PRAGMATIC SPECIFICATIONS IN DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS OF SELECTED ENGLISH IDIOMS

Anna Stachurska, Poland, ID CLEaR2016-372;      Pragmatic specification is a very significant issue in lexicography. The term itself is attributed to Morris (1938: 6) who distinguished within semiotics the following areas: syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics. As to the term itself, he defined it as the relation of signs to interpreters. As to the linguistic analysis, the borderline between pragmatics and semantics has always been a matter of controversy. According to Burkhanov: [...] delimitation of pragmatics is also complicated by the fact that it infringes upon the domains of stylistics and sociolinguistics, that later being a relatively new branch of linguistic inquiry (Burkhanov, 2003: 103). Obviously enough, pragmatic analysis covers not only situational and sociocultural context, but also linguistic context. This approach enables bridging the gap between analysis of syntagmatic properties of lexical items (here: valence, collocability and idiomaticity) and analysis of social, culture – bound properties. As far as pragmatic representations in lexicography, according to Zgusta (1988) there can be distinguished the following aspects of its specifications:

  1. cultural setting in dictionaries,
  2. equivalence in bilingual dictionaries,
  3. definitions in monolingual dictionaries.

The aim of the article is to find out if EFL dictionaries provide particular information on the pragmatics of words (here: non-linguistic facts involved in their use).

Key words: lexicography, pragmatic specifications, definition, EFL dictionary