Dictionary writing systems and beyond

Andrea Abel

in Electronic Lexicography

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654864
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745966 | DOI:
Dictionary writing systems and beyond

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Compiling a dictionary is a challenging, laborious and time-consuming task, sometimes real ‘drudgery’. For many years, collecting data and compiling dictionary entries was done with pen and paper, with lots of time spent on routine tasks. Nowadays, dictionaries are written on computers. As a consequence, more and more targeted software tools are being developed which allow lexicographers to concentrate more on their core business, to guarantee the long term storage and reusability of data and, finally, to better support a consistent and structured lexicographic process from the conception phase to the final product. Any software that serves these purposes is generally referred to as a dictionary writing system (DWS). This chapter aims at giving a general overview of the topic of DWSs as well as illustrating the state of the art. Special attention will be given to all additional tools and features that go beyond a simple DWS.

Keywords: dictionary writing system; dws, in-house sofware; off-the-shelf software; corpus tool; corpus query software; document type definition; mark-up language; multifunctional database

Chapter.  9808 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Lexicography ; Semantics

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