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A Visaul Thesaurus Analysis of Ancient Japanese Aesthetic Words in The Tale of Genji : Utsusemi and Hananoen

  • 日本硏究
  • 2013, (35), pp.67-86
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Published : August 20, 2013

PARK HYEJA 1

1중원대학교 국제비지니스학부 일본통상학과

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In an information-based society, effective knowledge organization and retrieval are important parts in many areas of academic research. The primary purpose of a thesaurus is for information retrieval, but it is also a crucial function for a thesaurus to help people understand meanings and concepts of a lexicon by providing semantic maps. Particularly, a visual thesaurus can show interrelations among terms in a specific lexicon which can facilitate linguistic researches. In this paper, we provide a basis for constructing a visual thesaurus for aesthetic words for the Tale of Genji. By looking at two specific chapters of the Tale of Genji, namely Utsusemi and Hananoen, which provide a variety of types of ancient Japanese aesthetic words, we found that some aesthetic words show peculiar synonym lexical relations. Most notably in Utsusemi, ayashi, okashi, turenashi, wabishi, rautashi, and aekanari show such synonym relations. Also, in Hananoen, we observe close synonym relations for en, aigyauduku, and okashi. Further studies with more terms included will enable us to establish commonality among various aesthetic words for ancient Japanese language. In such studies, a visual thesaurus can be a very useful and valuable instruments for constructing meaningful relations for a wide range of aesthetic words that are interrelated in their meanings.

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