Japanese Basic Verbs Handbook: what is it and what does it do?

author: Prashant Pardeshi, National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics
published: April 20, 2018,   recorded: March 2018,   views: 1278
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)


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Polysemous lexical items, wherein one form has more than one meaning, are pervasive in the basic vocabulary of human languages and are considered to be generally difficult to acquire for foreign learners of any language. In the domain of linguistic theory, semanticists provided excellent insights into understanding the semantic connections among the multiple meanings of polysemous lexical items. However, dictionaries meant for native speakers tend to merely list multiple meanings of polysemous lexical items without describing the semantic connections among the multiple meanings, probably because the users of such dictionaries already know them intuitively. In the absence of learner’s dictionaries providing descriptions of the semantic connections among multiple meanings for a given form, understanding and acquiring multiple meanings of polysemous lexical items remains a difficult task for foreign learners of a language. The Japanese Basic Verbs Handbook—an online resource offering comprehensive description of multiple meanings and connections among them—is an attempt to fill this gap. In this talk we will offer an overview of the Japanese Basic Verbs Handbook and demonstrate its salient features (http://verbhandbook.ninjal.ac.jp/), in addition to introducing the two corpora used in its compilation. All the slides of the presentation are in Japanese and English and the talk will be given in English in order to make it accessible to those interested in general issues related to teaching/learning of polysemous basic verbs.

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