Alphabetic Proportions in Estonian Monolingual and Bilingual Dictionaries

By November 17, 2016,
Page 631-636
Author Enn Veldi
Title Alphabetic Proportions in Estonian Monolingual and Bilingual Dictionaries
Abstract The paper discusses alphabetic proportions in Estonian general monolingual and bilingual dictionaries with Estonian on the left-hand side. As no data about the Estonian alphabetic proportions were available, the alphabetic proportions were calculated on the basis of the corpus-based Frequency Dictionary of Standard Estonian (Kaalep and Muischnek 2002). The findings were then used to configure the Estonian ruler in TshwaneLex dictionary compilation software-alphabetic proportions for English, Afrikaans and several African languages as well as an excellent background to this problem can be found in De Schryver 2005. Subsequently, the established proportions were used as a yardstick for comparing three monolingual and six bilingual dictionaries. The six bilingual dictionaries included four general Estonian-English dictionaries-one of them not completed as of yet but revealing potential problems-and two school dictionaries-Estonian-German and Estonian- Russian. The findings show that while alphabetic proportions have generally been followed quite successfully, some Estonian dictionaries show a tendency to be skewed-some dictionaries become more thorough towards the end of the alphabet while others show the opposite trend. The problem is more challenging for those dictionary projects that require decades for completion and where the dictionary is published in fascicles-in the Estonian lexicographic practice one has in mind the Explanatory Dictionary of Standard Estonian, which started publication in 1988. There can also naturally be instances where single alphabetic stretches may reveal perceived overtreatment or undertreatment. The paper also argues whether the alphabetic proportions of certain letters can vary to some extent depending on the selection of words listed under them - e.g. inclusion of large numbers of foreign and learned words beginning in a, b, d, g , f in Estonian dictionaries can increase the proportions of these letters as they are less typical of native words. The paper ends with the firm conviction that in recent years it has become much easier to control the progress of a lexicographic project.
Session 2. The Dictionary-Making Process
author = {Enn Veldi},
title = {Alphabetic Proportions in Estonian Monolingual and Bilingual Dictionaries},
pages = {631-636},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 13th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2008},
month = {jul},
date = {15-19},
address = {Barcelona, Spain},
editor = {Elisenda Bernal, Janet DeCesaris},
publisher = {Institut Universitari de Linguistica Aplicada, Universitat Pompeu Fabra},
isbn = {978-84-96742-67-3},