TIP of the day: from the blogs - SIL Semantic domains

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jan 7 2016 9:37 PM

Full site: http://www.semdom.org/

This website contains a list of nearly 1800 semantic domains. They are organized in a hierarchy under nine major headings so that similar domains can be found together. The list of domains was developed by Ron Moe, a linguist working with SIL International, as a tool for collecting the words of a language and developing a dictionary. But researchers have been finding other uses for the list.

Each domain includes

  • a number for sorting purposes
  • a domain label (consisting of a word or short phrase that captures the basic idea of the domain)
  • a short description of the domain
  • a series of questions designed to help people think of the words that belong to the domain
  • a short list of English words under each question that belong to the domain.

You may freely use this list of domains and adapt it for your needs according to the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. The list is intended to be used for any language in the world, but is currently based primarily on English. Research has been done on the domains of other languages and the results of the research has influenced this list. It is hoped that further research will enable this list to become more global.

. . .

3 Language and thought

Use this domain for general words referring to mental and verbal activity. This domain is primarily for grouping many related domains. Therefore there may be no general word in a language to cover such a broad area of meaning.

  • What general words refer to mental and verbal activity? psychology, life of the soul

. . .

(note reference to Louw-Nida)

3.1 Soul, spirit

Use this domain for general words related to the immaterial, non-physical part of a person, as opposed to the body.

Louw Nida Codes:  26 Psychological Faculties
  • What words refer to the immaterial part of a person? soul, spirit, spiritual, psyche, psychological, psychology, internal makeup, inside, inward, conscious self, consciousness, ego, essence, humanity, id, self, subconscious, superego, unconscious,
  • What words refer to the part of a person that thinks and knows? mind, intellect, mental faculty, reason, reasoning, sense, thinking, thought, thoughts,
  • What words refer to the part of a person that wants and decides? will, volition
  • What words refer to the part of a person that feels? heart, breast, emotions, emotional makeup, feeling, feelings, sensitivity, gut,
  • What words refer to the part of a person that affects his behavior? personality, character, conscience, disposition, nature, tendency,

. . . Alert

Use this domain for words referring to a mental state when the mind is working hard.

Related domains: Ignore Louw Nida Codes:  27F Be Ready To Learn, Pay Attention
  • What words refer to an alert mental state? be on your guard, beware, take heed, be on the lookout, watch,
  • What words describe someone who is alert? alert, watchful, vigilant, keep your eyes peeled, aware, clear headed, coherent, wary, mindful, responsive, sensitive,
  • What words describe someone who is not alert? unaware, mindless, unmindful, bored, disregard, flighty, heedless, oblivious,


Meandering through this site may help you understand the Louw-Nida and Swanson ... and if you truly know Greek or Hebrew make any adjustments necessary to improve their coding.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 8 2016 12:55 AM

Very Interesting, good to know, thanks MJ!

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