ABSTRACT

In these pages we present some initial results of a large-scale inquiry into a semantic field centered in the English lexeme RISK.1 The kind of description we seek to justify could not easily be represented in a standard print dictionary, for reasons that soon become clear, but we imagine, for some distant future, an online lexical resource, which we can refer to as a "frame-based" dictionary, which will be adequate to our aims. In such a dictionary (housed on a workstation with multiple windowing capabilities), individual word senses, relationships among the senses of polysemous words, and relationships between (senses of) semantically related words will be linked with the cognitive structures (or "frames"), knowledge of which is presupposed for the concepts encoded by the words. A user's keying in of a word to be looked up will cause a window to appear that will display relationships between particular lexical meanings and specific lexicosyntactic patterns. Each of these lexico-syntactic patterns will have its components indexed with specific parts or aspects of the associated frame. The language used in the description of this indexing will contain category names founded on the characteristics of the relevant underlying frames. Accompanying each such description will be provided the means for giving the user access to descriptions of the associated conceptual frames, allowing the user who wishes to be reminded of the properties of the frames associated with a given word to open an additional window that presents information about it, and which identi-

fies those categories derived from the frame that are used in the meaning descriptions.2