AskDefine | Define lexicographic

Dictionary Definition

lexicographic adj : of or relating to lexicography [syn: lexicographical]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Like a dictionary, relating to lexicography (the writing of a dictionary).

Usage notes

  • The phrase lexicographic order means in alphabetical order. It is a common term in computer science. It may indicate that numbers are to be treated as strings so 10 comes before 2 because there is no positional weighting and the symbol 1 comes before 2.

Extensive Definition

''For the term in mathematics, see Lexicographical order
The pursuit of lexicography is divided into two related disciplines:
  • Practical lexicography is the art or craft of compiling, writing and editing dictionaries.
  • Theoretical lexicography is the scholarly discipline of analyzing and describing the semantic, syntagmatic and paradigmatic relationships within the lexicon (vocabulary) of a language, developing theories of dictionary components and structures linking the data in dictionaries, the needs for information by users in specific types of situation, and how users may best access the data incorporated in printed and electronic dictionaries. This is sometimes referred to as metalexicography.
A person devoted to lexicography is called a lexicographer.
General lexicography focuses on the design, compilation, use and evaluation of general dictionaries, i.e. dictionaries that provide a description of the language in general use. Such a dictionary is usually called a general dictionary or LGP dictionary. Specialized lexicography focuses on the design, compilation, use and evaluation of specialized dictionaries, i.e. dictionaries that are devoted to a (relatively restricted) set of linguistic and factual elements of one or more specialist subject fields, e.g. legal lexicography. Such a dictionary is usually called a specialized dictionary or LSP dictionary.
There is some disagreement on the definition of lexicology, as distinct from lexicography. Some use "lexicology" as a synonym for theoretical lexicography; others use it to mean a branch of linguistics pertaining to the inventory of words in a particular language.
It is now widely accepted that lexicography is a scholarly discipline in its own right and not a sub-branch of linguistics, as the object of study in lexicography is the dictionary.


Practical lexicographic work involves several activities, and it is important to note that the compilation of really crafted dictionaries require careful consideration of all or some of the following aspects:
  • Profiling the intended users (i.e. linguistic and non-linguistic competences) and identifying their needs
  • Defining the communicative and cognitive functions of the dictionary
  • Selecting and organizing the components of the dictionary
  • Choosing the appropriate structures for presenting the data in the dictionary (i.e. frame structure, distribution structure, macro-structure, micro-structure and cross-reference structure)
  • Selecting words and affixes for lemmatization as entries
  • Selecting collocations, phrases and examples
  • Choosing lemma forms for each word or part of word to be lemmatized
  • Defining words
  • Organizing definitions
  • Specifying pronunciations of words
  • Labeling definitions and pronunciations for register and dialect, where appropriate
  • Selecting equivalents in bi- and polylingual dictionaries
  • Translating collocations, phrases and examples in bi- and polylingual dictionaries
Theoretical lexicography concerns the same aspects, but lead to the development of principles that can improve the quality of future dictionaries, for instance in terms of access to data and lexicographical information costs.

Recommended reading

Introductory books on lexicography:
  • Landau, Sidney, Dictionaries: The Art and Craft of Lexicography, 2nd ed., 2001
  • Bergenholtz, Henning/Tarp, Sven (eds.): Manual of Specialised Lexicography, 1995
  • Bejoint, Henri, Modern Lexicography: An Introduction, 2000
  • Hartmann, R. R. K., Teaching and Researching Lexicography, 2001
  • Hartmann, R. R. K./James, Gregory (comps.): Dictionary of Lexicography, 1998/2001
  • Nielsen, Sandro: The Bilingual LSP Dictionary, 1994
  • Ooi, Vincent, Computer Corpus Lexicography, 1998
  • Jonathon Green, "Chasing the Sun - Dictionary-Makers and the Dictionaries They Made," Pimlico, ISBN 0-7126-6216-2

See also

lexicographic in Bulgarian: Лексикография
lexicographic in Catalan: Lexicografia
lexicographic in Chuvash: Лексикографи
lexicographic in Czech: Lexikografie
lexicographic in Danish: Leksikografi
lexicographic in German: Lexikografie
lexicographic in Spanish: Lexicografía
lexicographic in Esperanto: Leksikografio
lexicographic in Basque: Hiztegigintza
lexicographic in French: Lexicographie
lexicographic in Galician: Lexicografía
lexicographic in Italian: Lessicografia
lexicographic in Lithuanian: Leksikografija
lexicographic in Dutch: Lexicografie
lexicographic in Norwegian: Leksikografi
lexicographic in Norwegian Nynorsk: Leksikografi
lexicographic in Occitan (post 1500): lexicografia
lexicographic in Polish: Leksykografia
lexicographic in Portuguese: Lexicografia
lexicographic in Russian: Лексикография
lexicographic in Slovak: Lexikografia
lexicographic in Albanian: Leksikografia
lexicographic in Swedish: Lexikografi
lexicographic in Tamil: அகராதிக் கலை
lexicographic in Ukrainian: Лексикографія
lexicographic in Chinese: 辭書學
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