Compiling a monolingual dictionary for native speakers.

  • P Hanks


This article gives a survey of the main issues confronting the compilers of monolingual dictionaries in the age of the Internet. Among others, it discusses the relationship between a lexical database and a monolingual dictionary, the role of corpus evidence, historical principles in lexicography vs. synchronic principles, the instability of word meaning, the need for full vocabulary coverage, principles of definition writing, the role of dictionaries in society, and the need for dictionaries to give guidance on matters of disputed word usage. It concludes with some questions about the future of dictionary publishing. Keywords: Monolingual Dictionaries, Lexical Database, Dictionary Structure, Word Meaning, Meaning Change, Usage, Usage Notes, Historical Principles Of Lexicography, Synchronic Principles Of Lexicography, Register, Slang, Standard English, Vocabulary Coverage, Consistency Of Sets, Phraseology, Syntagmatic Patterns, Problems Of Compositionality, Linguistic Prescriptivism, Lexical Evidence **This article is an edited version of a plenary address delivered at the conference on 'Dictionaries, More Than Words', which took place at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 6 February 2009.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904