How do I enter gerunds into the Dictionary?

When do Gerunds get their own lemma, and when do they get placed under their base lemma?

Summary Chart
  Enter as own lemma Place under base lemma
Single words Gerund has a noun definition of “The act of a". Gerund does not have a noun definition "The act of a"
Multi-word phrases Base lemma is not a verb.  Base lemma is a verb.


Single words

A gerund is a form that is derived from a verb that functions as a noun[1]. Gerunds are always formed from the present participle form of a verb therefore will always end in –ing.

A lemma is a word or phrase that is glossed; headword.[2]

Gerunds that have a noun definition of “The act of a”, get their own lemma. For example: logging, booking, climbing, etc.

Gerunds that do not have such noun definitions get placed under their base verb form lemma. For example: testing gets placed under test, asking gets placed under ask, etc.

Multi-word phrases

When dealing with multi-word phrases that end in gerunds, we must look at the term as a whole; if we replace the gerund in a phrase with its base verb form, is it still a valid phrase and is the phrase a verb?

If the multi-word base verb phrase is a verb, the multi-word gerund phrase should be placed under its base verb form lemma.

If the multi-word base verb phrase is not a verb, the multi-word gerund phrase should get its own lemma. The multi-word gerund phrase should then get connected to the multi-word base verb phrase in the UCF Term Hierarchy.

Example

Multi-word phrase gerund: security testing

Multi-word phrase base verb: security test

Let’s apply this line of thinking to the gerund phrase security testing. The base verb form of testing is test. So we must look at the base verb phrase security test. Is security test a real phrase? Meaning is this a phrase that is used by multiple sources? Yes.

Second question, is security test a verb? No.

Conclusion: security testing should get its own lemma and be connected to security test via the UCF Term Hierarchy.

 

[1] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/gerund

[2] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/lemma

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