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LINGUIST List 21.1843

Thu Apr 15 2010

Books: Lexicography: Bejoint

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <fatemehlinguistlist.org>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
        1.    Elyse Turr, The Lexicography of English: Bejoint

Message 1: The Lexicography of English: Bejoint
Date: 29-Mar-2010
From: Elyse Turr <elyse.turroup.com>
Subject: The Lexicography of English: Bejoint
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Title: The Lexicography of English
Published: 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Author: Henri Bejoint
Hardback: ISBN: 0198299672 9780198299677 Pages: 544 Price: U.S. $ 55.00

This book looks at how English words have been recorded, ordered,
dissected, and displayed in dictionaries in Great Britain and the USA from
the seventeenth century to the present. In the process it offers a complete
introduction to how dictionaries are made. It considers the aims of their
authors, the methods of their compilation, and the concepts and beliefs
that lie behind them.

Henri Béjoint compares the descriptive approach of English lexicography
with its more prescriptive American counterpart, and contrasts both with
the lexicography of France. Computers have transformed the way dictionaries
are produced and presented. Yet, as the author shows, many aspects of
lexicography have hardly changed over the centuries: the challenge of
distinguishing a word's senses, for example, and of tracing the history of
its forms and uses. Problems equally remain: how to treat taboo-words and
insults is as difficult as it ever was and the nature of meaning is subject
still to fierce debate.

The history of lexicography is characterized by the ambitions and
achievements of great eccentrics and yet greater intellects. Johnson,
Webster, and Murray stalk these pages with a host of scholars and
entrepreneurs: Professor Béjoint vividly documents their lives and deftly
takes apart their work. "Dictionaries are an endless source of enjoyment,"
he writes, "and perhaps the most important object of this book is to try to
persuade the reader that lexicography is a fascinating domain."

He triumphantly succeeds.

Linguistic Field(s): Lexicography

Written In: English (eng )

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