Metonymy representation in English monolingual learners’ dictionaries: Problems and solutions

By November 17, 2016,
AuthorSylwia Wojciechowska
TitleMetonymy representation in English monolingual learners’ dictionaries: Problems and solutions
AbstractThe paper aims to show how the tenets of the cognitive theory of metonymy can benefit the representation of metonymic lexemes in pedagogical lexicography, so that the semantic connections between basic and derived meanings become more transparent and motivated. It reports the results of a lexicographic study into the representation of conventionalised metonymic lexemes in the five most renowned English monolingual learners’ dictionaries (henceforth MLDs): CALD2, COBUILD4, LDOCE4, MEDAL2 and OALDCE7. The study focuses on three elements of the dictionary entry: sense arrangement, definition, and the correlation between noun codification and exemplification. These features are evaluated against the background of both the cognitive theory of metonymy and the widely accepted principles of lexicographic practice. Significant inconsistencies concerning the treatment of metonymy are found within each dictionary, as well as numerous cases where the semantic relationship between the source and target senses of a metonymic lexeme is broken. It is also noticed that in the case of metonymisation which results in change of noun’s countability, noun codes are sometimes ambiguously assigned, and some examples of usage do not explicitly show the count-mass distinction. Solutions are offered to arrive at a more systematic, transparent and cognitively oriented representation of metonymy. These include using template entries in the compilation process, subsuming the definition of the metonymic target under the source definition, and defining the target as a semantic elaboration of the source.
SessionLexicological Issues of Lexicographical Relevance
author = {Sylwia Wojciechowska},
title = {Metonymy representation in English monolingual learners’ dictionaries: Problems and solutions},
pages = {1436-1449},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 14th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2010},
month = {jul},
date = {6-10},
address = {Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, The Netherlands},
editor = {Anne Dykstra and Tanneke Schoonheim},
publisher = {Fryske Akademy},
isbn = {978-90-6273-850-3},