Remarks on the Lexicographical Treatment of Metaforms
AbstractThis paper examines the way dictionaries describe metaforms, items that refer to the linguistic system itself (e.g., pronouns and indexicals). The paper first shows the inconsistent grammatical classification of metaforms, which are usually and incorrectly categorized as adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, or interjections. It is then argued that metaforms should be classified in their currently known grammatical categories: discourse marker (<i>now</i>), focus particle (<i>even, like</i>), quotative (<i>like</i>), and so on. Discussion then turns to the definitions of metaforms, with illustration of their incorrect or misleading semantic characterization and suggestions for capturing their denotations consistently. This examination of the lexicography of metaforms is ultimately a case study in how dictionary making might be informed by judicious use of current grammatical, semantic, and pragmatic theory.
Copyright of all material published in Lexikos will be vested in the Board of Directors of the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal. Authors are free, however, to use their material elsewhere provided that Lexikos (AFRILEX Series) is acknowledged as the original publication source.
Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0