Compiling a cognition-based thematic monolingual lexicon
The case of violence
This study falls within the scope of cognitive lexicography which uses cognitive linguistic theories in lexicographic practice. The main objective of the study is to create a cognition-based monolingual thematic lexicon. The lexicon tests the validity of using cognitive linguistics, which uses language to reveal the human perception of a concept, in defining controversial multidisciplinary concepts. To that end, violence is selected as a case study and FrameNet is recruited as a cognitive linguistic resource. Cambridge Smart Thesaurus and WordNet are used as secondary resources to FrameNet. English TenTen corpus is employed to authenticate the findings before placing them in the lexicon. A twelve-frame lexicon is the result of the study. The constructed lexicon linguistically includes more than 250 violence-expressing word senses, defined and placed within their violence-associated frames. Some frames are cited from FrameNet without modification, while others are conceptually and linguistically modified. More important, some violence-specific frames are newly-reported. Evidently, studying how physical violence is linguistically expressed displays how the concept is structured in the human cognition. Thus, an empirical cognition-based definition of violence is suggested. This meets the challenge of the multiple sociological, psychological, political and criminological definitions. Moreover, a comprehensive definition of violence is recommended to include both its associated frames and expressing words.
Keywords: cognitive lexicography, corpus linguistics, language of violence, FrameNet, WordNet
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