Methodological issues of the compilation of the Polish Academy of Sciences Great Dictionary of Polish

author: Piotr Zmigrodzki, Polish Academy of Sciences
published: July 27, 2018,   recorded: July 2018,   views: 451

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This presentation aims to demonstrate how the Google Images (GI) search engine can facilitate the definition writing process (compare Verdiani 2016). The graphic illustration, gathered by the GI search engine, can be used by lexicographers in the process of writing dictionary entries. This tool allows users to search images and combine them with the given words and phrases. Furthermore, it provides naive, non-encyclopedic point of view (crucial for the contemporary general metalexicography, e.g. Mikołajczak-Matyja 1998), as well as simply a significant amount of information available in an instant, independently of time and place. Firstly, we would like to focus on the types of definienda to show the language units for which the analysis of graphical illustration is the most useful: rarely used, specialized vocabulary, especially if they name similar objects, the units with the restricted usage (particular situations, groups of users, historical periods, dialects etc.). The GI enables lexicographers to describe these language units properly and, e.g., see the detailed differences between the objects “wystawka” (“a veranda”) and “wykusz” (“a bay window”). Such details are basically unrecognizable by the verbal corpus. Secondly, we would like to concentrate on the types of definientia to indicate how the GI can be used in the different verbal explanatory modes (traditional vs. cognitive explications etc.). The tool will help to choose an appropriate genus proximum (in classic definitions – to avoid mistakes described by Bańko 2001), examples related closely to the meaning of the given word (in ostensive definitions), it also provides useful information for preparing non-encyclopedic and cognitive definitions. The GI used as a facility for gathering lexicographical information has also a lot of disadvantages. We would like to point them out by showing the exampes in which GI provided linguistically irreleavant or even wrong information. Despite that the tool may be a valuable (in some cases – indispensable) addition to traditional text sources.

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