Combining the semantics of collocations with situation-driven search paths in specialized dictionaries
The systematic presentation of collocations is increasingly recognized as a very useful addition to specialized reference works. However, few dictionaries or terminological databases actually include this kind of data. More surprisingly still, no method has been designed yet to allow efficient access to and retrieval of specific specialized collocations from electronic reference tools. This article presents two new search paths for accessing and extracting collocations from an English-French specialized lexical database. The paths have been designed according to two specific user-defined situations: (1) translation from L1 to L2; and (2) text production in L2. We exploit a formal semantic encoding of collocations based on Lexical Functions (LFs). LFs allow us to establish an equivalence relationship between collocations that convey the same meaning in different languages without having to link the collocations formally. They also allow us to extract sets of collocations associated with specific meanings.
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