LEXICAL MEANING VERSUS CONTEXTUAL EVIDENCE IN DICTIONARY ARTICLES RUFUS H. GOUWS Although a dictionary can and should be regarded as a source of linguistic information, it should also contain a certain amount of extra-linguistic information. For the average user of a monolingual dictionary the meaning of a word is the type of linguistic information most frequently required. The way in which this semantic information is presented in the dictionary is of major importance for both the lexicographer and the dictionary user. Information presented as lexical meaning should comply with linguistic criteria, and the lexicographer must adhere to linguistic principles in his attempt to describe the meaning of a word. Besides semantic information a dictionary article has to contain information on the usage of a word, and there has to be a clear indication of the linguistic contexts in which a specific lexical item can occur in a typical utterance. The user can expect to find this pragmatic information in his dictionary. It is, however, not always easy to distinguish between the lexical meaning of a word and the information resulting from the knowledge of a word's occurrence in a given context. Therefore dictionaries quite often present contextual evidence
Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America – Dictionary Society of North America
Published: Apr 4, 1987
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