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The lexicology (also: word doctrine Wortkunde, vocabulary study) is within the linguistics , the theory of the lexicon in terms of vocabulary . It is defined as the "science of the existence or the system of words and their meanings". It is about the internal structure of meaning of linguistic expressions and the relationships between individual words ( lexemes ). A distinction is made between lexical morphology and lexical semantics .


In lexicology, the word is primarily about the content page. The preoccupation with the meaning of the word leads to the question of how the connection between word body and content comes about and where the limits to the use of other words lie.

Historical aspects

The discipline that emerged as early as the Renaissance , but has only existed independently within linguistics since the 1950s , examines the components of a language (special lexicology) or of language in general (general lexicology) and tries to distinguish between the individual lexical components (these are morphemes , Words and fixed phrases) to establish relationships and rules. In the context of quantitative linguistics , quantitative lexicology has established itself, which tries to research the regularities of the structure and change of the lexicon (for example Martin's law ) and its use in texts.

Related disciplines

"A practical application field of lexicology, the lexicography ." It deals with the creation of dictionaries and draws on lexicological results, or provides new information for lexicological investigation.

Both the lexical morphology and the ( derivative ) morphology formally examine the compound and derived words.

Other related linguistic disciplines are onomasiology , semasiology , etymology , word formation , phraseology and onomastics .


  • D. Alan Cruse et al .: Lexicology I, II. Berlin 2002/2005.
  • Hilke Elsen: Vocabulary Analysis. UTB 3897, Tübingen 2013.
  • Christine Römer, Brigitte Matzke: Lexicology of German. An introduction. 2nd updated edition, Narr, Tübingen 2005, ISBN 3-8233-6128-7 .
  • Thea Schippan : Lexicology of contemporary German language 2nd edition, Niemeyer, Tübingen 2002, ISBN 3-484-73002-1 .
  • Michael Schlaefer: Lexicology and Lexicography. An introduction using the example of German dictionaries , 2nd edition, Schmidt, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-503-09863-7 .
  • Christiane Wanzeck: Lexicology. Description of words and vocabulary in German , UTB / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-8252-3316-7 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Lexicology  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary:  Word studies - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Schwarze / Wunderlich, introduction. In: Schwarze / Wunderlich: Handbuch der Lexikologie. 1985, p. 7
  2. Volmert: Language and Spoken: Basic Terms and Linguistic Concepts. In: Volmert (Hrsg.): Grundkurs Sprachwissenschaft. 5th edition, 2005, p. 22
  3. Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.): Lexicon of Linguistics. 3rd updated and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-520-45203-0 .
  4. ^ So Brekle: Semantics. 3rd ed., 1972, p. 112
  5. See Wanzeck: Subject area, lexicology. 2010, p. 11
  6. Klaus-Peter Wegera (Ed.): Studies on early New High German lexicology and lexicography of the 16th century. Partly edited from the estate of Arno Schirokauer . Heidelberg 1987 (= Studies on Early New High German , 8).
  7. Georges Matoré : La méthode de lexicologie . Didier, Paris 1953.
  8. Juhan Tuldava: Problems and methods of quantitative-systemic lexicology. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, Trier 1998. ISBN 3-88476-314-8 .
  9. ^ Gabriel Altmann, Dariusch Bagheri, Hans Goebl, Reinhard Köhler, Claudia Prün: Introduction to quantitative lexicology. Peust & Gutschmidt, Göttingen 2002. pp. 94-133. ISBN 3-933043-09-3 .
  10. Linke, Angelika; Markus Nussbaumer; Paul R. Portmann: Study book linguistics. 5th edition. Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen 2004, p. 56
  11. Piroska Kocsány: Basic Linguistics course: a workbook for beginners. Fink, Paderborn 2010, p. 105