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Verb Class-specific Criteria for the Differentiation of Senses in Dictionary Entries

  • This contribution deals with the representation of verbs with multiple meanings or senses in general monolingual dictionaries. Criteria for differentiating senses in dictionary entries have traditionally been formulated with respect to the vocabulary in general. This paper argues that, while some criteria do indeed apply to the entire lexicon, many of them are relevant only to specific semantic classes. This will be demonstrated considering two selected verb classes: speech-act verbs and perception verbs. Like verbs of other classes, speech-act verbs and perception verbs may be ambiguous in different but recurrent ways. Since recurrent patterns of ambiguity are always typical of particular semantic classes, class-specific semantic criteria are formulated to decide whether a particular ambiguous speech act or perception verb should be treated as being polysemous or homonymous in dictionary entries. In addition to these class-specific semantic criteria, the semantic-syntactic criterion of identity or difference of argument structure is suggested for the lexicographical representation of verbs which may not be considered to be polysemous or homonymous on the basis of semantic criteria alone. According to the suggested argument-structure criterion, these verbs should be treated as polysemous when their senses correlate with identical argument structures and as homonymous when their senses correlate with different argument structures properties. As opposed to the semantic criteria suggested, the semantic-syntactic criterion of identity vs. difference of argument structure applies to verbs of different semantic classes. However, as will be illustrated by the discussion of the different senses of smell, it may sometimes force us to treat different but related senses as corresponding to two distinct lexical items. In order to solve this problem, the criteria suggested are supplemented by a preference rule stating that semantic criteria apply prior to the semantic-syntactic criterion of identity vs. difference of argument structure...

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Author:Kristel Proost
Parent Title (English):Proceedings of the XIII Euralex International Congress: Barcelona, 15-19 july 2008
Publisher:Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Place of publication:Barcelona
Editor:Elisenda Bernal, Janet Ann DeCesaris
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Year of first Publication:2008
Date of Publication (online):2015/01/14
Creating Corporation:EURALEX <13, 2008, Barcelona>
GND Keyword:Lexikografie; Polysemie; Verb
First Page:1529
Last Page:1536
Dewey Decimal Classification:400 Sprache / 410 Linguistik / 413 Wörterbücher
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:Ja
Licence (German):Es gilt das UrhG