Shareable Subentries in Lexonomy as a Solution to the Problem of Multiword Item Placement

presenter: Michal Boleslav Měchura, Masaryk University
published: July 27, 2018,   recorded: July 2018,   views: 639


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This paper introduces a new way of dealing with phraseology in dictionaries. A classical question in lexicography is whether multiword items such as third time lucky should be listed under third, time or lucky. The ideal answer is ‘under all of them’ but, until now, the only way to do that in conventional tree-structured dictionaries has been to keep multiple copies (of what conceptually is one and the same item) in several places throughout the dictionary. We present a way to achieve the same goal without copying. The multiword item becomes a semi-independent subentry which exists in only one copy but appears simultaneously in several places in the dictionary. The structure of the dictionary remains a tree but the lexicographer is empowered to occasionally ‘break out’ of the tree in order to avoid duplication. This paper explains the reasoning behind the concept of shareable subentries, and shows how this new functionality has been implemented in the dictionary writing system Lexonomy.

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