Dirk Geeraerts

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199738632
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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Cognitive linguistics has had a major impact on lexical studies: more than any other recent theory, it has in the last twenty years led to a renewed interest in lexical research. But what about lexicography? What is the relationship between cognitive linguistics and lexicography, the applied linguistic sister discipline of lexicology and lexical semantics? In line with earlier metalexicographical discussions of the relationship between cognitive linguistics and lexicography, this article first describes how the views of lexical semantics developed within cognitive linguistics provide a theoretical framework that is highly congenial to the actual practice of dictionaries—more so, in fact, than the structuralist theories that are sometimes found in the metalexicographical literature. It then presents an overview of suggestions made and initiatives taken to extend lexicographical practices on the basis of ideas linking up with cognitive linguistics, focusing on the FrameNet project. Finally, it discusses prototypicality effects in lexical structure, the intractability of polysemy, and the structured nature of polysemy.

Keywords: cognitive linguistics; lexicography; lexical semantics; FrameNet; prototypicality; lexical structure; polysemy

Article.  6349 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Lexicography

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