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Meaning-Based Translation - Essay Example

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In the paper “Meaning-Based Translation” the author discusses the issue that the majority of dictionary entries have an accepted conventional pattern and format. A lexeme, the smallest unit of a word or a lexical entry, usually contains the pronunciation of the word, parts of speech to which it belongs…
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Meaning-Based Translation
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The most noticeable features of these differences and similarities are found in both entries' general description, symbols used for pronunciation, grammatical information, constraints on use, lexemes, and other lexical and linguistic features.
PRONUNCIATION SYMBOLS
One of the more distinguishing features of the word flourishes as entered in both dictionaries, Encarta Concise English Dictionary 2001 and The Chambers Dictionary 1998 is the phonetic system used as a pronunciation guide. Encarta employs its own phonetic alphabet, as the pronunciation is clearly not comparable to the International Phonetic Alphabet symbols. The same could be said about the entry of the pronunciation of the word 'flourish' in the Chambers Dictionary. Both pronunciation symbols incorporated the accent sign found above the second syllable of the word.
HEADWORD ENTRY
In the vocabulary section, both dictionaries enter the word once in bold fonts except that Encarta enters short definitions of the word in boldface provided with numbering but separated according to parts of speech, and for this entry, Encarta begins with the meaning of the word flourish as a verb which is numbered one to three, followed by five noun definitions, numbered one to five. Chambers dictionary also separated the definitions according to parts of speech, which include the word as a verb and then, noun but added an adjective defined as additional grammatical information. In addition, Chambers did not highlight the definitions of the word but instead entered the word in different forms of the parts of speech, including its definitional meaning when the word changes forms, in boldface. Both dictionaries identify intransitive and transitive verbs by the labels vi and vt.
USAGE
The regional usage of the lexeme in the Encarta entry is not specified nor labeled but the entry of the word in Chambers is indicated as a regional usage. This is an indication of limited provenance as the word is labeled Scot., indicating a Scottish common usage. Moreover, the informal and special use of the word is also specified in the Chambers entry, classifying and labeling the word as obs to mean obsolete, Shakesp, to mean of Shakespearean connotation, and dialect or used as a vernacular, thereby identifying the word's constraints on use. Both dictionary entries did not cover further informal usage of the word.
DEFINITION OF THE LEXEME
The meanings of the word are stated in several ways in both entries and formal definitions are provided on each headword our main sense. Most of the definitions are entered as denotative meanings, the central or main definition of a lexeme (Larson 1984). This is sometimes referred to as referential, cognitive, or conceptual meaning (Coward et al. 1995). The definitions as stated on both dictionary items quite comparable in implications, except for the aforementioned colloquial and informal labels specified in the Chambers Dictionary and other features of the definition. Some dictionaries may enter the connotative meanings of the lexical item but the entries for the word 'flourish' in both dictionaries do not include connotations. However, collocational meaning, the association of words to each other, and their definitions in combined forms or sequence (Larson 1984) are found in the Chambers entry. These include only two collocative expressions for the lexeme 'flourish': flourishing thread and flourish of the trumpet.
There are also apparent distinctions on the definitions of 'flourish' between The Chamber's Dictionary and the Encarta Concise English Dictionary as for instance, 'flourish' in (TCD) refers to descriptions that relate to the terms 'musicality' and 'flowery'. Whereas, Encarta restricts the choice for the meaning of flourish into five definitions. The Chambers Dictionary gave more emphasis to the adjective and descriptive meanings of the word. The style of language is also very different in that the Chambers seems to target 'specialists' or 'professionals' while Encarta targets the younger population and speakers of other languages as the definitions in Encarta are simplified. The presentation in Encarta is less intricate in order to facilitate ease of use.
ETYMOLOGY
Both dictionaries, Encarta and the Chambers Dictionary specified the etymology of the word 'flourish' as the final feature for the entry. However, the two dictionaries differ in their labeling of the word's origin. Encarta entered the etymology of flourish as a word, which originated from old French and Latin, opting to spell out the etymological labels and this can be seen as Old French and Latin. On the other hand, the etymological entry in Chambers Dictionary abbreviated its etymological label and entered OFr and L to denote Old French and Latin respectively. Another distinguishing feature for the marker on the etymology of the Encarta is that it included a translation in English of the French and Latin origin of the word flourish, but this is not observable in the Chambers etymology of the aforementioned word. In addition, the Encarta ended its entry with the noun Flourisher with an affix er to denote animation (something which or someone who flourish). The affixes in Chambers Dictionary came before the etymology.
It therefore considerable to note that the incorporation and arrangement of these distinguishing lexical, linguistic and special features in both dictionaries is significant in order to reduce contextual constraints on the reader brought about by the lexeme's definitions and/or collocations (Hammel 1965 & Nader 1965).
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