While being theoretically so widely available, information can be restricted from a more general use by linguistic barriers. The linguistic aspects of the information languages and particularly the chances of an enhanced access to information by means of multilingual access facilities will make the substance of this thesis. The main problem of this research is thus to demonstrate that information retrieval can be improved by using multilingual thesaurus terms based on an intermediate or switching language to search with. Universal classification systems in general can play the role of switching languages for reasons dealt with in the forthcoming pages. The Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) in particular is the classification system used as example of a switching language for our objectives. The question may arise: why a universal classification system and not another thesaurus? Because the UDC like most of the classification systems uses symbols therefore, it is language independent and the problems of compatibility between such a thesaurus and different other thesauri in different languages are avoided. Another question may still arise? Why not then, assign running numbers to the descriptors in a thesaurus and make a switching language out of the resulting enumerative system? Because of some other characteristics of the UDC: hierarchical structure and terminological richness, consistency and control. One big problem to find an answer to is: can a thesaurus be made having as a basis a classification system in any and all its parts? To what extent this question can be given an affirmative answer? This depends much on the attributes of the universal classification system which can be favourably used to this purpose. Examples of different situations will be given and discussed upon beginning with those classes of UDC which are best fitted for building a thesaurus structure out of them (classes which are both hierarchical and faceted)...
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