Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097
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MacArthur questions the use of the “Macmillan Dictionary” in metaphor identification. In this response, I argue that the ideal way of determining basic meaning is by analysis of concordance citations sampled from an appropriate corpus. This is demonstrated using a 1000 word sample of the concordance for say and its inflections, taken from the “British National Corpus”. It is shown that it is very difficult to identify separable senses, which calls into question whether say is actually a realisation of a mapping from writing to speaking. A dictionary developed on corpus principles is a good alternative to using corpus data directly. It is argued that learners’ dictionaries are more suitable than native speaker dictionaries for this purpose.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): corpus; dictionary; metaphor
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