This book unites lexicography with theoretical linguistics. The two fields tend to ignore each other; lexicographers produce dictionaries, linguists grammars. As a result grammars and dictionaries are often discordant and sometimes glaringly incompatible. In Systematic Lexicography Juri Apresjan shows the insights linguistics has to offer lexicography, and equally that the achievements and challenges of lexicography provide a rewarding field for linguistic enquiry. The author presents the vocabulary of a language as a complicated system reflecting a specific view of the world. He does so within an integrated theory of language in which descriptions of grammatical and lexical properties of language units, and the conceptualizations underlying them, interact. Each lexeme, he argues, is a point of intersection of various lexicographic types of lexemes-classes of lexemes with shared semantic, syntactic, pragmatic, or communicative properties, that are sensitive to the same rules, and which should thus be uniformly described in the dictionary.
When any lexeme is viewed against the whole set of linguistic rules, new facets emerge, and these reveal, he shows, key characteristics of words that dictionaries do not currently record. Professor Apresjan not only presents an original, unified theory of language inspired by the Moscow school of semantics. He also works out its consequences and describes the problems he faced in applying it to the lexicographic and grammatical description of Russian. The reader will find that travelling with the author through Russian semantic space is both enlightening and entertaining. The book's wealth of lexical facts, illuminated by systematic thought, give it unique character and importance. It will be of great interest to theoretical linguists and to all concerned with the writing of dictionaries, as well as to semanticists and students of Russian.
Professor Juri Apresjan is Head of the Department of Theoretical Semantics, Russian Language Institute, and Principal Researcher at the Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences. He is the author of eight monographs and seven monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, among them the three-volume New Comprehensive English-Russian Dictionary (Moscow, 1993-4). Dr Kevin Windle is a Reader in the Department of Classical and Modern European Languages at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he lectures in Translation Studies and Russian. He has published numerous articles dealing with Russian and Slavonic literature and lexicography, in addition to translations from Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, French, and Portuguese.
PART I: PROBLEMS OF SYNONYMY; PART II: SYSTEMATIC LEXICOGRAPHY