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AnIntroductiontoLexicography
Lexicologyandlexicography
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LexicologyandLexicogrpahy LexicographyandLinguistics

LexiconandGrammer PracticalandTheoriticalDictionaries

1.1LexicologyandLexicography
BothlexicologyandlexicographyarederivedfromtheGreekworklexiko(adjectivefromlexismeaning'speech',or'wayofspeaking'or'word').Thecommonconcern
of both of them is 'word' or the lexical unit of a language. Lexicology is derived from lexico 'word' plus logos 'learning or science' i.e. the science of words.
Lexicographyislexico'word'plusgraph'writing'i.e.thewritingofwords.Theetymologicalmeaningofthesewordsspeaksforitselfthescopeofthesebranchesof
linguistics.Lexicologyisthescienceofthestudyofwordwhereaslexicographyisthewritingofthewordinsomeconcreteformi.e.intheformofdictionary.Aswe
shallseelater,lexicologyandlexicographyareverycloselyrelated,ratherthelatterisdirectlydependentontheformerandmaybecalledappliedlexicology.

As already noted, both lexicology and lexicography have a common subject 'word'. The sum total of all the words of a language forms the vocabulary or lexical
systemofalanguage.Thewordsofalanguagearelikeconstellationsofstarsinthefirmament.Everywordalthoughhavingitsownindependententityisrelatedto
othersbothparadigmaticallyandsyntagmatically.Theparadigmaticrelationsarebasedontheinterdependenceofwordswithinthelexicalsystem.Thesyntagmatic
relationsshowtherelationofwordsinthepatternsofarrangement.Inotherwordsthevocabularyofalanguageisnotachaosofdiversifiedphenomenabutconsists
ofelementswhich,thoughindependent,arerelatedinsomeway.Awordhasaparticularmeaning,ithasaparticulargroupofsounds,andaparticulargrammatical
function. As such it is a semantic, phonological and grammatical unit. Lexicology studies a word in all these aspects i.e. the patterns of semantic relationship of
words as also their phonological, morphological and contextual behaviour. Words undergo constant change in their form and meaning and lexicology studies the
vocabularyofalanguageintermsofitsorigin,developmentandcurrentuse.Thestudyoftheinterrelationshipoflexicalunitsisdoneintermsofthecontrastsand
similaritiesexistingbetweenthem.

Asaworddoesnotoccurinisolation,lexicologystudiesitwithitscombinativepossibilities. And thus the scope of lexicology includes the study of phraseological
units,setcombinationsetc.

Likegenerallinguistics,ofwhichlexicologyisabranch,lexicologycanbebothhistoricalanddescriptive,theformerdealingwiththeoriginanddevelopmentofthe
formandmeaningofthelexicalunitsinaparticularlanguagesacrosstimeandthelatterstudyingthevocabularyofalanguageasasystemataparticularpointof
time.Buttherearemanyareasinlexicology,whereonecannotbestudiedinisolation,withoutregardtotheother.Theyare,thus,interdependent.

Thelexicologicalstudiescanbeoftwotypes,viz.,generalandspecial.Generallexicologyisconcernedwiththegeneralfeaturesofwordscommontoalllanguages.
Itdealswithsomethinglikeuniversalsinlanguage.Speciallexicologyontheotherhandstudiesthewordswithreferencetooneparticularlanguage.

Lexicologicalstudiescanbe,further,ofcomparativeandcontrastivetypewhereinthelexicalsystemsoftwolanguagesarestudiesfromacontrastivepointofview.

Lexicologyfulfillstheneedsofdifferentbranchesofappliedlinguistics,viz.,lexicography,stylistics,languageteaching,etc.

Asthe vocabulary or the lexical system of a language forms a system of the language as other systems, its study in lexicology should not be separated from the
otherconstituentsofthesystem.Solexicologyiscloselyrelatedtophoneticsandgrammar.

Therelationbetweenphoneticsandlexicologyisveryimportant.Wordsconsistofphonemes,which,althoughnothavingmeaningoftheirown,serveinformationof
morphemes,thelevelwheremeaningisexpressed.Sotheyservetodistinguishbetweenmeanings.Moreover,meaningitselfisindispensableforphonemicanalysis.
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The difference of meaning in /pIt/ and /pUt/ helps in the fixation of the phonemes /I/ and /U/. Historical phonetics helps in the study of polysemy, homonymy and
synonymy.

