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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

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

First lecture

In the first lecture of the semester we talked about organisational things at first. After that we talked about what a text actually is. We found out that the properties of a text are: appearance, meaning and structure.

The main part of the lecture we spent on the sign model and found out that texts are signs, which have meaning and a certain structure.

The sign model consists of three main „parts“. The formulation, the meaning and the appearance. The formulation can be „splitted“ into meaning and appearance. The second model embedded the first sign model, but put it into a two world system (the world of the mind, the shared world). The world of the mind is basically what goes on in your head, you choose you own meaning and your own way to express oe say things. Formulation is replaced by text and structure. The text is about the sense and the semantic interpretation whereas the structure is about the style and media interpretation.

The other world which relates to the world of the mind is the shared world. This world is basically about communication and you could also call it the shared environment. The texts leads to semantics and pragmatics and the structure to media. That`s so to say the structure you need to express somethimg and the media you choose to express it. The aim of the shared world is to make somebody understand your sign and you have to make sure that your signs are understood.

22.11.07 21:10

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