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date: 28 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses computational lexicography in two senses: the function of a lexicon in computer applications, and the use of computational techniques in compiling dictionaries. After a short historical survey, the article distinguishes scholarly dictionaries based on historical principles from practical synchronic dictionaries of contemporary words and meanings. Only the latter are suitable for computational applications, but many computational linguists are unaware of the difference. The chapter goes on to describe the ways in which computational techniques are bringing about radical changes in the methodology of compiling new dictionaries. It argues that future dictionaries, if they are to be maximally useful to both learners and computer programs, will need to make a more serious effort to report the stereotypical phraseology that is associated with each meaning of a word and the ways in which these stereotypes are exploited. Current developments and future possibilities are surveyed. The chapter closes with some suggestions for further reading. This article is designed to be read in conjunction with Chapter 3 of this volume.

Keywords: lexicography, dictionaries, words, names, word meaning, phraseology, historical principles, synchronic principles, prescriptive definitions, descriptive principles, English as an interlingua, WordNet, FrameNet, Corpus Pattern Analysis

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