Thelinkbetweenlexicologyandgrammarisalsoveryclose.Eachwordhasarelationinthegrammaticalsystemofalanguageandbelongstosomepartsofspeech.
Lexicologystudiesthisrelationshipintermsofthegrammaticalmeaningsasalsotheirrelationshipwiththelexicalmeaning.Inthefieldofwordformation,lexicology
isstillmorecloselyrelatedtogrammar.Bothstudythepatternsofwordformation.

Languageisasocialphenomenon.Thestudyoflanguagecannotbedivorcedfromthestudyofthesocialsystemandthedevelopmentinsociety.Thedevelopment
and progress in the social, political and technological system is manifest in the vocabulary of a language. New words are introduced and old words die out. New
meaningsareaddedtowordsandoldmeaningsaredroppedout.Lexicologystudiesthevocabularyofalanguagefromthesociologicalpointsalso.

Lexicography also studies the lexicon as lexicology does but "whereas lexicology concentrates more on general properties and features that can be viewed as
systematic,lexicographytypicallyhasthesotosayindividualityofeachlexicalunitinthefocusofitsinterest".(Zgusta1973,14).Lexicographyhasbeengenerally
definedasthewritingorcompiling1ofalexiconordictionary,theartorpracticeofwritingdictionariesorthescienceofmethodsofcompilingdictionaries.Theword
wasusedasearlyas1680.(OxfordEnglishDictionary/Lexicography).

Inlexicologythewordisstudiedasapartofthesystem.Inlexicographyitisstudiedasanindividualunitinrespectofitsmeaningandusefromthepracticalpointof
itsusebythereaderofthedictionaryforlearningthelanguageorcomprehendingtextsinitorforanyotherpurposelikecheckingcorrectspelling,pronunciationetc.
Awordmayhavedifferentandvariedcharacteristic,allofwhichmaynotbeneededbyalexicographer.Hisworkisguidedmorebythepurposeofthedictionaryand
thetypeoftheaudience.Hepresentsthewordsofthelexicalsysteminawaysoastomakeitmorepracticallyuseableinreallifesituationi.e.inactualspeech. For
examplelexicologymaygivethetheoreticalbasisforenumeratingdifferentmeaningsofapolysemousword,buthowthesemeaningsarewordedandpresented in
the dictionary is governed by the practical problems of utility of the dictionary for different types of readers. The aim of lexicology is to study the vocabulary of a
languageasasystem,sothetreatmentofindividualunitsmaynotclaimtobecompletebecausethenumberofunitsisverylarger.Itsgoalissystematizationinthe
study as a whole but not completeness as regards individual units. So it cannot claim to be a perfectly systematic treatment. Here, every entry is treated as an
independentproblem.Lexicologistspresenttheirmaterialinsequenceaccordingtotheirviewofthestudyofvocabulary.Thelexicographersaremostlyguidedbythe
principleofconvenienceinretrievalofthedataandarrangewordsusuallyinalphabeticalorder.

Lexicologyprovidesthetheoreticalbasisoflexicography.Thelexicographeralthoughknowingallthesemanticdetailsofalexicalunitmight,attimes,havetotake
such decisions and include such features in the definition which might be his own observations. In lexicology the study of words is objective, governed by the
theories of semantics and word formation. There is no scope for individual aberrations. In lexicography, in spite of all the best attempts on the part of the
lexicographer,manyadefinitionbecomesubjective,i.e.theyarenotfreefromthebiasofthedictionarymaker.(cf.themeaningofoatsinJohnson'sDictionary.)

Generallexicologydealswiththeuniversalfeaturesofthewordsoflanguages.Inthissenselexicologyisnotlanguagespecific,whereaslexicographyismoreorless
language specific in spite of its universal theoretical background. Its theories have no other validation except for practical applicability in the compilation of a
dictionary.

Whereas lexicology is more theory oriented, lexicography is more concerned with concrete application (i.e. results) of these theories. So "in a certain sense
lexicography may be considered a superior discipline to lexicology, for results are more important than intentions and the value of theoretical principles must be
estimatedaccordingtoresults".(Doroszewski1973,36).

Lexicographyisthescienceandartofcompilingdictionary.Theword'dictionary'wasfirstusedasDictionariusinthissenseinthe13thcenturybyanEnglishman
John Garland. The word Dictionarium was used in the 14th century. The first book published under the English title Dictionary was LatinEnglish Dictionary by Sir
ThomasElyot(1538).ForamedievalscholaradictionarywasacollectionofdictionorphrasesputtogetherfortheuseofpupilsstudyingLatin.Oneofthepurposes
ofdictionaryinmedievaltimeswasglossingtextsandemployingsynonymsforthem.

