the Constitution

Article 1.

The name of the Association is “Global WordNet Association”; it may also be known as “GWA” or “WordNet Association”, and hereinafter will be referred to as “the Association”.

Registered Office
Article 2.

The Association has its registered office at:


City: Weesp

Zip code: 1382 VV

Country: The Netherlands

Article 3.

  1. The Association is constituted as an association and legal entity according to the laws of the Netherlands (on June first, two-thousand) by the founders:

o        C. Fellbaum, Princeton, NJ USA.

o        P.T.J.M. Vossen, Weesp, The Netherlands.

The Association is subject to its Constitution and to all its rules and regulations unless expressly exempted.

The purposes of the Association are:

    1. To encourage and facilitate membership in the Association by persons and institutions with an interest in wordnets, world-wide.
    2. To establish distribution facilities:
      • 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.
    3. 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.
    4. To promote the development of sense-tagged corpora in all the linked languages.
    5. To promote sharing and transferring of data, software and specifications among people who develop wordnets for different languages
    6. To promote the development of guidelines and methodologies for building wordnets for additional languages.
    7. To promote the development of explicit criteria and definitions for verifying the relations in any language.
    8. To promote the development of consistency checking, comparison and evaluation modules.
    9. To promote research in related areas, such as psycholinguistic studies of the mental lexicon and semantic memory, and their relevance for the wordnet model.


Article 4.

  1. Within the rules of the constitution of the Association, the Association will serve all members of the Association. These persons will hereinafter be referred to as “the Association Members”.
  2. Membership is open to any person and organization who actively researches, develops, applies or promotes wordnets.
  3. Four types of members are distinguished:
    1. individual members, which can either be full members or student members. Student members should send a certificate from their University or School.
    2. insitutional members, which can either be profit or non-profit
  4. All members receive the regular communications and publications of the Association. All members may participate in the Biannual Business Meetings of the Association, and may vote in Association elections.
  5. Dues for each calendar year are payable upon receipt of a dues statement. Members in arrears will be forfeit their membership. In cases of economic hardship, the membership fee can be waived.


Article 5.

  1. The administration of the Association shall be conducted by the Association Board, which shall consist of a Chair, a Vide-Chair, a Secretary-Treasurer, and three (3) Board members. All these persons shall be Association Members, as defined in Article 4. Except for the past Chair they shall be elected by the Association Members on nomination. If vacancies occur, the Association Board shall appoint replacements, to serve until the next election.
  2. In the event that the Association is given funds, the Association Secretary-Treasurer is empowered to receive, deposit, and disburse such funds on behalf of the Association and, together with the Association Chair, to make arrangements for handling the affairs of the Association.
  3. The Chair shall deliver a written Annual Report, and the Treasurer shall deliver a written Annual Financial and Membership Report, to the Association by the end of each year.
  4. The Association Board shall:
    • determine the place and time of Association workshops and meetings;
    • appoint members to be responsible for organizing the programs and local arrangements of such conferences, workshops and meetings;
    • appoint members to form committees and assume tasks to assist in conducting the activities of the Association;
    • determine the amount of the annual dues of the Association;
    • be responsible for a review of the Secretary-Treasurer”s Financial and Membership Report before this Report is presented to the Biannual Business Meeting;
    • set the time and place for the Biannual Business Meeting and Annual Board Meeting
  5. Elections shall be conducted as follows: the Vice-Chair will become the Chair. The Chair can volunteer to serve as an ex-officio member of the Board. The Association Board shall nominate at least one person for each remaining position to be filled. The Secretary shall send to the Association Members notice of the nominations, at the same time requesting additional nominations. Additional nominations, supported by at least three Association Members, may be submitted; evidence must be presented that the nominee will serve if elected. If there is more than one nominee for any position, the Secretary shall send ballots for that position to the Members. A majority vote of the ballots shall determine the results.
  6. There shall be a Biannual Business Meeting of the Association, with notice mailed to the membership at least two months before the meeting date. All actions taken by the Association Board are subject to review at the Biannual Business Meeting.
  7. Elections for the Board shall be issued every 4 years. Board members can re-nominate but have to step down for one 4-year period after having served for 2 sequential periods.


Adminstrative Duties and Representation
Article 6.

  1. The Association Board as defined by Article 5 paragraph 1 shall have the power to perform all such acts of administration and disposition as it will deem necessary or desirable for the realization of the Purpose, and be empowered to enter into any agreements for acquisition or alienation whereby the Association grants security or becomes several co-debtor, or answers for any third party, or undertakes to grant security for a debt of another.


Financial Management
Article 7.

  1. The Administration will be under the obligation to keep account of the financial position of the Association in accordance with the requirements arising therefrom, and to keep the books, records and other forms of data belonging to the accounts in such way that the rights and obligations of the Association are open to inspection at all times
  2. The Association Secretary-Treasurer will supply a current balance sheet and a statement of assets and liabilities to the Chair of the Association Board annually. These financial statements will be approved and signed by all members of the Board, and will form part of a report on the activities and operations of the Association, which will be distributed to the Association Members.
  3. The Board will be obliged to keep the books, records and other forms of data mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article for ten years. It will ensure that the data are available during that full period, and can be made accessible to the Members within a reasonable time.


Amendment of Articles
Article 8.

Proposed amendments to the Constitution must be approved by the Association Board. The proposed amendments must then be circulated to all Members and ratified by a majority vote of those persons whose ballots are received within two months of circulation. Proposed amendments may not be presented at a Board meeting unless notice to the effect that a proposed amendment will be discussed was included in the agenda accompanying the announcement convening the Board meeting.


Article 9.

  1. If the Board is of the opinion that the Purpose of the Association cannot or can no longer be sufficiently realized, the Board may resolve to dissolve the Association; such a resolution concerning dissolution shall be passed in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Article.
  2. In case of dissolution, the liquidation shall be effected by the Board members in office at that time.


Other Matters
Article 10.

All cases falling within the scope of these Articles but not provided for therein shall be handled by a resolution of the Association Board and will be in concordance with the Dutch Law.

Created by:
Piek Vossen, Weesp, The Netherlands, June 1th, 2000.

Christiane Fellbaum, Princeton, NJ, USA, June 1th, 2000