Right now I’m going through picture files in preparation for matching pictures to vocab in CLC stories. In sorting and cataloguing them, interesting semantic issues arise. For example, the hardest category for me is what I call Descriptive Words or Dx for short.
The Dx folder has to be subdivided into kinds of descriptions and that gets deep. Take words like ’wrinkled’, ’messy’, and ’destroyed’. Those can be grouped under a rubric like Physical Condition of Inanimate Objects. A more abstract category is “reversible conditions” under which I put words like ’closed’, ’open’.
So when I get a word like ’stuck’ as in papers ’stuck on a wall’ (pegado in Sp.), is that a physical condition or a reversible action. I decided it was reversible b/c you can unstick it, but that was guided by the fact I included ’stuck’ as in ’stuck with a fork’ as the same word, even though they really aren’t.
Then I got to ’unpainted’. That I put into the Physical Condition pile.
Making such decisions is tiring, let along coming up with a system of categorization in the first place. For that, I spread out all my PFs I decided were DX and began sorting, developing my semantic thinking on this as I went. It didn’t take long for me to realize this was analogous to William Bull’s cyclic/non-cyclic verbs and the category labeled Middle Voice. You really have to think about this and it’s fun but tiring.
Back to it.