On using a dictionary to identify the basic senses of words
This article-cum-narrative reflects on the use — indeed usefulness — of a dictionary in helping the researcher to identify metaphorical and non-metaphorical uses of language. Focusing on a group of ‘saying’ verbs as they were used in a face-to-face conversation between a university lecturer and an undergraduate student, it describes a researcher’s attempts to use the dictionary recommended by the Pragglejaz Group in their seminal article on metaphor identification (2007) to discover what basic sense of different words might (or might not) motivate their metaphorical meaning in context. The quest to identify the basic meanings of these verbs using this dictionary was fraught with difficulties and led to a less than satisfactory dénouement.
Keywords: dictionary, metaphor identification, discourse
Published online: 10 July 2015
Cited by other publications
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