On Defining "Imaginary" Beings and Attributes: How Do Lexicographers Cope with Culturally Determined Differences in Beliefs about Cosmology, Ontology and Epistemology?

Piet Swanepoel

Abstract


ABSTRACT: Members of linguistic communities often have opposing beliefs about the existence of beings denoted by lexical items or about the truth of the attributes ascribed to entities. As very little research has been forthcoming in this regard, this article focuses on how people's beliefs about existence and truth are encoded in explanatory dictionaries, and on the kind of semantics that is needed to account for these beliefs. The way in which dictionaries define issues of existence and truth against a default world view is outlined in Section 2. Section 3 indicates what happens if the default world view of lexicographic descriptions changes and how cultural biases operate in the treatment of the meaning of lexical items that denote "imaginary" beings or "imaginary" attributes. Section 4 summarizes the main findings of the article and delimits topics for further research.

Keywords: IMAGINARY BEINGS, FABULOUS CREATURES, DEFINING ATTRIBUTES, LEXICOGRAPHIC DEFINITIONS, EXISTENCE, TRUTH, SENSE, REFERENCE, DENOTATION, IDEALIZED COGNITIVE MODELS, COGNITIVE SEMANTICS, CULTURAL BIAS, CULTURAL SENSITIVITY

*****

OPSOMMING: Oor die definiëring van "denkbeeldige" wesens en eienskap-pe: Hoe hanteer leksikograwe kultureel bepaalde verskille in beskouings oor die kosmologie, ontologie en epistemologie? Lede van taalgemeenskappe het dikwels opponerende beskouings oor die bestaan van wesens waarna leksikale items verwys of oor die waarheid van die eienskappe wat aan entiteite toegeskryf word. Omdat baie min navorsing in dié verband beskikbaar is, fokus hierdie artikel op hoe mense se beskouings oor die bestaan en waarheid ten opsigte hiervan in verklarende woordeboeke gekodeer word, en op die soort seman-tiek wat benodig word om hierdie opvattings te verantwoord. Die manier waarop woordeboeke kwessies van bestaan en waarheid teen 'n verstekwêreldbeskouing omskryf, word in Afdeling 2 geskets. Afdeling 3 dui aan wat gebeur indien die verstekwêreldbeskouing van leksikografiese omskrywings verander en hoe kulturele vooroordele 'n uitwerking het op die behandeling van die betekenis van leksikale items wat verwys na "denkbeeldige" wesens of "denkbeeldige" eienskappe. Afdeling 4 som die hoofbevindinge van die artikel op en baken onderwerpe vir verdere navorsing af.

Sleutelwoorde: DENKBEELDIGE WESENS, FABELAGTIGE WESENS, DEFINIEEREIEN-SKAPPE, LEKSIKOGRAFIESE DEFINISIES, BESTAAN, WAARHEID, BETEKENIS, VERWYSINGS, DENOTASIE, GEÏDEALISEERDE KOGNITIEWE MODELLE, KOGNITIEWE SEMANTIEK, KUL-TURELE VOOROORDEEL, KULTURELE SENSITIWITEIT


Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/15-0-12

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.



ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0


Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2011.


Disclaimer:

This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help