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Homework lecture 6

Homework lecture 6



  • the consonants of German which do not occur in English : ß

  • the consonants of English which do not occur in German : th

  • the vowels of German which do not occur in English : ä,ü,ö

  • the vowels of English which do not occur in German : none



  • the characters of German which do not occur in English : ß

  • the characters of English which do not occur in German :

  • 5 English graphemes containing more than one character : gh, ou, oi, ty, yi,oa

  • 5 German graphemes containing more than one character : uh, ch, sch, au, eu

19.12.07 16:15

Lecture 5

Lecture 5

At the beginning of lecture 5 we revised the terms onomasiological dictionary, sematological dictionary and microstructure, macrostructure and megastructure of a dictionary.

After that Professor Gibbon showed us how to create a table in Open Office. He used the headword/Lemma “flibbertygibbet“ to demonstrate how it is done.

Then he said that for transcribing a word with IPA you should have an IPA font called Gentium, which you can google on the internet. He also suggested that if we had to look something up we should use .

Then we went on with the table that was constructed and filled it with words to exercise what we just had learned.

I have to admit that I understood everything when I was in class, but now at home I have to say it`s not so clear anymore. I know what it is all about, but am not sure if I can do it on my own now.

I`ve looked at and I really like it. Normally I stick to my papere versions of Collins, but now I`ve found a good altenative.

18.1.08 18:16

Lecture 4

Lecture 4

I didn`t attend this lecture, because I fell ill.

18.1.08 21:15

Lecture 3

This lecture was about the architecture of a dictionary. The main parts of a dictionary are the megastructure, the macrostructure, the mesostructure and the microstructure.


The megastructure is the entire structure of a dictionary. It consits of :

  • the front matter
  •  abbreviationsand explanations of grammar
  • the body of the dictionary
  •  the back matter




In the macrostructure the lexical entries are organised in lists, tree structures and networks. Types of macrostructure are:
  • semasiological
  • onomasiological


The microstructure is the structure within the entries of a dictionary and has content, rendering and structure.



The mesostructure of a dictionary is the set of relations between lexical entries and other entities like e.g. the “mini-grammar” or the text corpus. The mesostructure is represented by links (e.g. between groups of lexical types) and cross-references.


I can`t say anything about the lecture itself as I wasn`t there, because I fell ill. 

When I went through the pages at home I didn`t quite get what a mesostructure is.   

17.1.08 19:27

Homework lecture 3

Homework lecture 3

Take one of your dictionaries, and describe in as much detail as possible its


Megastructure : Collins English dictionary (14th edition 2005)

Macrostructure: monolingual semasiological dictionary,alphabetical order

Microstructure: e.g asthma (ass-ma) n illness caused by difficulty in breathing asthmatic adj, n

Mesostructure: references to pronunciation

18.1.08 16:49

Lecture 2

In this lecture we talked about about dictionaries and their definitions. We looked at extracts of a semasiological dictionary and an extract of an onomasiological dictionary of the entry “eddy“. The semasiological dictionary defined it as a “circular movement of water, wind , dust , smoke,etc“ whereas the onomasiological dictionary entry read “ motion in a continous circle. ROTATION, revolution, gyration, roll, circumrotation....“. We found out, that the semasiological dictionary, which is a standard dictionary gives the contextual definition of the word “eddy“. The onomasiological dictionary , which is for example a thesaurus gives an associated definition of the word “eddy“. The next step was to define what a semasiological and an onomasiological dictionary is. We said that in a semasiological dictionary you are looking for semantics, the meaning of a word. You have a word and don`t know the meaning (you have to decode the meaning). You have an appearance and are looking for a meaning. If you use an onomasiological dictionary, you roughly know waht the word means. In the dictionary you look in the wordfield given. You are not looking for the meaning, but for the word.

We then looked at the sign model again, which was introduced in the first lecture, again. IN te shared world we had media. A dictionary is a medium with a certain text structure, the dictionary arcitecture. As we know dictionaries contain information, semantics and pragmatics. Therefore dictionaries are signs. They are texts, texts have meanings,so have dictionaries. But dictionaries also describe signs (words), they define them. There are good definitions and bad definitions. A good definition for example is the Standard dictionary definition: X is a Y kind of Z. An example of a bad definition is a circular definition, because there you start at a certain point, but somehow don`t get to where you want. You are starting and ending at the same point. As bad as it may seem, but sometimes you just can`t avoid a circular definition.

The Standard definition X is a Y kind of Z is a definitio per genus proximum et differentia specifica, a definition by nearest kind and specific differences, for example is a poodle a dog (genus proximum) with thick curling hair ( differentia specifica).

A genus proximum hierarchy is a tree structure and is called a taxonomy. If you take poodle for example you a poodle is a dog, a dog is an animal and so on.

There are different types of definitions. You can have a definition by genera proxima (for example: a creature is a being, which is an object, which is a thing) or you can have a definition by enumeration of hyponyms or definitions by negation of co-hyponym ( e.g. not a plant, not an animal..). Those elements can of course all occur in one definition aswell.


I think this lecture was a bit packed, but as it wasn`t that difficult to understand it was ok.   

17.1.08 17:55

homework lecture 2


1.What are dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias... „language“ ?


dictionaries: book consisting of an alphabetical list of words with their meanings; alphabetically ordered reference book of terms relating to a particular subject (Collins English Dictionary)

lexicon: dictionary ; vocabulary of a language ( Collins English Dictionary)

encyclopaedia: book or set of books containing facts about many subjects, usually in alphabetical order (Collins English Dictionary)

language“: system of sounds,symbols, etc for communicating thought; particular system used by a nation or people;system of words and symbols for computer programming

2.What kinds of dictionaries are there ? Define the types !

3.How would you find the „best“ English dictionary ?

Answer: Personally, I don`t think that there is the „best“ English dictionary, because there are different kinds of dictionaries. What kind of dictionary you use depends on what you want to know. As there are semasiological (meaning of word) and onomasiological

(wordfield) dictionaries, you will find one information in the one and another in the other dictionary, not both in one. If I want to find out something in particular I look up the same word in several dictionary and choose the one that I like best.

Task: set up a questionnaire of questions about dictionaries, and ask 3 people to respond to it before next week

  1. For what purposes do you use a dictionary ?

  2. Which dictionary/dictionaries do you normally use ?

  3. Which online dictionaries do you know ?

  4. Do you have a dictionary at home or do you prefer online dictionaries ?

Question 1

P1: I use a dictionary to look up a word I don`t know or a technical term.

P2: I use a dictionary to look up words or synonyms.

P3: I use a dictionary to translate texts.

Question 2

P1: I normally use a pons english-german dictionary.

P2: I normally use the Collins English or Collins German dictionary.

P3: I normally use onlind dictionaries like leo.

Question 3

P1: I know leo and

P2: I know leo.

P3: I konw leo.

Question 4

P1: Yes, I´ve got a dictionary at home, which I normally use. (Pons)

P2: Yes, I´ve got Collins` German dictionary and I`ve got Collins`English dictionary

22.11.07 19:03

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