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Arrangement of entries
When the problem of arrangement is settled there arises the question which of the selected units have the right to a separate entry and which are to be included under the headword,
e.g whether " each other " is a group of two separate words to be treated separately under the headwords " each " and " other " or whether it is a unit that deserves a special entry.
The number of entries also depends on how dictionary compilers solve the problems of polysemy and homonymy and regularly formed derivatives with such affixes as -er, -ly, -ness, -ing.
The order of arrangement of the entries is different in different types of dictionaries. The order may be (a) alphabetical and (b) the cluster-type order , i.e. words of the same root, or close in their denotational meaning, or in their frequency value are grouped together.
Each mode of presentation has its advantages. (a) The alphabetical order provides for an easy finding of any word, (b) The cluster-type order requires less space and presents a clearer picture of the relations of each unit with the others in the language system.
Practically, however, most dictionaries use a combination of these two orders of arrangement.
3. The number of meanings and their choice depend on:
1) the aim the dictionary compilers set themselves;
2) how they treat obsolete, dialectal, highly specialized meanings, how they solve the problem of polysemy and homomymy.
There are three different ways of arranging word-meanings :
1) historical order , i.e. meanings are arranged in the order of their historical development (from the earliest to the most recent ones);
2) actual (or empirical) order , i.e. meanings are arranged according to their frequency value (the most common ones come first);
3) logical order , i.e. meanings are arranged to show their logical connection.
The historical order is mostly used in diachronical (historical) dictionaries, and in synchronic ones compilers usually use the empirical and the logical order.
4. Meanings may be defined in different ways:
1) by means of encyclopedic definitions (such definitions are concerned with objects for which words are names);
2) by means of descriptive definitions or paraphrases;
3) with the help of synonymous words and expressions;
4) by means of cross-reference.
Descriptive definitions are used in a majority of cases. They are concerned with words as speech material.
American dictionaries for the most part are traditionally encyclopedic. They furnish their readers with more information about facts and things than British dictionaries which are more linguistic
Encyclopedic definitions are typical of nouns, esp. proper nouns and terms.
Synonyms are most often used to define verbs and adjectives, and (cross-) reference is used to define derivatives, abbreviations and variant forms.
5. Illustrative examples raise the following questions:
1) when are examples to be used?
2) what words may be listed without any illustrations?
3) should they be made up or borrowed from books and/or periodicals? (In diachronic dictionaries quotations are used and they are carefully dated).
4) How much space should they occupy?
6. The supplementary material appended to the dictionary may be:
1) material of linguistic nature pertaining to the vocabulary (e.g. geographical names, foreign words, standard abbreviations);
2) material of encyclopedic nature (may include lists of colleges, universities, tables of weights and measures, military ranks, etc.).
13.3. All dictionaries are divided into encyclopedic and linguistic . They differ in (1) the choice of items included and (2) in the information given about them.
Linguistic dictionaries are word-books. Their subject-matter is lexical units and their linguistic properties (pronunciation, meaning, usage, etc.).
Encyclopedias are thing-books, giving information about the extralinguistic world. They deal with objects, phenomena and concepts. Encyclopedic dictionaries give both types of information.
The most famous encyclopedias in English are the Encyclopedia Britannica (in 32 volumes) and Encyclopedia Americana (30 volumes). Besides there are reference books confined to some particular fields of knowledge,
e.g. the Oxford Art Dictionary, the Oxford Companion to English Literature, " Who's Who" Dictionary, etc.
Linguistic dictionaries can be classified by different criteria:
1) According to the nature of their word-list they are general and restricted .
General dictionaries contain lexical units in ordinary use in different spheres of communication.
Restricted dictionaries make their choice from a certain part of the vocabulary,
e.g. phraseological dictionaries, dialectal dictionaries, dictionaries of new words, terminological dictionaries and so on.
2) According to the information supplied dictionaries may be explanatory and specialized .
Explanatory dictionaries provide information on all aspects of lexical units (graphical, grammatical, etymological, stylistic, semantic, etc.).
Specialized dictionaries deal with only some aspect of lexical units,
e.g. English Pronouncing Dictionary by Daniel Jones.
3) According to the language in which information is given dictionaries may be: monolingual end bilingual (translation).
4) According to the prospective user dictionaries are divided into those meant for scholars (e.g. etymological dictionaries), for language learners/students (e.g. Oxford Student's Dictionary of Current English by A.S. Hornby) and for the general public (e.g. The Concise Oxford Dictionary).
13.4. Historical Development of British and American Lexicography.
13.5. Since the 1970s, the flow of dictionaries has been unabated, as publishers try to meet the needs of an increasingly language-conscious age. New editions and supplements to the well-known dictionaries have appeared and several publishers have launched new general series (e.g.Longman). Reader's Digest.produced its great Illustrated Dictionary in 1984, the first full-colour English dictionary, in the encyclopedic tradition. Prominent also have been the dictionaries for special purposes (foreign language teaching, linguistics, medicine, chemistry, etc.). For the first time, spoken vocabulary has begun to find its way into dictionaries.
The 1980s will one day be seen as a watershed in lexicography - the decade in which computer applications began to alter radically the methods and the potential of lexicography: the future is on disc, in the form of vast lexical databases, continuously updated, that can generate a dictionary of agiven size and scope in a fraction of the time it used to take. Special programs have become available enabling people to ask the dictionary special questions (e.g. " find all words ending in -esse" ). Access to large machine-dictionaries is becoming routine in offices and homes.