How are semantic domains used?

Semantic domains are very useful in investigating the relationships among words in a speaker’s mind. They can be used to efficiently collect the words of a language. You can pick a word, any word, in your language and start thinking of other words that are similar to it. With a large list of semantic domains you can systematically collect most of the words of your language. To learn more about collecting words, see the RapidWords.net website. A number of semantically classified dictionaries have been published using the list of domains. Semantic domains are also useful for investigating the meanings of words. All the words in a domain share aspects of their meaning and usage. So you can efficiently define the words in a domain by comparing and contrasting them. Semantic domains are also used to facilitate internet searches.

The word collection method has been called the Dictionary Development Process (DDP) and, more recently, Rapid Word Collection (RWC). The list of semantic domains and instructions for using the method are available for download from the RapidWords.net. The list has also been incorporated into the FieldWorks program and the WeSay program.