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Lexicography

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  1. A Survey of Current Works on English and American Lexicography in This Country
  2. British and American lexicography. Main types of English dictionaries
  3. Lexicography
  4. Lexicography as a science
  5. Some of the main problems in lexicography

— a branch of applied linguistics, ~ studies dictionary-compiling.

First of all English dictionaries are subdivided into encyclopaedic & linguistic.

Ling-ic dictionaries—w-d-books, their subject-matter is lex. units & their ling-ic properties (pronunciation, meaning, peculiarities of use, etc.)

Encyclopaedic d-s—thing-books that give information about the extralinguistic world, they deal with facts & concepts (objects, phenomena), their relations to other objects & phenomena.

The best known encyclopaedias of the English-speaking world—The Encyclopaedia Britannica (24vol.) & The Encyclopaedia Americana (30vol.)

Collier’s En-ia (24vol.)—very popular in Gr.Br.—intended for students & school teachers.

Chamber’s En-ia (15v.)—a family type reference book

Everyman’s En-ia (12v.)—designed for all-round use.

Beside the general en-ic dict-s there are reference books that are confined to definite fields of knowledge :

The Oxford Companion to English Literature

The Oxford Companion to Theatre

Cassell’s En-ia of World Literature

Who’s Who dict-s—presenting information about notable persons.

Although some of the items included in en-ic & ling-ic d-s coincide (the names of diseases), the information presented in them—different. En-ic d-s give much more extensive information on these objects (the causes, symptoms, characteristics, varieties, various treatments of, remedies for it, ways of infection, etc.).

Ling-ic d-s present the spelling, pronunciation, grammar characteristics, synonyms,

Ling-ic d-s m.b. subdivided into different categories by different criteria. According to the nature of their w-d-list we m. speak about general d-s—contain lex. un. in ordinary use with this / that proportion of items from various spheres of life; special-purpose d-srestricted)—whose aim is to cover only a certain specific part of the voc-ry:

(spelling d- s, pronouncing d-s, d-y of new w-s (neologisms), d-ry of obsolete w-s, d-ry of slang, d-ry of names, d-ry of abbreviations.

All types of d-s m.b. monolingual or bilingual (translation), i.e. the information about the entered items m.b. given in the same lang-e or in another one.

A large group of linguistic d-s is made up of the so-called explanatory d-s, big & small—provide information on all aspects of the lex. units entered: graphical, phonetical, gram-l, semantic, stylistic, etymological, etc. Most of these dict-s deal with the form, usage & mean-g of lex. units in MdE, regarding it as a stabilized system without taking into account of its past development. They are synchronic in their presentation of w-s as distinct from diachronic (~ concern the development of w-s occurring within the written history of the language.). E.g., the New English D-ry on Historical Principles (NED) & its abridgement the Shorter Oxford D-ry on Historical Principles (SOD) cover the history of the E. voc-ry from the days of King Alfred down to the present time—diachronic, whereas another abridgement of the NED—the Concise Oxf. D-ry of Current English (COD)—synchronic.



Translation d-s—w-d-books containing voc-ry items in one lang-ge & their equivalents in another lang-ge. The New E-R D-ry edited by prof. I.R.Galperin, the E-R D-ry by prof. V.K.Muller, the R-E D-ry under prof. A.I.Smirnitsky’s general production—the most representative translation d-s for English.

Unilingual d-s, ~ register & explain technical terms for various branches of knowledge, art & trade (medical, linguistic, technical, economical, terms, etc.) ~ give definitions—glossaries. A Glossary of American Technical Linguistic Usage by F.P.Hamp, О.С.Ахманова, А.И.Полторацкий Словари лингвистической терминологии.

D-s recording the complete voc-ry of some author (алфавитный указатель слов, встреч-ся в какой-либо книге классич. писателя)—concordances. They should be distinguished from those that deal only with difficult w-s, i.e. glossaries Alex.Schmidt Shakespeare Lexicon. A complete D-ry of All the English W-s (2vol.).

There are concordances to the works of Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Shelley, Wordsworth & other writers.

The Thesaurus [.............] (pl.—ri) 1) сокровищница, хранилище

2) словарь, энциклопедия, справочник

—supplies the w-d / w-s by ~ a given idea m.b. expressed. Sometimes the grouping is in parallel columns with the opposite notions. The book is meant only for readers (either native or foreign) having a good knowledge of E. & enables them to pick up an adequate expression & avoid over-use of the same w-s.

—w-s are grouped by the concepts they express.

Roget’s Thesaurus of E. W-s & Phrases. More than 80 succeeding revised editions have appeared since 1852 when it was first published. A consistent classification of notions presents almost insuperable difficulties. Only relatively few “semantic fields (kinship terms, colour terms, names of parts of human body & some others) fit into a neat scheme. For the most part there is no 1-to-1 correlation between notions & w-s, & the classification of notions, even if it were feasible, is a very poor help for classification of meanings & their systematic presentation. The system of meanings stands in a very complex relationship to the system of notions, ‘cause of the polysemantic character of most w-s. The semantic structure of w-s & the sem-ic system of vocabulary depend on many linguistic, historical & cultural factors.

Glossaries of scientific & other special terms; concordances—d-ry entries are chosen according to the sphere of communication or the corpus in ~ they occur. D-s of abbreviations, antonyms, synonyms, new w-s, proverbs, surnames—d-ry entries are selected according to the type of relationships between w-s.

The Problems of Lexicology

The most important—1) the selection of lex. un-s for inclusion; 2) their arrangement; 3) the setting of the entries; 4) the selection & arrangement (grouping) of w-d-meanings; 5) the definition of meanings; 6) illustrative material; 7) setting of the entry & so on.

Xerox pp 216-217.

Lecture III

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Lecture II | Etymology

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