieses elektronische Lexikon aus mehr als 500 Millionen Wörtern soll später einmal als Datenbank zugänglich sein. Seine Grundlage ist die deutsche Sprache der vergangenen hundert Jahre – ein repräsentativer Querschnitt, zusammengestellt aus Literatur, Zeitungsdeutsch, Fachbuchsprache, Werbetexten und niedergeschriebener Umgangssprache. (Fellbaum intends to use her prize money in a three-year project of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, the "Digital Dictionary of the German Language of the 20th Century". This electronic lexicon made up of more than 500 million words will later be accessible as a database. It is based on the German language of the past hundred years - a representative cross-section composed of literature, newspaper German, textbook language, advertising texts and written colloquial language.)
  8. ^ "Kollokationen im Wörterbuch: Ziel und thematische Schwerpunkte des Projekts (Collocations in the Dictionary: The aim and thematic focus of the project)" (in German). Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Retrieved July 22, 2020. Das durch den Wolfgang Paul-Preis der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung geförderte Projekt „Kollokationen im Wörterbuch" unter Leitung der Preisträgerin Christiane Fellbaum konzentriert sich auf einen ausgewählten Bereich im weiten Spektrum der festen Wendungen, auf Verb-Nomen-Verbindungen idiomatischen Charakters, wie es z. B. eins hinter die Löffel bekommen oder etwas auf die hohe Kante legen sind. Die komplexe semantische und syntaktische Analyse einer möglichst großen Anzahl deutscher Verb-Nomen-Idiome sowie ihre lexikographische Erfassung sind die Hauptziele des Projekts. (The project "Collocations in the Dictionary", funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Wolfgang Paul Prize and directed by award winner Christiane Fellbaum, focuses on a selected area in the broad spectrum of fixed phrases, on verb-noun combinations of idiomatic character, such as this e.g. 'get one behind the spoons' or 'put something on the high edge.' The main goals of the project are the complex semantic and syntactic analysis of a large number of German verb-noun idioms as well as their lexicographical recording.)
  9. ^ a b "ELRA Antonio Zampolli Prize: Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Language Resources and Language Technology Evaluation within Human Language Technologies". European Language Resources Association. Retrieved July 22, 2020. To reflect Antonio Zampolli's specific interest in our field, the Prize will be awarded to individuals whose work lies within the areas of Language Resources and Language Technology Evaluation with acknowledged contributions to their advancements. The ELRA Antonio Zampolli Prize was awarded to:...Christiane Fellbaum and George A. Miller, from Princeton University, Princeton (USA), at LREC 2006, in Genoa.

External links[edit]