English lexicography lecture 10

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LEcture 10.last
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1. English dictionaries and their development. 2. Types of dictionaries. 3. The selection of lexical units in dictionaries. 4. The entry of dictionaries. 5. The structure of English dictionaries.

Lexicography is a science of dictionary compiling. Modern English lexicography appeared in the 15 th century. In this period ENGLISH-­‐LATIN dictionaries were in existence. The first dictionary of the English language was published in 1755 by Samuel Johnson, in which he gave the origin of words and example from the works of the best writers.

GREAT BRITAIN Another major milestone is the New English Dictionary of Oxford English Dictionary. It was written from 1888 up to 1928. It covers the vocabulary of English with full historical evidence. It gives the full history of words. It has 13 volumes and a supplement containing neologisms (new words). USA The first important dictionary in American lexicography is Webster’s American Dictionary of the English language. It was published in 1828 in two volumes.

There are encyclopedic and linguistic dictionaries. An Encyclopedic dictionary gives the information of extra linguistic world. It gives the information about the important events, animals, and all branches of knowledge. They deal not with words, but with facts and concepts.

There are two main types of linguistic dictionaries: general dictionaries and special dictionaries.

General dictionaries are divided into : explanatory dictionaries and parallel or translation dictionaries (bilingual and multilingual).

The best-­‐known explanatory dictionaries are: 1) “ The Shorter Oxford Dictionary” in two volumes, based on all words in current English from 1700 till now, with senses organized chronologically , plus the vocabulary of Shakespeare, the Bible and other major works in English from before 1700. 2) Chamber’s 20 th Century Dictionary (one volume) based on idioms, literary words, contemporary colloqualisms, slang expressions and scientific and technical terms. 3)Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, based on the vocabulary of technology, entertainment, health, science .

Most of these dictionaries present the spelling, usage, pronunciation, meaning of words grammatical information, origin of words, derivatives, phraseology, etymology, synonyms and antonyms. Pronunciation is shown either by means of the International phonetic transcription or in British phonetic notation.

Translation dictionaries or parallel dictionaries are word‐books containing vocabulary items in one language and their equivalents in another language. Ex. The English -Russian dictionary by Muller.

Among the general dictionaries we find Learner’s Dictionary, which is compiled for foreign language learners at different stage of advancement. Ex. The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English by Hornby, Gatenby, and Wakefield: It is a one-­‐language (monolingual) dictionary which differs from other dictionaries because it gives the information about the lexical or grammatical valences of words.

Specialized dictionaries give us the information of one or two particular peculiarities of words ex. synonyms, etymology, and phraseological units. The best-­‐known dictionary of synonyms is Dictionary of English Synonyms Expressions by Soule and Webster’s Dictionary of synonyms.

The best and most comprehensive collection of English phraseology is : 1) A.V. Koonin’s English phraseological Dictionary (in two volumes). 2)The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs, 3)Collin’s Book of English Idioms. There are other types of specialized dictionaries. Dictionaries of collocations. Ex: A Reum’s Dictionary of English Style, Etymological dictionaries; Ex. W. Skeat’s Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. Pronouncing dictionaries: Ex:English Pronouncing Dictionary by D. Jones etc.

The most important problems the Lexicographer comes across in compiling dictionaries are : - the selection of words, - the selection, arrangement and definition of meanings, - the illustrative examples to be supplied.

Dictionaries can’t possibly register all occasional words. It is impossible to present all occurring technical terms because they are too numerous (ex. there are more than 400.000 chemical terminology in English). Therefore selection in made according to the aim of the dictionary.

Different types of dictionaries differ in their aim, in the information they provide and in their size. They differ in the structure and content of the entry.

HOMETASK: TO FIND Dictionary structure of presenting words.

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