Empirical approaches to German paronyms

By November 17, 2016,
Page 463-476
Author Petra Storjohann, Ulrich Schnörch
Title Empirical approaches to German paronyms
Abstract German lexical items with similar or related morphological roots and similar meaning potential are easily confused by native speakers and language learners. These include so-called paronyms such as effektiv/effizient, sensitive/sensibel, formell/formal/förmlich. Although these are generally not regarded as synonyms, empirical studies suggest that in some cases items of a paronym set have undergone meaning change and developed synonymous notions. In other cases, they remain similar in meaning, but show subtle differences in definition and restrictions of usage. Whereas the treatment of synonyms has received attention from corpus-linguists (cf. Partington 1998; Taylor 2003), the subject of paronyms has not been revisited with empirical, data-driven methods neither in terms of semantic theory nor in terms of practical lexicography. As a consequence, we also need to search for suitable corpus methods for detailed semantic investigation. Lexicographically, some German paronyms have been documented in printed dictionaries (e.g. Müller 1973; Pollmann & Wolk 2010). However, there is no corpus-assisted reference guide describing paronyms empirically and enabling readers to find the correct contemporary usage. Therefore, solutions to some lexicographic challenges are required.
Session Lexicography and Corpus Linguistics
Keywords paronyms; synonyms; easily confused words; collocation profile
author={Petra Storjohann and Ulrich Schnörch},
title={Empirical approaches to German paronyms },
booktitle={Proceedings of the 16th EURALEX International Congress},
address={Bolzano, Italy},
editor={Abel, Andrea and Vettori, Chiara and Ralli, Natascia},
publisher={EURAC research},