Those of you who like dictionaries (whether in paper or electronic format) and who want to know how they are built, how senses can be discovered in corpora, how examples can be selected and how words, collocations and word usage can be described will be interested in Sue Atkins and Michael Rundell’s Oxford Guide to Practical Lexicography (Oxford University Press, June 2008). The book was published this week. This ‘how to do it’ textbook on the making of dictionaries, as it is described on the publisher’s web site, should interest lexicographers, students and teachers of lexicography, linguistics and lexical semantics. The corpus-based approach adopted by the authors also enables them to show how relevant linguistic theories such as frame semantics or prototype theory can be to dictionary makers and how software can be used to manipulate lexical data and compile dictionary entries. The book also provides suggestions for further reading: many of the recommended papers are included in the companion volume Practical Lexicography: A Reader, edited by yours truly, which was also published by OUP a few months ago and which I briefly described in an earlier post on this blog.   

I look forward to seeing Sue and Michael at the Euralex Conference in Barcelona in July to celebrate the publication of these two books… We had all been dreaming of this set of books for a few years and it’s great to see this dream come true...

Thierry Fontenelle

Microsoft Natural Language Group