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How is the bilingual dictionary possible?
Department of Slavic Languages
This study applies major principles of cognitive linguistics to the task of developing a novel model of the bilingual dictionary called the dictionary for productive comprehension (DPC). Based on conceptual analysis and coherent network representation of entry words, multi-word expressions, and constructions, the DPC provides access to the conventional linguistic knowledge of native speakers.
In seeing linguistic units as contentful symbolic forms, the DPC is designed with a view of language as a lexicogrammatical continuum. By constructing the bilingual dictionary at the intersections of the two languages concepts under clearly specified conditions of their neutralization, it is given theoretical status.
However, the main purport of this study is in the realm of applied lexicography. Among its tasks are: operationalizing conceptual analysis by establishing heuristically viable discovery procedures; working out guidelines for converting conceptual networks into the microstructure of dictionary entries, and for organizing its macrostructure as a natural-language thesaurus of lexicalized and lexicogrammatical concepts; laying a foundation for selecting and locating MWEs, proverbial expressions and constructions in a principled way, and suggesting approaches to organizing the constructicon, the part of the dictionary that contains schematic constructions.
The DPC model offers effective remedies for the two major faults of the conventional bilingual dictionary, i. e. unrecognizability of the SL entry as a coherent whole by the TL user, and, consequently, inability to suggest precise cognitive orientations for the user's own production of an equivalent TL text. It proves that the bilingual dictionary can be something other than an inventory of disparate senses, a boundless set of translation equivalents, or an eclectic mixture of the two. By maintaining conceptual integrity of linguistic units, DPC affords the user a means of grasping the essence of a foreign word, MWE, or construction as if they were units of ones native speech, as well as a generative potential with regard to translating into the TL. At the same time, by making conventional linguistic knowledge of the native speaker explicit, DPC serves the purpose of a learners dictionary.
Keywords: bilingual dictionary, lexicography, analysis of concepts, conceptual network, cognitive semantics, semantics of grammar, MWE, constructions.