Article published in:Lexicon en taalverwerving
[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 34] 1989
► pp. 58–66
Lexicon, Statistiek en Talenonderwijs
The description of language is in a sense just like statistics: on the basis of a sample the linguist wants to get an idea of the language as a whole. However, statistical procedures can only be used with units which are in a significant way interchangeable. This article attempts to define the basic units of real communicative language use. These appear to be not words, but elements that are termed lexical units, i.e. concrete realizations of language functions in a situation. To select a basic vocabulary that is communicatively relevant, it will be necessary to analyze large samples of real communication and to take into account the factors which may influence the use of language in different situations.
Published online: 24 March 2014