I am trying to find a set of N common adjectives that are the least-used with each other in English.
Basically if you were creating a new language that was only going to have N adjectives and you wanted them to each be equally useful (by occurrence count), how would you decide which N adjectives those should be?
Here is my attempt at a more rigorous description of what I am thinking:
Define some notion of "semantic distance". Words with generally the same meaning or that apply often to the same nouns may have small distance. Synonyms would have small distance with each other. Articles ("the" "it" etc) have small distance with almost everything.
Probably it is possible to cluster words into loose or tight clusters depending on mutual semantic distance, and probably some of these clusters all represent some concept or idea ("stinkiness" or "luminious" or "tall"). Possibly this stage would involve culling words that are too close to each other ("bright" and "shiny") and merging them into one word (probably choosing the most common), and words that are too close to many words (i.e. phatic words).
Determine semantic distance between clusters (possibly by finding the cluster centroid and using that as a proxy)
Find the N clusters with largest total distance between them (this is NP-complete, so we might settle for an approximation that is in the 99 percentile instead of the global max)
What is the fastest way to do something like this? If anyone has experience in anything like this, will this produce interesting results or garbage?