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Theory and Practice of Lexicographic Definition

Abstract : The paper offers a rigorous characterization of the notion of lexicographic definition: a minimal paraphrase formulated in the same language as the word defined and satisfying six lexicographic principles, which are formulated and discussed. The major types of semantic components in a lexicographic definition are identified and described: firstly, central vs. peripheral components, semantic-class marking components, presuppositional components, actant-specification components, weak components, and metaphor-marking components; secondly, conjunctive and disjunctive components. Three additional topics are introduced: the roles that the definition plays in a lexical entry (accounting for the semantic, syntactic and lexically restricted cooccurrence of the headword); lexical units whose definition is problematic; lexical connotations and semantic labels. Though the perspective offered on lexicographic definition is theory-oriented-within the framework of Explanatory Combinatorial Lexicology (ECL)-, a strong emphasis is put on the writing of actual definitions, a couple dozen of which is proposed and analyzed.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 10:31:41 PM
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Igor Mel’čuk, Alain Polguère. Theory and Practice of Lexicographic Definition. Journal of Cognitive Science, Institute for Cognitive Science, Seoul National University, 2018, 19 (4), pp.417-470. ⟨10.17791/jcs.2018.19.4.417⟩. ⟨halshs-02089593⟩

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