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From dictionary user to amateur lexicographer Possibilities of on-line searches Costas Gabrielatos (Lancaster University) Gresham College Lecture series:

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Presentation on theme: "From dictionary user to amateur lexicographer Possibilities of on-line searches Costas Gabrielatos (Lancaster University) Gresham College Lecture series:"— Presentation transcript:

1 From dictionary user to amateur lexicographer Possibilities of on-line searches Costas Gabrielatos (Lancaster University) Gresham College Lecture series: Look it up yourself! A History of the Dictionary 23 March 2009

2 Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. Samuel Johnson (Statement made April 18, 1775, quoted in Boswell's Life of Johnson) How will the information be used? Comprehension Production

3 Do you know this word? What does ‘knowing’ a word involve?

4 To know a word: Form Written form – Spellingchagrin Spoken form – Pronunciation‘sh’ or ‘tsh’ – Stress chagrin or chagrin – Symbols vs. audio /ʃægrɪn / (BrE) /ʃəgrɪn/ (AmE)/ʃægrɪn / /ʃəgrɪn/

5 To know a word: Grammar (a) Part of speech Countable/uncountable (for nouns) – Not independent of meaning – experience [LDOCE]LDOCE Derivatives – extend (verb) – extendability / extendibility / extensibility (noun) – extendable / extendible / extensible (adjective)

6 To know a word: Grammar (b) Transitivity (for verbs) – She gave a concert / They gave her a present – Prices have been rising Grammatical patterns: help vs. facilitate – policies that help/facilitate development – help/facilitate a neighbour to move the sofa – help/facilitate a student with an assignment

7 To know a word: Meaning Sense(s) Connotations The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online Imagereredosreredos

8 To know a word: Meaning: specialised words collateralized debt obligation collateralized debt obligation InvestorWords,

9 To know a word: The lexical company a word keeps stale bread rancid butter sour milk

10 To know a word: The lexical company a word keeps The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online

11 To know a word: Use Contexts of use – general/specialised heart attack – (acute) myocardial infarction – archaic/formal/informal/colloquial/slang offspring - minor - child - kid - brat Frequency – In what contexts?

12 To know a word: Meaning in relation to other words Synonyms / Antonyms expand Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

13 To know a word: Etymology (the history of a word) Encarta ahttp://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/dictionaryhome.aspx

14 World Wide Words (Michael Quinion),

15 To know a word: A holistic view: examples Examples can demonstrate most of the aspects of knowing a word. What does this word mean? What does this word do? The more examples, the better our understanding – patterns and frequency What kind of examples? Whose examples?

16 Prescription or description? 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.' 'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.' 'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.' Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll, 1871

17 Sources of examples Corpora – British National Corpus (BNC), 100 million words – The web as a corpus – WebCorp –

18 egregious Conspicuously bad or offensive. Often of mistakes, extremely and noticeably bad. An egregious mistake, failure, problem etc is extremely bad and noticeable. Extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant: an egregious mistake; an egregious liar. Conspicuous ; especially : conspicuously bad : flagrant

19 egregious Conspicuously bad or offensive. Often of mistakes, extremely and noticeably bad. An egregious mistake, failure, problem etc is extremely bad and noticeable. Extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant: an egregious mistake; an egregious liar. Conspicuous ; especially : conspicuously bad : flagrant

20 egregious Conspicuously bad or offensive. Often of mistakes, extremely and noticeably bad. An egregious mistake, failure, problem etc is extremely bad and noticeable. Extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant: an egregious mistake; an egregious liar. Conspicuous ; especially : conspicuously bad : flagrant

21 egregious Conspicuously bad or offensive. Often of mistakes, extremely and noticeably bad. An egregious mistake, failure, problem etc is extremely bad and noticeable. Extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant: an egregious mistake; an egregious liar. Conspicuous ; especially : conspicuously bad : flagrant

22 egregious in the BNC 36 instances Action/behaviour/event/result etc. (15) Person/organisation etc. (12) Mistake/error etc. (6) Object (2) Other (1)

23 Types of dictionaries General - alphabetical General - thematic (concepts) Thesaurus Terminological Pronunciation Collocations (lexical patterns) Pictorial Encyclopaedic

24 Possibilities of online searches The ‘ultimate’ reference source (?) Free Quick and easy comparison of information ‘Lexical journeys’ Primary research


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