Vol. 27:1 (2014) ► pp. 118–139
Lexicography and cognitive linguistics
The lexicon of a language is not an unstructured list of words. In this paper, we exemplify some of the basic conceptual structures that cognitive linguists work with and we discuss their potential applications to lexicographic work. Specifically, we focus on the possible advantages of using cognitive linguistics as a theoretical background in the structuring of entries, meanings, and idioms in dictionaries. In connection with these organizational issues, we discuss the knowledge-based organization of the mental lexicon (known as conceptual frames), and a type of organization of the mental lexicon that seems to be much more characteristic of Hungarian than of English: organization according to certain “root morphemes.” We also deal with the conceptualization of an element within a topic area through another element within the same topic area (known as conceptual metonymy), the conceptualization of a topic area in terms of another topic area (known as conceptual metaphor); and the internal organization of the various senses of a word-concept (known as polysemy). We devote a section to idioms and their role as well as possible arrangement in the dictionary. Such thematic structures have, on the whole, remained outside the focus of everyday lexicographic practice. Here, we hope to demonstrate their importance and usefulness.
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