In Lexical Analysis, Patrick Hanks offers a wide-ranging empirical investigation of word use and meaning in language. The book fills the need for a lexically based, corpus-driven theoretical approach that will help people understand how words go together in collocational patterns and constructions to make meanings. Such an approach is now possible, Hanks writes, because of the availability of new forms of evidence (corpora, the Internet) and the development of new methods of statistical analysis and inferencing.
Hanks offers a new theory of language, the Theory of Norms and Exploitations (TNE), which makes a systematic distinction between normal and abnormal usage—between rules for using words normally and rules for exploiting such norms in metaphor and other creative use of language. Using hundreds of carefully chosen citations from corpora and other texts, he shows how matching each use of a word against established contextual patterns plays a large part in determining the meaning of an utterance. His goal is to develop a coherent and practical lexically driven theory of language that takes into account the immense variability of everyday usage and that shows that this variability is rule governed rather than random. Such a theory will complement other theoretical approaches to language, including cognitive linguistics, construction grammar, generative lexicon theory, priming theory, and pattern grammar.
OBELEXdict is a database which currently comprises 17,000 entries containing information on online dictionaries from all over the world.
The objective of OBELEXdict is to provide a research tool that enables users to find as many lexicographical resources as possible, organised according to content. Therefore, each entry includes a wide range of information on the respective dictionary, in particular the type, name and the language(s) of the dictionary.
In addition, search queries in OBELEXdict can be narrowed down according to which language families its languages belong to, whether auditory information is available in the dictionary, whether the dictionary offers some kind of diagrammatic access to the dictionary content, whether illustrations or videos are integrated into the dictionary or whether the dictionary offers onomasiological access to the dictionary content, e.g. access to topic areas/subject groups or onomasiological access via illustrations.
OBELEXdict was constructed alongside work on the dictionary portal OWID, with minimal staff, mostly in 2010/2011. We endeavour to attaina high quality of content, but we are always happy to receive comments and
suggestions that help us improve OBELEXdict.
Macmillan has announced that, from 2013, it will no longer be publishing dictionaries in book form. It will focus instead on its expanding range of digital resources. Michael Rundell, Editor-in-Chief of the Macmillan dictionary list, sees this as both inevitable and entirely positive. He regards the printed book as a very limiting medium, and increasingly out of step with the way people look for information in the second decade of the 21st century. While printed reference books are out of date as soon they go on sale, an online dictionary can be kept fully up to date. More than this, the digital medium allows dictionary publishers to provide valuable additional resources, like audio pronunciations, interactive games, and a thesaurus function. As well as all these, Macmillan has a crowd-sourced dictionary (the ‘Open Dictionary’) fed by users from all over the world, and an active blog with four or five new posts every week on language-related issues. Michael says he was struck by one of the findings reported at the recent Euralex Congress in Gilles-Maurice de Schryver’s plenary: his analysis of papers in the Euralex archive showed that the word ‘look up’ had declined in frequency and been overtaken by ‘search’. This is the world that dictionaries belong to now. For more details, see the post on this subject in Macmillan’s blog.
The Executive Board of EURALEX is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our good friend and dedicated colleague, Paul Bogaards, at his home in the Netherlands on October 3, 2012. Paul was editor of the International Journal of Lexicography from 2002 to 2012 and an ex-officio member of the EURALEX Executive Board during that time. Paul’s contributions to EURALEX were many, and he continued to work on IJL right up until his illness prevented him from doing so. Paul will be sorely missed by the EURALEX community, and we take this opportunity to extend our deepest sympathy to his widow Ingrid and to the rest of his family.
An obituary for Paul will appear in the next issue of the EURALEX Newsletter, and we are working with Oxford University Press to set up a memoriam on the IJL webpage. Further information will be posted here. In the interim, Anne Dykstra will be Acting Editor of the journal.
Janet DeCesaris, President, EURALEX (2012-2014), for the Executive Board
Born in Ireland, William Marsden (1754–1836) was a pioneer in the study of oriental languages, in particular those of modern-day Malaysia and Indonesia. At the age of seventeen he joined his elder brother to work for the East India Company in Sumatra, and began researching the languages of the East Indies. He moved to London in 1779 and became associated with its scientific and academic circles, attending meetings of the Royal Society and becoming a friend of Sir Joseph Banks. This gave him access to vocabularies compiled by naval officers, and these, combined with his own observations, allowed him to produce the pioneering works that made his reputation. (His History of Sumatra and Dictionary of the Malayan Language are also reissued in this series.) First published in 1796, this work helped to fuel the growing interest in languages and philology at the turn of the nineteenth century.
Here is the latest news on Euralex 2012 to be held in Oslo, Norway.
These are the speakers who have accepted the invitation to deliver plenary lectures. You can read short summaries of their lectures on the Euralex 2012 web page.
Registration is now open. Early registration will be open until June 15th 2012.
The Board of AFRILEX (i.e. the African Association for Lexicography), in conjunction with the Bureau of the WAT, decided to turn Lexikos into an open access journal. Starting with Volume 21 (2011), Lexikos is now freely available to all online readers. Back issues are being added as they are digitized and indexed. Please visit:
The conference will be held from 25th – 28th July, 2012, and it is organised by the Saxonian Academy of Sciences in Leipzig and the Department of Indo-European Studies of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
The cultural programme of the conference includes:
• Guided tour of the manuscript section of the Thuringian university and state library
• Dinner with programme in the historical Rosensäle (meaning “Rosenhalls”)
• Excursion to Weimar, the town of the German classical period, or to Leipzig, place of residence of the Saxonian Academy (28th July)
The Center for Research in Terminology and Translation (CRTT) of the University of Lyon is organizing an international conference on neology in specialized languages which will take place in Lyon on 2-3 July 2012. The aim of the conference is to bring together linguists interested in discussing the following aspects of neology in specialized communication:
the methods and tools which are used to detect new terms and concepts,
the importance of written and oral corpora to detect new terms,
the methods and tools which are used to measure and evaluate the implantation of new terms in a specialized language and their circulation to other specialized languages,
the influence of language policies on the implantation and circulation of neologisms,
the diachronic evolution of neologisms,
the treatment of neologisms by general-purpose and specialized dictionaries.
The third international New Approaches in English Historical Lexis Symposium (HEL-LEX3) will be held in Southern Finland at the Tvärminne Zoological Station from March 7-10, 2012.
Professor Lynda Mugglestone (Pembroke college, Oxford),
Dr Philip Durkin, Principal Etymologist of the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press,
Professor Michael Adams (University of Indiana, Bloomington).
Papers covering any aspect of English historical lexicography and lexicology, as well as subjects which involve other languages by way of a comparative study are welcome. Please submit an abstract of not more than 1 A4 page to email@example.com not later than Sept 30, 2011.
The HEL-LEX organising committee is anxious to see that a proceedings volume will appear in good time after the conference. To this end, please keep in mind that a call for submission will allow only about three months after the conference to complete papers. As in the past, we will be asking Cascadilla press to do the proceedings, so that, pending their agreement, we advise that you consult their website about citation and presentation style, even at this early stage.