Anatomy of a Verb Entry: from Linguistic Theory to Lexicographic Practice

  • Beryl T. Atkins
  • Judy Kegl
  • Beth Levin
Part of the Linguistica Computazionale book series (LICO, volume 9)


In the context of five learners’ dictionaries, we examine the treatment of certain systematic relationships in the semantics and syntax of the English verb and find a lack of systematicity in this aspect of the lexicography. We present detailed evidence to support our criticism, including citations from a corpus of general English. We suggest that the discrepancies arise because of an inadequate representation of the native speaker’s knowledge of the English verb system. Drawing on linguistic research into the verbal classification scheme of English, we construct a ‘dictionary-neutral’ summary of the semantic-syntactic relationships pertinent to the verb bake, designed to enable the lexicographer to make principled decisions about the content and presentation for a specific dictionary. On the basis of this summary we offer a revision of an entry for bake, showing that a theoretically motivated analysis, if clearly presented, will ease the lexicographer’s task and improve the quality of the lexicography.


Noun Phrase Dictionary Entry Prepositional Phrase Bilingual Dictionary Sense Category 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beryl T. Atkins
    • 1
  • Judy Kegl
    • 2
  • Beth Levin
    • 3
  1. 1.Oxford University PressUSA
  2. 2.Rutgers UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Northwestern UniversityUSA

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