Dictionariesarepreparedtoservedifferentpracticalneedsofthepeople.Areaderlooksatthedictionarymainlyfromthefollowingpointsofview:
(1) as a reference book for different types of information on words e.g. pronunciation, etymology, usage etc. this may be called the store house function of the
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dictionary.
(2)asareferencepointfordistinguishingthegoodorproperusagefromthebadorwrongusage.Thisisthelegislativeorthecourthousefunctionofthedictionary2.

Johnson(1755)describedthelexicographeras"awriterofdictionaries.aharmlessdrudgethatbusieshimselfintracingtheoriginalanddetailingthesignification
ofword".Littledidherealizeatthattimethathisdictionarywould,foralmostacentury,serveasthe'Bible'oftheEnglishlanguage,thesecondfunctionnotedabove.

Besidestheseadictionaryalsoservesasaclearinghouseofinformation.Inorderthatthesefunctionsbeperformedadequately,theinformationinthedictionaries
shouldbecollectedfromasmanysourcesaspossible,andshouldbeauthenticandeasilyretrievable.Lexicographyinthiswayisanappliedscience.

1.2LexicographyandLinguistics:asalreadynoted,thebasicconcernoflexicographyis'word'whichisstudiedindifferentbranchesoflinguistics,viz,phonetics,
grammar,stylisticsetc.Lexicographyisnotonlyrelatedtolinguisticsbutisanapplieddisciplineunderit.Thepracticalproblemsoflexicographyaresolvedbythe
applicationoftheresearchesoflinguisticworks.Asweshallseebelow,inhisentireworkfromtheselectionofentries,fixationofheadwords,thedefinitionofwords
tothearrangementofmeaningsandentries,thelexicographerishelpedbytheworkofdifferentbranchesoflinguistics.

One of the most widely accepted criteria for selection of entries in many dictionaries is usually frequency count. The frequency of head words the lexicographer
usuallychoosesthecanonicalorthemostfrequentlyoccurringformofaword.Thisisfoundoutfromthegrammaticalstudyofthelanguage.Forwrittenlanguages
and languages with established grammatical traditions the problem of selection of the head word is not so difficult as in the case of unwritten languages. Here the
lexicographerhastobehisownlinguistandhaverecoursetothelinguisticanalysisofthelanguage.Fordatacollectionhetakesthehelpoffieldlinguisticsand for
analysis, of descriptive linguistics. For giving definitions of flora and fauna as also of artifacts and other cultural items the lexicographer gives encyclopaedic
information.Forthistheprincipleofthehierarchicalstructureofthevocabularyintermsoffolktaxonomyisutilizedbyalexicographer.Thusheentersthedomainof
ethnolinguistics.

Forgivingspellingsandpronunciationofwordsinhisdictionarythelexicographerishelpedbythephoneticstudyofthelanguage.Forgrammaticalinformationhehas
todependonthemorphologicalanalysisofthelanguage.

In the determination of the central meaning of a polysemous word the lexicographer is helped by historical linguistics. Etymology gives him the clue to decide the
basic meaning. In the fixation of the number of meanings and their interrelationship the lexicographer has to take recourse to the linguistic methods of set
collocations,valencyandselectiverestrictionsetc.

Historicallinguisticshelpsintracingtheoriginanddevelopmentoftheformandmeaningofthewordsinhistoricaldictionaries.Indescriptivedictionariessuchlabels
as archaic, obsolete etc., denoting the temporal status of words, are decided with the help of historical linguistics. Historical linguistics, especially etymological
study, helps in distinguishing between homonymy and polysemy. But where etymological consideration is not applicable for want of such studies it is the native
speaker'sintuitionwhichistakenasthedeterminingfactor.Inthisthelexicographerishelpedbypsycholinguistics.Psycholinguisticsalsohelpsinprovidingmaterial
forvocabularydevelopmentwhichmightbeusedforthepreparationofthegradeddictionaries.

Dictionariesgivestatuslabelslikeslang,jargon,taboo,figurative,formal,graamya(vulgar)etc.Theselabelsaredecidedwiththehelpofsociolinguisticandstylistic
studies.

Fordialectdictionariesdialectologyisanecessaryhelpmate.

Abasicprerequisiteofbilingualdictionariesisacontrastiveanalysisofthelinguisticsystemsofthetwolanguages.Thisisprovidedbycontrastivelinguistics.

