31. Lexicography. The main types of dictionaries.
Lexicography, that is the theory and practice of compiling dictionaries, is an important branch of applied linguistics. It has a common object of study with lexicology as both describe the vocabulary of a language. 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. Dictionaries may be classified under different heads.
1. According to the choice of items included and the sort of information given about these items dictionaries may be divided into two big groups — encyclopedic and linguistic. Encyclopedic dictionaries are scientific reference books dealing with every branch of knowledge, or with one particular branch, usually in alphabetical order, e.g. the Oxford Paperback Encyclopedia, Random House Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Encyclopedic dictionaries are thing-books, that give information about the extra-linguistic world, they deal with facts and concepts. The best-known encyclopedias of the English-speaking world are the Encyclopaedia Brittannica and the Encyclopaedia Americana. Linguistic dictionaries are word-books the subject-matter of which is lexical units and their linguistic properties such as pronunciation, meaning, origin, peculiarities of use, and other linguistic information. Linguistic dictionaries can be further divided into different categories by different criteria. 1.
According to the scope of their word-list linguistic dictionaries are divided into general and restricted.
General dictionaries represent the vocabulary as a whole with a degree of completeness depending upon the scope and the bulk of the book in question. Some general dictionaries may have very specific aims and still be considered general due to their coverage. They include frequency dictionary, a rhyming dictionary, a Thesaurus, etc., e.g. the Collins CO BUILD...
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