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Juri Apresjan and the Development of Semantics and Lexicography

Bureau of the WAT
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  • Design
  • Linguistics
  • Logic


The major aim of this article is to highlight Juri Apresjan's impact on the develop-ment of linguistic semantics and theoretical lexicography. In order to achieve this goal, a number of issues of paramount importance, which have always been in the focus of attention in Apresjan's publications, have to be discussed: (a) the notion of "naïve picture of the world", i.e. language-spe-cific folk categorization encoded in the lexical and grammatical semantics of a particular language, as opposed to the supposedly universal and language-independent system of scientific concepts; (b) basic properties of the formal metalanguage of semantic desciption, its explanatory power and applicability in dictionary-making; and (c) representation of synonymy in a bilingual and a mono-lingual dictionary of synonyms designed within the framework of systematic lexicography. In addition, considerable attention has been given to two basic categories of systematic lexicography, "lexicographic portrait" and "lexicographic type", as well as the zonal structure of dictionary arti-cles. Keywords: bilingual dictionary, commonsense (everyday) knowledge, definition, dictionary of synonyms, expert knowledge, integrated lexico-graphic description, lexicographic portrait, lexicographic type, meta-language, naïve picture of the world, scientific picture of the world, synonym series, systematic lexicography, translation dictionary, zonal structure (of a dictionary entry)

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