LEXIS is a collection of English and Spanish words and expressions, both of a general nature as well as related to a variety of fields of study, which I've come across both in my personal and profesional life.
It has been in the making since 1985 and I still consider it a ‘work in progress’ (dare I say a ‘diamond in the rough’!) and, as always, time is of the essence and time, unfortunately, is now more than ever playing against me!
LEXIS is the work of just one single person, ie me --Tony. I have been committed right from the start to give back both to my English-language students and society at large some of the trust and financial support in the shape of scholarships and grants provided to me by the Spanish (Beca-Salario [‘Minimum Wage + Scholarship’] – my mother was a widow who needed to rely on a regular monthly income plus a grant for me to be able to pay for my studies), the American (Fulbright Hays Doctoral Research Abroad) and the British (British Council Fleming Postdoctoral Fellowship) educational systems. It goes without saying that without 'social capital' (investing in people's welfare and education) the world as we know would be doomed.
As for the actual sigularities of LEXIS, it’s always been my aim to help both students of English and Spanish retain vocabulary (both single words and multi-word expressions) by showing entries not as a mere alphabetical list of unrelated units but by striving to present the relationships of entries on a dual horizontal/vertical axis.
On the horizontal axis, entries can be seen as ‘families’ of units that can be used somewhat interchangeably according to what the speaker needs to say. When we speak we do so linearly and sequentially -- one word pronounced after the other as if they were coming out of a box. Physically, that is the way it must be due to the limitations of a ‘vocal apparatus.’ Interpreted this way, the choice of a word has somewhat of a bearing on the word that follows. To illustrate these types of ‘family-like’ relationships among words and multi-word expressions, under the entry ‘table’ as a noun, the learner can see some of the many different types of tables (‘pool table,’ ‘bedside table,’ ‘coffee table,’ ‘dinner table,’ ‘drawing table,’ ‘dressing table,’ ‘pool table,’ and the like). On the other hand, whe used as a modifier of a noun, the learner can find ‘table football,’ ‘table game,’ ‘table linen,’ table salt,’ ‘table tennis,’ ‘table wine,’ and others. Still, as a complement or collocate of a verb, the learner can find ‘clear the table,’ ‘lay the table,’ and ‘set the table’, among others. And what’s more, when used as a verb ‘table,’ the learner can also see that is frequently used in conjunction with the nouns ‘discussion’ and ‘ proposal’, as in ‘table a discussion’ and ‘table a proposal’.
On the vertical axis, we must view the human mind and the connections that words/multi-word expressión within it on a semantic level (ie., relationships of meanings). These ‘connections’ could be visualised as ethereal clouds that somehow keep or bind words together by the similarities of their meanings. For instance, the words ‘beautiful,’ ‘bonnie,’ ‘comely,’ ‘cute,’ ‘handsome,’ ‘lovely,’ ‘nice,’ ‘pretty,’ and the like are somehow ‘connected’ in our heads and if we show them as such to the learner of English, he or she will be able to establish those ‘connections’ in his/her own mind, in turn.
Lexis strives to capture these vertical-horizontal relationships by listing collocations under entries and by also providing a function to enable the learner to display related entries.
Lexis also provides the learner with real examples of words and multi-word expressions as a type of illustrarion of how they are used in real contexts. Right from the start, the aim was to provide good translations of these examples and, although many translations are to be found, time constraints have made me relegate this important ‘added value’ to, hopefully, a better time when extra help can be enlisted.
Another feature Lexis offers the learner is the ability to access its entries using any of the different forms they ‘change into’ when they are used in sentences – something that mainly affects nouns and verbs. That is, Lexis contains all ‘variants’ of a particular entry, whether used as singular or plural nouns (ie., child/children) or conjugated, as in the case of verbs (ie., see/seeing/saw/seen). This feature becomes more relevant in the case of the Spanish language, which presents more ‘variation’ not only as far a nouns and verbs and concerned but also adjectives.
This type of explanation/justification of the merits of LEXIS doesn't come easily or naturally to me since there's little else more revealing, reliable and/or objective of its impact worldwide than its usage statistics.
At present, it has over 120,000 entries, with a yearly average increase of 4,000 entries. It has been available over the Internet since 2000 and it receives an average of 500,000+ hits by 15,000+ users from 120+ countries yearly worldwide.
To me, who you are and/or what degrees you have to your name is not what matters. The important thing is what you have done and/or still doing others may benefit from and advance by.
As long as LEXIS is being used and (hopefully) is useful, as usage statistics may show and hopefully will continue to show, I will try to keep it alive and relevant, even though I have no support (financial or otherwise) from my own institution as such -- Granada University, I must add.
LEXIS es una colección de palabras y expresiones en inglés y español, tanto de carácter general como referentes a diversas disciplinas, que he encontrado en mi vida personal y profesional.
Comencé a compilar esta colección en 1985 e, incluso ahora, la considero como un proyecto en ciernes (alguno diría “un diamante en bruto”) y, como siempre, el “tiempo apremia” y, desgraciadamente, ahora más que nunca el tiempo no está de mi lado.