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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

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Dissertation Information

Title: Can You Really Know a Word by the Company It Keeps? An Investigation into the Contextual Influence on Aspects of Polysemy Add Dissertation
Author: Nikola Dobric Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Universitat Klagenfurt, Dr. Degree Program in American and English Studies
Completed in: 2012
Linguistic Subfield(s): Computational Linguistics; Semantics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Lexicography;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Allan James
Veronica Zima-Smith

Abstract: One of the most pressing issues in lexical semantics is surely the lack of
solid empirical criteria in accounting for sense distinction. The fact that to
date the only viable mode of word sense disambiguation has been based
on the researcher’s own judgment implies that clearly defining the
boundaries of different interpretations of a polysemous lexeme and
expressing such a statement in empirical (linguistic) criteria is practically
impossible. The methodology explored within the thesis promises a fully
criteria-based account of word senses based on the use of representative
language corpora. The paper aims to test this claim, raised once again by
the recently re-emerging corpus-based decompositional approaches to
word sense disambiguation (WSD), prototypicality of senses, and sense
networks. Through the application of one of the most recent versions of
this methodology, namely Behavioral Profiling, to the polysemous verb
look, the paper will try to show how reliable the methodology is in its
promise of an objective and purely linguistic account for word senses.