ТОП 10:

Лексикография и её связь с лексикологией.

Lexicography is the science and practice of compiling dictionaries and describing them. The term dictionary is used to denote a book that lists the words of a language in a certain order (usually alphabetical) and gives their meanings, or that gives the equivalent words in a different language.

The history of compiling dictionaries for English comes as far back as the Old English period, where we can find glosses of religious books (interlinear translations from Latin into English). Regular bilingual dictionaries began to appear in the 15-th century (Anglo-Latin, Anglo-French, Anglo-German). The first unilingual dictionary explaining difficult words appeared in 1604, the author was Robert Cawdry, a schoolmaster. He compiled his dictionary for schoolchildren. In 1721 an English scientist and writer Nathan Bailey published the first etymological dictionary which explained the origin of English words. It was the first scientific dictionary, it was compiled for philologists.In 1775 an English scientist compiled a famous explanatory dictionary. Its author was Samuel Johnson. Every word in his dictionary was illustrated by examples from English literature, the meanings of words were clear from the contexts in which they were used. In 1933 the dictionary was republished under the title «The Oxford English Dictionary», because the work on the dictionary was conducted in Oxford. This dictionary contained 13 volumes. As the dictionary was very large and terribly expensive scientists continued their work and compiled shorter editions of the dictionary: «A Shorter Oxford Dictionary» consisting of two volumes. It had the same number of entries, but far less examples from literature. They also compiled «A Concise Oxford Dictionary» consisting of one volume and including only modern words and no examples from literature.

The American lexicography began to develop much later, at the end of the 18-th century. The most famous American English dictionary was compiled by Noah Webster.


All dictionaries are traditionally divided into encyclopedic and linguistic dictionaries.

Encyclopedic dictionaries are thing book, the deal eith concept reflecting different objects and phenomena, their relationships and so on.

Linguistic dictionaries are word-books. they list word of the language and give other linguistic facts. Besides these two types now there exists the so-called cultural dictionaries. They combine their information of two types both encyclopedic and linguistic dictionaries.

Linguistic dictionaries can be uni-lingual or explanatory and by-lingual or translation.

In the first one explanations are given in one language and the second one in a different/other language.

Dictionaries are also divided diachronic and synchronic.

The diachronic shows the history of the word and reflects its development up to the present moment.One of the most famous dictionaries is the OED 13 volumes. Synchronic dictionaries are disrupted dictionary. They show either the present day meaning and usage of words or those meaning which the words had at a certain historical period.

There are general and special dictionaries. General represent the vocabulary as a whole. Special dictionaries cover a specific part of the vocabulary; There are synonyms and antonyms, dictionaries of neologism and slang, pronouncing and so on.

There are glossaries and concordances. Glossaries explain term or difficult words, may be archaism, different branches of knowledge.Concordances record the complete vocabulary of some author. EG: there are concordances to the works of W. Shakespeare.

And finally there are ideographic dictionaries and thesaurus. These dictionary group words according to the concepts expressed. They supply a word or words by which a given idea may be expressed.

The main problems of dictionary compiling It divided into two problem: that of the number of the words, and that of the list of words to be included in a dictionary. As for the number of words there exist dictionaries of different volumes, EG: there are pocket dictionaries with 25 or less thousand words. Among the largest dictionaries there is Webster’s dictionary, it include about 600000 words.

The volume of the dictionary and the list of the words depend on the type of dictionary and its aim. Hornsby’s dictionary student includes about 100000 words, among which there are no words used by Shakespeare.

On the contrary the OED does include such words, used by W. Shak. for specialist. The problem of the choice of words is connected with the problem of the norm of the language it may be included into a dictionary.

Some basic problems of dictionary compiling.

The most important problems the lexicographers face are:

1. The selection of items for inclusion and their arrangement. The questions to be decided upon are:

a) The type of lexical units to be chosen for inclusion;

b) The number of items to be recorded;

c) What to select and what to leave out in the dictionary;

d) Which form of the language, spoken or written, or both, is the dictionary to reflect;

e) Should the dictionary contain obsolete and archaic units, technical terms, dialectisms, colloquialisms etc.

There have been 2 competing and disputing trends (approaches): normative and registrative.

Normative. Adherers of normative approach consider a dictionary an instruction as to proper usage of good words and forms. Samuel Johnson 1755 Dictionary laid the foundation of modern lexicography. A dictionary has to have a great influence on the usage of words in speech. Against contracted forms (don’t, can’t). It is due to S. Johnson’s dictionary the American phonetic system lacked in developing (orthoepic – changed, orthography - not).

