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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

When people consult a bilingual dictionary, they usually do so because they want to find out what the word means. Bilingual dictionaries have arisen in response to people’s need to establish meaning correspondences between languages. It is only after a dictionary user has identified such provisional correspondences that they can proceed with translating, producing their own utterances in the foreign language, or any other activity which prompted them to consult a bilingual dictionary. Depending on the headword, semantic information in the dictionary can be conveyed in different ways. The most important meaning-elucidating strategy is the provision of lexicographic equivalents, which form an internally diversified category. In good bilingual dictionaries, equivalents are routinely complemented by glosses, labels, notes, and, increasingly often, examples of usage. Special emphasis is given to the typology of equivalence (cognitive, translational, explanatory, and functional) developed by the author on the basis of the work of Ladislav Zgusta.

Keywords: meaning, definition, bilingual dictionaries, monodirectional bilingual dictionaries, bidirectional bilingual dictionaries, labels, notes, examples of usage, anisomorphism, equivalence

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