Synonymy from a Prototype Theory Perspective and its Symbiosis with Polysemy: Towards a New Dictionary of Synonyms
AbstractThis paper presents an attempt at providing a model for comprehensive, precise and systematic presentation of a word's synonymy within a dictionary entry, especially in the case of highly polysemous words. It is founded on the complementarity of polysemy and synonymy and a prototype-based view of the latter lexical relation. The proposed model is presented through four steps of tailoring an entry in a new dictionary of synonyms: the analysis of a word's polysemous structure, the compilation of a word's synonym sets viewed as prototype-based categories, the definition of synonyms within a set and the structure and organisation of an individual synonym set and the whole entry. Comprehensiveness of synonymy presentation according to the model is reflected in the fact that an entry lists synonym sets corresponding to different senses of the given headword as well as in the tendency for each set to offer a wide range of synonyms. Systematicity and precision in synonymy presentation are achieved primarily due to the application of prototype-based principles to the structuring and organizing of synonym sets and the defining of synonyms. The model also opens up the possibility of a transparent diagram-based visual representation of a word's synonymy in an electronic dictionary offering a more convenient visual organisation of large amounts of information. Keywords: polysemy, synonymy, symbiosis, complementarity, prototype theory, model, dictionary entry, synonym set, sense defining, entry structure
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