Corpus linguistics and the meaning of lexical items: how to distinguish grief from mourning

  1. Wolfgang Teubert

The meaning of a lexical item is not so much what we find in monolingual or bilingual dictionaries, for meaning is only in discourse. Traditional lexicography can only provide a first approach. It is in discourse that people negotiate what words mean, including, for instance, what distinguishes grief from mourning. For while words in isolation can mean almost anything, once they are embedded in a context it becomes clear what they actually mean there.