Edited by Martin Pütz, Justyna A. Robinson and Monika Reif
[Benjamins Current Topics 59] 2014
► pp. 133–160
The recent decades have witnessed the incorporation of new linguistic trends into lexicography. One of these trends is a usage-based approach, with the first major application of computer-corpus data in the Collins COBUILD English dictionary (1995) and successive adaptation in other L1-dictionaries. Another, concurrent innovation — inspired by Conceptual Metaphor Theory — is the provision of conceptual information in monolingual dictionaries of English. So far, however, only the Macmillan English dictionary for advanced learners (1st and 2nd edition) has paid tribute to the fact that understanding culture-specific metaphors and being aware of metaphoric usage are crucial for learning a foreign language. Given that most of the English as lingua franca interactions take place between L2-speakers of English (see Kachru, 1994), providing conceptual information is not only a desideratum for L1- and learner dictionaries, but especially for (L2-)variety dictionaries of English. In our paper, we follow earlier tentative proposals by Polzenhagen (2007) and Wolf (2012) and present examples from A dictionary of Hong Kong English (Cummings & Wolf, 2011), showing how culturally salient conceptual information can be made explicit and conceptual links between lexical items retrievable. The examples demonstrate that fixed expressions and idioms — a perennial problem for lexicographers — are explicable by means of the proposed lexicographic design, too. Our approach is cognitive-sociolinguistic in that the Conceptual Metaphor approach is coupled with the study of regional varieties of English, more specifically Hong Kong English. Our analysis is empirically backed up by corpus-linguistic insights into this L2 variety.
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