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All this shows that in his work the lexicographer has, to a large extent, always to depend on the findings of different branches of linguistics. But this is not so in
actual life. Lexicographical works had preceded grammatical works in many languages. It is not only the findings of linguistics which help in the solution of
lexicographical problems, the lexicographical findings are equally utilized by the linguists for different purposes of authenticating their hypothesis, in helping
standardizationofthelanguages,especiallyinthefieldsoftechnicalterminologies.

The problems of a lexicographer are practical and need based requiring atthemoment solution. The lexicographer cannot wait for certain findings in the field of
linguisticsorotherdisciplinesforthesolutionofhisproblems.Itisherethatlinguisticsmightfailtomeettheneedsofalexicographer.Therearedifferentschoolsof
linguisticsvyingwitheachotherintheoreticalresearches.Thefindingsofoneschoolarecontradictedbytheother.Therearedifferentstudiesonthesameaspectof
a language. Nothing is final. The lexicographer might not afford to wait for the final word to come. Moreover, many languages still remain uninvestigated. So the
lexicographerhastofindhisownway.Inhisentirework,thelexicographerisguidedbythepracticalconsiderationsofadictionaryuser.Thelinguistictheories are
quite important for the lexicographer but practical utility is more basic for him. As rightly put forward by Urdang "Lexicography, in practice is a form of applied
linguisticsandalthoughmoretheoreticianswouldbeawelcomeadditiontothefield,theymustrememberthattheirtheoriesshouldbeinterpretableaboveallinterms
ofpracticality."(Urdang,1963,594)

1.3LexiconandGrammar:therelationbetweenlexiconandgrammarhasbeendiscusseddifferently.Bloomfieldconsidersgrammarandlexicon(dictionary)astwo
partsoflinguisticdescriptionandremarks"lexiconisreallyanappendixofthegrammar,alistofbasicirregularities".(Bloomfield1933,274)3.Hisstatementseems
tobeinspiredbythefactthatgrammartakescareofalltheregularandpredictableformsofthelanguagewhereasdictionarygivesalltheirregularandunpredictable
formsasalsoformswithirregularandunpredictablemeanings.Inotherwords,itdealswiththeindividualidiosyncraciesofalanguage.Thedictionarygivesirregular
plurals,irregularformsofverbsandotherunpredictableformsintheparadigmofthelexicalunit.Itdoesnotenterregularinflectedformsbutgivesderivationalforms.
(See5.4).itgivesallthelexicalunitsofalanguagebecausetherelationbetweentheformandthemeaningisnotpredictable.Itisarbitrary.Itisinthissensethat
Bloomfieldcallsdictionaryanappendixofgrammarandalistofbasicirregularities.

Asamatteroffact,therecanbenostrictseparationofthetwointermsthatthedictionaryisconcernedwithwordsonly,orthegrammarisconcernedwithformsand
the dictionary with meaning. (Gleason 1967, 90). Actually the grammatical rules also give or are supposed to include the meaning of constructions. The dictionary
givesdifferentgrammaticalcategoriesofthelexicalentryalongwithitsmeaninganduse.

The basic difference between the lexicon and the grammar lies in respect of their being openended and closeended. The grammatical rules of a language are
internalized by an individual by the age of five or six years. Practically little is added to the grammatical structure afterwards. On the contrary, the acquisition of
vocabularyisanongoingandcontinuousprocessandlastsonlyatthetimeofdeath.Everydayanewlexicalitemisaddedtothelexicon(theinbuiltdictionarythe
lexicalstockofalanguageanindividualspeakerofalanguagehasinhimself.)thelexiconisconstantlychanging.Newwordsareadded,someoldwordsaredropped
whilesomeothersaremodifiedintheirsignification.

Gleason 1967, 9394) describes the relationship between grammar and lexicon as that of class and member. Grammar sets up classes and studies relationship
betweenthem.Dictionarydealswithindividualisolateditems,wordsandmorphemescalledmembersandidentifiestheclasstowhichamemberbelongs.

1.4 Practical and theoretical dictionaries: distinction should be made here between the practical and the theoretical (generative) dictionaries. The practical
dictionaryisthefleshandblooddictionarycompiledbythelexicographerandconsultedbythereadersfordifferentpurposes.Thedescriptionofthisdictionaryis the
subjectmatterofthisbook.Thetheoreticaldictionaryistheinbuiltdictionary of an individual speaker of a language. It represents the semantic competence of the
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subjectmatterofthisbook.Thetheoreticaldictionaryistheinbuiltdictionary of an individual speaker of a language. It represents the semantic competence of the
personandcomprisesthetotalstockofthewordsapersonhasacquiredinhislife.Thespeakerhasthisdictionaryasanequipmentenablinghimtochoseanduse
appropriate words in different structures and contexts. The theoretical dictionary or the lexicon of an individual is always changing. Either new words are added, or
somewordsaredroppedorsomenewmeaningsareaddedtotheexistingwordsbecauseoftheneedsofcommunication.Itisinthissensethatthelexiconiscalled
anopenendedset.