Registrative: the dictionary should be mirror of language & speech. Webster’s International Dictionary, 1961―present; the greatest number of units (600,000 entries). Outdated words and special terms are included. Today the criteria are the frequency usage for dictionaries of different balks and purposes.

2. The setting of the entries. The entries can be given in a single alphabetical listing or arranged in nests, based on some principles (e.g. in descending order of their frequency, in synonymic sets etc).

3. The selection, arrangement and definition of meanings. The choice of meanings depends on: 1) What aim the compilers set themselves; 2) What decisions they make concerning the extent to which obsolete, archaic, dialectal or highly specialised meanings should be recorded, how the problem of polysemy and homonymy is solved etc. The meanings of words may be given through a group of synonyms, description or so-called metalanguage (Oxf. Contemporary DIOCDMEJ1985 – 55,000 are explained through 2000).

4. The illustrative examples to be supplied.

The purpose of these examples depends on the type of the dictionary & the aim the compilers set themselves. They can illustrate the first and the last known occurrences of the entry word with the successive changes in its graphic and phonemic forms as well as in its meaning, the typical patterns & collocations, the difference between synonymous words, they place words in a context to clarify their meaning & usage. The questions to be decided upon: when are illustrative examples to be used? Which words may be listed without illustrations? Should illustrative sentences be made up or should they always be quotations of some authors? Which examples should be chosen as typical?

5. The supplementary material.

It can be a list of geographical names, standard abbreviations pertaining to the public, political, economic & industrial life, rules of pronunciation, brief outlines of grammar etc.

The choice among the possible solutions depends upon the type to which the dictionary belongs, the aim the compilers pursue, the prospective user of the dictionary; the linguistic conceptions of the dictionary makers etc.

Learner's dictionaries and some problems of their compilation. Main characteristic features of learner's dictionaries

Nowadays practical and theoretical learner’s lexicography is given great attention to, especially in our country. Lexicographers, linguists and methods specialists discuss such problems as the classification of learner’s dictionaries,1 the scope of the. word-list for learners at different stages of advancement, the principles of word selection, etc.

In the broad sense of the word the term learner’s dictionaries might be applied to any word-book designed as an aid to various users, both native and foreign, studying a language from various angles. Thus, we might refer to this group of word-books such reference books as Student’s Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon by H. Sweet, the numerous school-level or college-level dictionaries for native speakers, the numerous spelling-books, etc. By tradition the term is confined to dictionaries specially compiled to meet the demands of the learners for whom English is not their mother tongue. It is in this sense that we shall use the term further on.

These dictionaries differ essentially from ordinary academic dictionaries, on the one hand, and from word-books compiled specially for English and American schoolchildren and college students, on the other hand.

Though foreign language learners and children speaking the same language as their mother tongue have both imperfect command of English, it is obvious that the needs and problems of the two groups of dictionary users are altogether different. A foreign adult student of

English even at a moderately advanced stage of learning will have pitfalls and needs of his own: among the other things he may have difficulties with the use of the most “simple” words (such as play, wipe), he may not know the names for commonest things in everyday life (such as oatmeal, towel, rug) and he will experience in this or that degree interference of his mother tongue.

On the one hand, we have users who for the most part have command of the language, who have fluent speech habits, since this language is their mother tongue; they need guidance as to which of the usage they come across is correct.

On the other hand, we have users that have a limited vocabulary and no speech habits or very weak ones and who have stable speech habits in another language which is their native tongue and these native speech habits interfere with the foreign ones. That is why these users must be given thorough instruction in how the words are to be used and this instruction must be given against the background of the learners’ native language.

That is why the word-lists and the sort of directions for use for the benefit of the foreign adult learners of English must differ very widely (if not fundamentally) from those given to English or American schoolchildren.

Hence the word-books of this group are characterised by the following features:

by their strictly limited word-list, the selection of which is based on carefully thought over scientific principles;

the great attention given to the functioning of lexical units in speech;

a strong prescriptive, normative character;

by their compilation with the native linguistic background in view.

Classification of learner's dictionaries

Learner’s dictionaries may be classified in accordance with different principles, the main of which are: 1) the scope of the word-list and 2) the nature of the information afforded.

From the point of view of the scope (volume) of the word-list they fall into two groups. Those of the first group contain all lexical units that the prospective user may need, in the second group only the most essential and important words are selected. To the first group we can refer A. S. Hornby’s Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (50,000 lexical units) and M. West’s International Reader’s Dictionary (about 24,000 units); to the second group — A Grammar of English Words by H. Palmer (1,000 words), and The English-Russian Learner’s Dictionary by S. K. Folomkina and H. M. Weiser (3,500 units).

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