A functional and constructional approach for specialized knowledge resources

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This paper describes how verbs are represented in EcoLexicon (, a specialized knowledge resource in environmental science. Based on the hypothesis that human cognition organizes concepts in semantic categories (Tranel et al. 2001; H. Damasio et al. 2004), verbs are conceptually structured in lexical domains (Mingorance 1985, 1900, 1995; Faber & Mairal 1999). These domains are based on the premises of the Lexical Grammar Model (Faber & Mairal 1999). Once the members of a lexical domain are specified, the conceptual structure of the domain is mapped out. Semantic categories are thus organized in a tangled hierarchy. The semantic relation of troponymy (Fellbaum 1990; Miller & Fellbaum 1991) determines the hierarchical structure of verbal lexical domains. The third step consists in the design of a lexical template based on the principles of the Lexical Constructional Model (Ruiz de Mendoza & Mairal 2008, Mairal & Ruiz de Mendoza 2009). Each lexical template consists of the following: (a) an Aktionsart module according to Role and Reference Grammar (Van Valin 1993, 2005, Van Valin & LaPolla 1997) in which the actantial structure of verbs is established; (b) a semantic module that specifies the thematic relations (Van Valin 2005), macroroles and types of noun selected by each verb. The French and English verbs of movement in the field of Volcanology are analyzed as an illustration of this method.


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