Lexical analysis : norms and exploitations by Patrick Hanks

By Patrick Hanks

In Lexical Analysis, Patrick Hanks deals a wide-ranging empirical research of observe use and which means in language. The ebook fills the necessity for a lexically established, corpus-driven theoretical procedure that may support humans know the way phrases cross jointly in collocational styles and buildings to make meanings. Such an strategy is now attainable, Hanks writes, as a result availability of latest sorts of proof (corpora, the web) and the improvement of latest tools of statistical research and inferencing.

Hanks bargains a brand new thought of language, the speculation of Norms and Exploitations (TNE), which makes a scientific contrast among general and irregular utilization -- among principles for utilizing phrases mostly and principles for exploiting such norms in metaphor and different artistic use of language. utilizing 1000's of rigorously selected citations from corpora and different texts, he indicates how matching each one use of a note opposed to verified contextual styles performs a wide half in selecting the which means of an utterance. His target is to boost a coherent and functional lexically pushed conception of language that takes under consideration the colossal variability of daily utilization and that exhibits that this variability is rule ruled instead of random. this type of idea will supplement different theoretical ways to language, together with cognitive linguistics, development grammar, generative lexicon conception, priming conception, and trend grammar.

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Frequent use of a term by a variety of different speakers and writers during an unbroken period of time is very suggestive of an established convention, whereas a long time lapse between any two known uses points to a greater likelihood of independent recoinage on the second occasion. It seems likely that, as Pinker suggests, even on the basis of evidence from a single homogeneous source such as the AP newswire, new vocabulary will continue to accumulate forever. An interesting question now is, how many of these ‘new words’ will ever recur?

No ordinary human reader puzzles over what was being essayed or aimed at. This book shows why not. The second directly relevant kind of exploitation that enables a reader to understand (12) is lexical creativity involving a combining form. Nowhere else in the novel, nowhere else in the BNC, and indeed nowhere in much bigger corpora—billions of words of English—have I been able to find the word Stuartesque. It is used occasionally in texts found on the Internet, with the meaning ‘characteristic of Stuart’, referring in each case to a completely different Stuart.

It might be thought that this sentence would be meaningless to readers who do not know who Ian Hislop is, but this would be to underestimate the redundancy of natural language. For such readers, the sentence is informative about the character traits being attributed to someone called Ian Hislop (a habitual nose wrinkler, apparently, noted for his contempt for hype and pretension), rather than about a particular method of nose-wrinkling. Those who do know who Ian Hislop is (a British satirical journalist and TV humorist, noted for his sarcastic wit) may prefer to regard this as a sideswipe at a fellow humorist, or perhaps an in-joke—a private reference to some conversation that the two humorists have had, which the rest of us know nothing about—rather than an enhancement of the message.

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