|Getting through to phrasal verbs: A cognitive organization of phrasal verb entries in monolingual pedagogical dictionaries of English
|The abundance of English phrasal verbs along with their syntactic and semantic complexity has always been a stumbling block for learners of English. Some think of phrasal verbs as hallmarks of a native-like command of English but there is no universal method to learn their natural contexts or applications and no ready-made recipe to deduce their meaning is available. Therefore, more attention should be paid to the accurate lexicographic description of phrasal verbs in learners’ dictionaries, which are often the first source of reference for students. Moreover, dictionary compilers should aim at such presentation of these structures as to guide the users towards working out the multiple meanings of phrasal verbs on their own by creating cognitive links in the entries or even offering spatial cognitive networks.
The paper looks at the organization of a phrasal verb entry in the most recent pedagogical dictionaries of English from the cognitive perspective. The layout of the entries is examined with focus on the methods used to differentiate the many meanings of phrasal verbs, especially figurative ones and an attempt is made to find any cognitive links that are used to generate helpful associations and predictions about the meaning. In his recent paper on phrasal verbs, Brodzinski (2009) calls for such an associative approach to presenting phrasal verbs to learners, be it in class or in a dictionary. His claim is that for pedagogical purposes it is better to replace the multiple meanings of a given phrasal verb with one core meaning along with applications.
An alternative to the linear organization of a phrasal entry could be a network of meanings underlying any possible cognitive links between different senses. Such an approach might prove to be more stimulating for non-native users. Three examples of such networks, each with different semantic focus, are presented in the paper.
|Lexicological Issues of Lexicographical Relevance