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Lexis as most local context: towards an SFL approach to lexicology

Fontaine, Lise M. 2017. Lexis as most local context: towards an SFL approach to lexicology. Functional Linguistics 4 (1) , 17. 10.1186/s40554-017-0051-7

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Abstract

The world of lexis is vast and complex and it is generally accepted in psycholinguistics that it is represented as part of a large complex network. However, in systemic functional linguistics (SFL) modelling lexis has remained a relatively underdeveloped area of the theory. The ideas underpinning this paper stem from exploring the interface of context and lexicology, asking how SFL does and could handle lexis within the theory. Here the SFL concept of context is used to develop a similar account of lexis. The argumentation is based on the assumption that ‘knowing about’ context and 'knowing about’ lexis is contained and maintained within a networked cognitive system. The common view of the relationship between context and lexis is generally one of disambiguation, frequently through collocation. However, I argue that there is more involved than that. In this paper, I use the SFL approach to context to establish the first steps towards an analogous approach to lexicology. The conclusion offered here is that it is theoretically plausible to draw on the dimension of instantiation, in a complementary way to delicacy, in order to model lexis as most local context, where the lexeme (or lemma) is modelled as meaning potential.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 2196-419X
Funders: Halliday Fund
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 14 November 2017
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2017 10:01
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/107048

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