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A Lexicon is a lexical item set (of lexicon items) for some specific linguistic domain.



  • (Wikipedia, 2013) ⇒ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexicon
    • In most theories of linguistics, human languages are thought to consist of two parts: a essentially a catalogue of a given language's words (its wordstock), and a grammar, a system of rules which allow for the combination of those words into meaningful sentences. The lexicon is also thought to include bound morphemes, which cannot stand alone as words (such as most affixes). In some analyses, compound words and certain classes of idiomatic expressions and other collocations are also considered to be part of the lexicon. Dictionaries represent attempts at listing, in alphabetical order, the lexicon of a given language; usually, however, bound morphemes are not included.

      More formally, a lexicon is a language's inventory of lexemes. Coined in English 1603, the word "lexicon" derives from the Greek λεξικόν (lexicon), neuter of λεξικός (lexikos), "of or for words",[1] from λέξις (lexis), "speech", "word",[2] and that from λέγω (lego), "to say", "to speak".[3]

  1. λεξικός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  2. λέξις, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  3. λέγω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library


  • (WordNet, 2009) ⇒ http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=lexicon
    • S: (n) vocabulary, mental lexicon (a language user's knowledge of words)
    • S: (n) dictionary, lexicon (a reference book containing an alphabetical list of words with information about them)
  • http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/lexicon
    • Noun
      • 1. (linguistics) A dictionary that includes or focuses on lexemes.
      • 2. A dictionary of Classical Greek, Hebrew, Latin, or Aramaic.
      • 3. (programming) The lexicology of a programming language. (Usually called lexical structure.)
      • 4. (rare) Any dictionary.
      • 5. The vocabulary used by or known to an individual. (Also called lexical knowledge)





  • (Sag et al., 2003) ⇒ Ivan A. Sag, Thomas Wasow, and Emily M. Bender. (2003). “Syntactic Theory: A Formal Introduction, 2nd edition." CSLI Publications.
    • lexical entry Information about individual words [q.v.] that must be stipulated is put into the lexicon [q.v.] in the form of descriptions that we call lexical entries. They are ordered pairs, consisting of a phonological form (description) and partial feature structure description. Fully resolved lexical sequences [q.v.] consistent with lexical entries can serve as the INPUT values to lexical rules [q.v.].
    • lexical rule Lexical rules are one of the mechanisms (along with the type type hierarchy [q.v.]) used to capture generalizations within the lexicon. Families of related words - such as the different inflectional forms of a verb - can be derived from a single lexical entry [q.v.] by means of lexical rules. We formalize lexical rules as a type of feature structure with features INPUT and OUTPUT. There are three sybtypes of lexical rules: derivational (relating lexemes [q.v.] to lexemes), inflectional (relation lexemes to words [q.v.]), and post-inflectional (relating words to words).
    • lexicon The list of all words [q.v.] (or lexemes [q.v.]) of a language is called its 'lexicon'. The lexicon is the repository of all idiosyncratic information about particular words including syntactic, semantic, and phonological information. In some theories of grammar, the lexicon can also contain a great deal more systematic information organized by a type hierarchy [q.v.] and/or lexical rules.


  • (Fellbaum, 2002) ⇒ Christine Fellbaum. (2002). “On the Semantics of Troponymy.” In: The Semantics of Relationships: An Interdisciplinary. R. Green, C. Bean, and S. Myaeng (eds.). Dordrecht, Holland: Kluwer.
    • The lexicon contains all those concepts to which speakers of a language attach a label (a word).
    • If one examines the lexicalized concepts in relation to one another, it becomes clear that they differ in systematic ways that are characterizable in terms of similarities or contrasts. These consistent differentiations among concepts are what we call semantic relations.
    • Relations are very real, though speakers may be unaware of them and may be unable to articulate them (as it the case with most metalinguistic knowledge). But there are situations when one must consciously confront semantic relations. Building a lexical resource presents such a situation.
    • The structure of a lexical entry in a dictionary reflects the relatedness of words and concepts: The target word is usually defined in terms of related word and some differentiae.
    • The super-/subordinate relation, or hyponymy (or hyperonymy or ISA) relation works well to characterize the meaning of nouns, as does meronymy, the part-whose relation.
    • Defining meaning in terms of such relations reflects the paradigmatirc organization of the lexicon. Many dictionaries also supply syntagmatic relations between the target and other words by means of illustrative sentences. Syntagmatic relations constrain the contexts in which a word may be used and can be seen as a complementary way of representing speaker's lexical knowledge.



  • (Carter, 1998) ⇒ Ronald Carter. (1998). “Vocabulary: Applied Linguistic Perspectives; 2nd edition." Routledge.
    • QUOTE: One theoretical notion which may help us to resolve some of the above problems is that of the lexeme. A lexeme is the abstract unit which underlies some of the variants we have observed in connection with 'words'. Thus BRING is the lexeme which underlies different grammatical variants: 'bring', 'brought', 'brings', 'bringing' which we can refer to as word-forms (note a lexeme is conventionally represented by upper-case letters and that quotation marks are used for its word-forms). Lexemes are the basic, contrasting units of vocabulary in a language. When we look up words in a dictionary we are looking up lexemes rather than words. That is, 'brought' and 'bringing' will be found under and entry for BRING. The lexeme BRING is an abstraction. It does not actually occur itself in texts. Instead, it realizes different word-forms. Thus, the word-form 'bring' is realized by the lexeme BRING; the lexeme GO realizes the word-form 'went'. In a diction each lexeme merits a separate entry or sub-entry.

      The term lexeme also embraces items which consist of more than one word-form. Into the category come lexical items such as multi-word verbs (to catch up on), phrasal verbs (to drop in) and idioms (kick the bucket). Here, KICK THE BUCKET is a lexeme and would appear a such in a single dictionary entry even though it is a three-word form. …

      We can also see that the notion of lexeme helps us to represent the polysemy - or the existence of several meanings - in individual words: that, far (n.). “fair (adj. as in good, acceptable) and fair (adj. as in light in colour, expecially of hair), would have three different lexeme meanings for the same word-form. The same applies to the different meanings of lap … But there are numerous less clear-cut categories. For example, in the case of line (draw a line; rail line; clothes line) is the same surface form realized by one, two, or three separate underlying lexemes? And are the meanings of chair (professional appointment; seat) or paper (newspaper; academic lecture) or dressing (sauce; manure; bandages) specialization of the same basic lexeme or not.


  • (Evens, 1988) ⇒ Martha Walton Evens, editor. (1988). “Relational Models of the Lexicon: Representing Knowledge in Semantic Networks.” In: Cambridge University Press. ISBN:0521104769.