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Reviews149 Dictionary ofLexicography. R. R. K. Hartmann and GregoryJames. London /New York: Routledge, 1998. xvi + 176 pages. $75.00. This work could be called a pedagogical dictionary of lexicographic terminology, because its main aim is to initiate the young student into lexicography. That is why, for example, the front matter contains an extended entry in which all its parts are labeled by their designations, beginning with the headword (xv) . At the same time, the dictionary's scope is broader than what, given the usual understanding of what lexicography is, most would expect: under the powerful impact of Tom McArthur's approach, the authors perceive dictionary making as firmly embedded in the production of other books of reference ; this is why the entry reference works mentions not only lexicography and terminology, but also the compilation of works like catalogs, directories, and encyclopedias, and it also explains why there are entries on abstracting service, atias, calendar, and so forth. Nor is it surprising that the term philology is taken in the British sense (in spite of its being somewhat obsolete even there) , namely as "a branch of linguistics concerned with the comparative-historical perspective in language study." The wording of the explanatory part of the entries is as easy as possible . That is probably why the authors do not try to offer any formal definitions of the terms listed. At the same time, they cast their net quite widely; e.g., the headword catch-word is listed with its three senses, only one of them labeled as lexicographic: (1) 'catch-phrase' (coll.), (2) 'guideword' (lexic), and (3) 'keyword' (library indexing) . The reader does not get any definition, but good synonyms, and, in the labels, the background for understanding the polysemy of the term. Another of the new coinages is, e.g., the distinction of microfunction and macrofunction (in the entry for function), obviously following the pattern of micro- and macrostructure. In respect to the latter, the authors consider the outside matter a part of the macrostructure; but the wording of the entry for megastructure contradicts that. Another text that will need retouching in the second edition is the panel on page 74, where period dictionaries are said to belong among the diasystematic ones, whereas the discussion on page 107 puts period dictionaries among historical ones. Not that this would be necessarily wrong, because language forms a system in any historical period, so period dictionaries could be called diasystematic; but there is, so at least it seems to me, a convention of classification that the notion of diasystematicity is reserved for synchronic differences in the system of a language. In a similar way, it would probably be better, in a dictionary for beginners , not to classify the thesaurus as an antidictionary, since it is an unusual, if possible, understanding of the latter term. By the same token, saying that gradus in gradus ad Parnassum has the meaning of 'primer' is scarcely 1 50Reviews felicitous, the normal understanding of the phrase being that of a rhyming dictionary. It will also be necessary to disentangle the entries for token, whose sense 2 is said to be hapax legomenon, and type, whose sense 2 is said to be 'the individual examples of ... words ... occurring in a given corpus.' I think it would be better to stick, mainly as regards the beginner, to the notion of the lexical unit, or item (type), which has a morphological dispersion (to use a British term). There are entries in the dictionary whose presence I heartily welcome, because the beginner would be in trouble seeking advice elsewhere, e.g., anagogical meaning 'mystical sense', bridge dictionary 'culturally oriented bilingual dictionary'; caconym 'sociolinguistically objectionable word', and oracy 'the counterpart of literacy'. On the whole, the dictionary will be useful to the beginner who needs an easy clarification of terms for his reading. Given the scarcity of courses in lexicography, quite a number of students find themselves in that position. Ladislav Zgusta University ofIllinois ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 149-150
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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