Basic cognitive experiences and definitions in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

Gao, Jun (2013) Basic cognitive experiences and definitions in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. International Journal of Lexicography, 26(1), pp. 58-89.

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This study applies theories of cognitive linguistics to the compilation of English learners’ dictionaries. Specifically, it employs the concepts of basic level categories and image schemas, two basic cognitive experiences, to examine the ‘definition proper’ of English dictionaries for foreign learners. In the study, the definition proper refers to the constituent part of a reference work that provides an explanation of the meanings of a word, phrase or term. This rationalization mainly consists of defining vocabulary, sense division and arrangement, as well as the means of defining (i.e. paraphrase, true definition, functional definition, and pictorial illustration). The aim of the study is to suggest ways of aligning the consultation and learning of definitions with dictionary users’ cognitive experiences. For this purpose, an analysis of the definition proper of the fourth edition of the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (LDOCE4) from the perspective of basic cognitive experiences has been undertaken. The study found that, generally, the lexicographic practices of LDOCE4 are consistent with theories of cognitive linguistics. However, there exist shortcomings that result from disregarding basic cognitive experiences.

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ID Code: 58741
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1093/ijl/ecs014
ISSN: 1477-4577
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE ESL and TESOL) (130204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 03 Apr 2013 22:31
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2013 01:16

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