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Empirical approaches to paronyms

  • German lexical items with similar or related morphological roots and similar meaning potential are easily confused by native speakers and language learners. These include so-called paronyms such as effektiv/effizient , sensitive/sensibel, formell/formal/förmlich . Although these are generally not regarded as synonyms, empirical studies suggest that in some cases items of a paronym set have undergone meaning change and developed synonymous notions. In other cases, they remain similar in meaning, but show subtle differences in definition and restrictions of usage. Whereas the treatment of synonyms has received attention from corpus-linguists (cf. Partington 1998; Taylor 2003), the subject of paronyms has not been revisited with empirical, data-driven methods neither in terms of semantic theory nor in terms of practical lexicography. As a consequence, we also need to search for suitable corpus methods for detailed semantic investigation. Lexicographically, some German paronyms have been documented in printed dictionaries (e.g. Müller 1973; Pollmann & Wolk 2010). However, there is no corpus-assisted reference guide describing paronyms empirically and enabling readers to find the correct contemporary usage. Therefore, solutions to some lexicographic challenges are required.

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Author:Petra StorjohannGND, Ulrich Schnörch
Parent Title (English):Proceedings of the XVI EURALEX international, congress. The user in focus. 15. – 19. July 2014, Bolzano/Bozen
Publisher:EURAC research
Place of publication:Bolzano/Bozen
Editor:Andrea Abel, Chiara Vettori, Natascia Ralli
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Year of first Publication:2014
Date of Publication (online):2014/10/14
GND Keyword:Deutsch; Lexikographie; Paronym
First Page:463
Last Page:476
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 430 Deutsch
Open Access?:ja
BDSL-Classification:Lexikographie, Wörterbücher
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt