Cognates in English and Spanish, an applied comparative study in lexicography
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This work is an applied, comparative study in lexicography for cognate lexical items in Porteño Spanish and British English. The dictionary is intended for learners and teachers of both languages.The thesis sustained is that for a dictionary of this type to fulfil its aims, its compilation must take into account linguistic principles based on modern linguistic theory, i.e. it must include, as well as cultural differences, all relevant information from the three components of a linguistic theory of description, viz., the phonological, the syntactic and the semantic component. But, because drastic changes in lexicography are undesirable in a dictionary with a practical aim, whose would -be -users are for the most part laymen with respect to linguistic theory, this type of lexicography is seen as a compromise between traditional lexicography and modern linguistic theory.Part I consists of an Introduction and eight chapters. The first chapter is devoted to the definition of the terms contained in the initial statement of this summary, and in it a preliminary definition of''cognates "as "dictionary entries in English and Spanish historically derived from the same root" is given.In Chapter II, after an analysis of the "components" of the vocabulary of Porteño Spanish, with special reference to borrowings, and after an analysis of borrowings in English, the definition of'cognates "is enlarged to include them. Thus, cognates are "dictionary entries in English and Spanish historically derived from the same root and borrowed lexical items from English into Spanish and vice versa."Chapter III is devoted to an investigation of which cognates (from the "complete list" as found in the vocabularies of English and Spanish) the students of English (or Spanish) will be exposed to during the process of learning a language. Thus, according to the definition of cognates given in Chapter II, two frequency lists, M.West's A General Service List of English 'fords and Juilland and Chang -Rodríguez's A Frequency Dictionary of Spanish Words was analysed. The percentage of cognates which the lists yielded was 48% for English and 74 for Spanish. But in the course of the analysis several facts emerged about factors other than etymological cognateness, which play an important part in the recognition and understanding of cognates, the consideration of which is taken up in Chapter IV.To prove certain of the points discussed, a series of text- books of English as a foreign language, viz. Hornby and Mackin's Oxford Progressive English Alternative Course, Books A - D, in use in Argentina, was analysed from the point of view of cognates. The main conclusion derived from the consideration of factors other than etymological cognateness is that similarity of graphic substance is a crucial criterion for the definition of cognates and so the "final" definition (for the purpose of this paper), viz., "Dictionary entries in English and Spanish, similar in graphic substance, derived from the same root, and borrowed lexical items from English into Spanish or vice versa" was reached.In Chapter V, after an introductory discussion of the relation- ship between theoretical and applied linguistics and lexicography, the basic Principles of transformational grammar to which we adhere are outlined, and the theoretical framework for semantic analysis which has been developed by Katz and, Fodor is discussed, with a view to its application in a dictionary of cognates. For reasons stated in this chapter we have deviated from the said framework in the sense of adopting conventional definitions of "readings" of lexical items instead of adhering to Katz' system of decomposing a "reading" of an item into Semantic Markers and Distinguishers, and in the sense that the systematization of cultural differences (part of what Katz calls "knowledge of the world ") via Cultural Semantic Markers is considered all important in this type of lexicography. The principle of Semantic Marker is also used as a cross -reference between conventional and conceptual (or ideological) dictionaries via what we have called Conceptual Field Semantic Markers.The information from the phonological and syntactic components which is relevant for the dictionary is discussed in Chapter VI. For this purpose, in order to be able to generalize, and due to the fact that the majority of cognates found in the research are marked with the category features noun or adjective or verb or adverb, cognates are divided into four main groups. After considering the phonological, syntactic (and sometimes semantic) questions involved, the information from the phonological and the syntactic components which entries for each of these "word- classes" should contain is specified.Ways and means for extracting and, specifying cultural features via the comparison of the structure of the lexical "fields" in English and Spanish, i.e., taking into account syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations between words (sense relations), are outlined in Chapter VII.A corollary of the need for the inclusion of cultural features in readings of cognate lexical items, i.e. the necessity to break with the word -for -word translation equivalence tradition in bilingual dictionaries is also discussed.In Chapter VIII, after a comparison of the aims of bilingual dictionaries and a dictionary of cognates, proposals for a) what the Introduction to a dictionary of cognates should contain, b) whether the dictionary ought to be monolingual or bilingual, c) for- mat of the dictionary, d) whether the dictionary ought to be inclusive or restrictive, e) the question of head -entries, f) the inclusion of "compound- words" and "idioms ", g) what an entry in the dictionary should contain, h) the ordering of "readings" of entries, and i) the inclusion of labels used in conventional lexicography, are listed.In the introductory section of Part II, background information for the comparison of. the "fields" of education in Britain and Argentina is outlined according to relevant dimensions. From this preliminary work three lexical "subsets" emerged, and from these the list of cognates for the practical analysis was compiled.The lexicographical procedures to be applied are discussed prior to the actual analysis of the cognates.The general conclusions arrived at in this work are listed at the end of the Practical Part.A bibliography of articles, books, reference books, etc. which were read and /or consulted for this work is included at this point.Appendixes I - III, consist of the lists of cognates found in our research. Appendix IV contains Mr. Mackin's letter in reply to questions put to him about the series Oxford Progressive English Alternative Course.