Methods & Applications: Lexicography

Spring term 2018
Thursday, 15.00-16.30, Collegium Novum B, Room 323
Attention: the lecture starts March 1
30 contact hours
Lecturer: Nicole Nau

Go to Bibliography
Go to Tasks & Texts

Course description and aims:
This class introduces students to lexicography as the art and craft of dictionary making. They will acquire knowledge about different types and uses of dictionaries (print, online, and mobile application; monolingual and bilingual dictionaries; general and specialized dictionaries; learner dictionaries; etc.) as well as practical skills in various tasks that lead to the making of a dictionary.

After successful completion of the course, students will

  • be able to characterize, compare, and critically evaluate dictionaries of different types;
  • understand and be able to explain basic principles of lexicography for traditional and electronic dictionaries;
  • understand the role of corpora in lexicography and be able to use a corpus of English or other languages in a dictionary project;
  • be able to build and use a lexical database for a dictionary project;
  • be able to design and write entries for monolingual and bilingual dictionaries;
  • know about current tools (software) used in dictionary making and be able to choose an appropriate tool for a given task;
  • be able to explain specific problems of lexicography for endangered and lesser documented languages.
  • Classroom sessions include lecture, exercises, and short presentations by students (for example, presenting a dictionary). In addition, students work on individual projects (preparing a part of a dictionary or lexical database).

    Classroom activities, exercises = 40%, individual project = 60%

    Short bibliography (the first two positions will be the main textbooks) – for more references go to Bibliography

    1. Atkins, B. T. Sue and Michael Rundell. 2008. The Oxford Guide to Practical Lexicography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    2. Fontenelle, Thierry, ed. 2008. Practical lexicography: a reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    3. Béjoint, Henri. 2004. Modern lexicography: an introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    4. Durkin, Philip, ed. 2016. The Oxford handbook of lexicography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    5. Granger-Legrand, Sylviane & Paquot, Magali, eds. 2012. Electronic lexicography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    6. Mosel, Ulrike, 2004. Dictionary making in endangered speech communities. Language documentation and description 2, 39-54.
    7. Nielsen, Sandro & Tarp, Sven, eds. 2009. Lexicography in the 21st century. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
    8. Svensén, Bo. 2009. A handbook of lexicography: the theory and practice of dictionary-making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Week 1: Introduction: Lexicography as the art and craft of making dictionaries
    Week 2: Types of dictionaries and ways of using dictionaries; macrostructure
    Week 3: Sources of data; different ways of collecting words and examples
    Week 4: Corpora in lexicography
    Week 5: Word-meaning and sense relations
    Week 6: Content and structure of dictionary entries (print, online, apps)
    Week 7: Lexicography for endangered and lesser documented languages
    Week 8: Between corpus and dictionary: the lexical database; grammatical information
    Week 9: The lexical unit; multi word expressions
    Week 10: Word-senses and examples in the database
    Week 11: Designing dictionary entries for various dictionaries and users
    Week 12: Definitions in monolingual dictionaries
    Week 13: Translation equivalents in bilingual dictionaries
    Week 14: Presentation of students’ projects
    Week 15: Presentation of students’ projects and final discussion