Anotherdifferencebetweenthepracticalandthetheoreticaldictionaryliesinthesystemofthe'arrangement'oflexicalentries.Whereasinthepracticaldictionarythe
entriesare'arranged'insomeorderedform,inthetheoreticaldictionarytheentriesareinanunorderedset.

Each lexical entry in the theoretical dictionary is realized in actual speech by virtue of its three properties or characteristics viz., morphological, syntactical and
semantic.Themorphologicalcharacteristicsspecifythebreakupoftheentryintermsofitsdifferentbothinflectionalandderivational.Themorphemicbreakshows
thepronunciationandspellingoftheentry.

Thesyntactic features are describable in terms of the collocational and combinational possibilities of a word in larger constructions like sentences. These features
aremarkedbysuchspecificpartsofspeechasnoun,adjectiveorthesecondarygrammaticalcategoriesliketransitive,intransitive(ofverbs),count,mass(ofnoun)
etc.

Thesemanticcharacteristicsrelatetothebundleofsemanticfeaturesofalexicalunitintermsoftheiroppositenessandcontrastiveness.

Onthebasisofthesespecificationsofthelexicalentry,thespeakerisableto'create'orproducenewwordsorderivenewmeaningsfromtheexistingwordswiththe
helpofwhatiscalledlexicalrules.Thelexicalrulesalsoexplaintheinterrelationshipbetweendifferentlexicalunitsinalanguage.

Thelexicalrulesaccountfortheformationofnewwordsintermsofthepredictabilityoftheiracceptabilityorotherwise.Theacceptabilitycanbeofthreetypes:

(1)Actualacceptability,whichhasbeenuniversallyacceptedaswellformedaccordingtorulesofwordformationandthewordhasalsothesocialacceptability.
(2)Potentialacceptability,whichcanbeproducedbywordformationrulesbutarenotestablishedinthesociety.
(3)Totalunacceptability,suchwordformationareneitherpermissiblebywordformationrulesnordotheyhavetheacceptabilityofthesociety.

The lexical rules provide the background information about the actual acceptance of lexical units by giving clues for such acceptability. Even among the actual
accepted lexical units there are degrees of acceptedness. Some units are more commonly accepted whereas others are less commonly accepted. The practical
dictionaryrecordsthemostcommonlyacceptedunits,thelessacceptableareeithernorrecordedorrecordedwithsomedelimitinglabels.

Thelexicalrulesareofdifferenttypesviz.,rulesofmorphologicalderivation,rulesofconversion,rulesofsemantictransferetc.Therulesofmorphologicalderivation
relatetothechangeinmorphologicalstructurebyadditionofsomesuffixesoraffixestostemse.g.Hindighod?aa'horse'ghod?ewaalaa'onewhoownsahorse'orby
themethodofcompoundingetc.

Therulesofconversionrelatetochangeinthesyntacticfunctionwithoutaffectingthemorphologicalstructure.E.g.cutnoun,dropnoun:dropverb.

The rules for semantic transfer involve change in the semantic structure of a word. Metaphorical extensions, metonymy and other forms of semantic change are
coveredbythisrule.Thisruleaccountsfortheconnotationalandstylisticmeaningsofthelexicalunitswhichincourseoftimearesystemized,institutionalizedand
establishedinthelanguage.

Thelexicalrulesareofdiversenature.Largenumberoflexicalrulescanbeappliedtoonelexicalunite.g.boy,boyish,boyhoodetc.thesamerulecanbeappliedto
differentwords,e.g.boyhood,girlhood,manhood,womanhoodetc.Thelexicalrulesexplainingtherelationshipbetweendifferentlexicalunitsarerelatedtopolysemy,
synonymy,hyponymyetc.

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1."Creating"accordingtoShcherba(Srivastava1968,113).
2.FordetailsseeAnnamalai,E.(1978)
3.Cf.Jesperson,O."Grammardealswithgeneralfactsoflanguageandlexicologywithspecialfacts".PhilosophyofGrammar,p.32
4.FordetailsseeLeech1974,pp.210ff.

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