Improving the Functionality of Dictionary Definitions for Lexical Sets: The Role of Definitional Templates, Definitional Consistency, Definitional Coherence and the Incorporation of Lexical Conceptual Models

Piet Swanepoel


ABSTRACT: This article focuses on some of the problems raised by Atkins and Rundell's (2008) approach to the design of lexicographic definitions for members of lexical sets. The questions raised are how to define and identify lexical sets, how lexical conceptual models (LCMs) can support definitional consistency and coherence in defining members of lexical sets, and what the ideal content and structure of LCMs could be. Although similarity of meaning is proposed as the defining feature of lexical sets, similarity of meaning is only one dimension of the broader concept of lexical coherence. The argument is presented that numerous conceptual lexical models (e.g. taxonomies, folk models, frames, etc.) in fact indicate, justify or explain how lexical items cohere (and thus form sets). In support of Fillmore's (2003) suggestion that definitions of the lexical items of cohering sets should be linked to such explanatory models, additional functionally-orientated arguments are presented for the incorporation of conceptual lexical models in electronic monolingual learners' dictionaries. Numerous resources exist to support the design of LCMs which can improve the functionality of definitions of members of lexical sets. A few examples are discussed of how such resources can be used to design functionally justified LCMs.

OPSOMMING: Verbetering van die funksionaliteit van woordeboekdefinisies vir leksikale versamelings: Die rol van definisiematryse, definisie-eenvormigheid, definisiesamehang en die inkorporering van leksikale konseptuele modelle. Hierdie artikel fokus op sommige van die probleme wat ter sprake kom deur Atkins en Rundell (2008) se benadering tot die ontwerp van leksikografiese definisies vir lede van leksikale versamelings. Die vrae wat gestel word, is hoe leksikale versamelings gedefinieer en geïdentifiseer moet word, hoe leksikale konseptuele modelle (LKM's) definisie-eenvormigheid en-samehang kan ondersteun by die definiëring van lede van leksikale versamelings en wat die ideale inhoud en struktuur van LKM's sou kon wees. Alhoewel betekenisooreenkoms as dié definiërende kenmerk van leksikale versamelings voorgestel word, is betekenisooreenkoms net een dimensie van die breër konsep van leksikale samehang. Die argument word aangevoer dat verskeie konseptuele leksikale modelle (bv. taksonomieë, lekemodelle, rame, ens.) in werklikheid aandui, motiveer of verduidelik hoe leksikale items saamhang (en dus versamelings vorm). Ter ondersteuning van Fillmore (2003) se voorstel dat definisies van die leksikale items van samehangende versamelings met sulke verduidelikende modelle gekoppel moet word, word bykomende funksioneel-georiënteerde argumente aangebied vir die inkorporering van konseptueel leksikale modelle in elektroniese eentalige aanleerderswoordeboeke. Talle bronne bestaan vir die ondersteuning van die ontwerp van LKM's wat die funksionaliteit van definisies van lede van leksikale versamelings kan verbeter. Enkele voorbeelde word bespreek van hoe sulke bronne aangewend kan word vir die ontwerp van funksioneel gemotiveerde LKM's.




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

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