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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

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Query Details

Query Subject:   dictionary presentation of derived words
Author:   Bruno Maroneze
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Query:   Dear linguists,
In English language dictionaries, derived words are generally indicated after the primitive word's definition (except when the derived word's meaning is not the sum of the meanings of its parts). An example from the ''English Dictionary Concise Edition'' (Geddes & Grosset, 1999):

nomad n one of a people or tribe who move in search of pasture; a wanderer. - nomadic adj.

This, as far as I know, is a tradition only in English language lexicography. I wish to know when this tradition began (in which lexicographical work), and if there are dictionaries in other languages which also present derived words this way.
I will be glad to post a summary of the responses.

Best regards,
Bruno O. Maroneze
Graduate Student - University of Sao Paulo - Brazil
LL Issue: 14.1955
Date posted: 18-Jul-2003


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