Реферат: How to use dictionary

1.  Introduction

2.  Types of dictionariesand their content

3.  Kinds of dictionaries:

3.1.    general dictionaries;

3.2.    special dictionaries:

3.2.1.bilingual dictionaries;

3.2.2.explanatory dictionaries;

3.2.3.etymological dictionaries;

3.2.4.dictionaries of synonyms;

3.2.5.phraseological dictionaries;

3.2.6.pronouncing dictionaries;

3.2.7.spelling dictionaries

4.  How to use adictionary. Dictionaries entries.

5.  The encyclopedicmaterial of some American dictionaries.

6.  Conclusions

7.  The list of literature.

Dictionaries  are tools, and they aremuch more complicated, and capable of many more uses then we suspect. All of usknow students need encouragement and guidance in the use of dictionaries. Somestudents are able to use their dictionaries with anything like efficiency.Certainly there must be very few of those who come up through the grades thesedays who are not familiar with the details of looking up words in dictionaries,but it is one thing to find a word in a dictionary and quite another tounderstand fully information there given about it. Linguists and lexicographershave a matter with dictionaries. Every linguist with an interest in thequantitative properties of language will on some occasion be faced with someform of the ultimate question in the word numbers game: ”How many words didShakespeare use?”,  “How many words are there in the English language?” “Howmany words should a dictionary have?” The first question,  at least, has adefinite although not simple answer: Shakespeare’s complete works consist of atotal of 884647 words of text containing a grand total of 29066 different wordsincluding proper names.  But on the question ”How many words should adictionary have” it is very difficult to answer.  Every dictionary has adifferent number of words. On the contrary lexicographers have a task to recordthe meanings of words, the task of arranging these meanings in the ordertheythink will be of most help to those who use their work. Different editors solvethis problem of arrangement in different ways. In the prefatory part of anydictionary you will find some indication of the plan that has been followed inarranging the meanings. In the Werriam-Webster dictionaries the meanings arearranged as far as possible, in the order in wich they arose. In thosedictionaries, the first meanings given are the earliest a word is known to havehad, and the more modern meanings come later. The arrangement of meanings isdifficult, that’s why the only safe course is to examine the forematter of thedictionary to see what plan has been followed.

Dictionary is a book thatcontains a selected list of words arranged in alphabetical order. It explainstheir meanings and gives information about them. In a dictionary a person canlook up a word quickly, discover what it means and learn how it is prononced.

Dictionaries give the meanings ofmany kinds of words. Most modern dictionaries describe the facts of a languageas educated speakers and writers use it.  They are called descriptivedictionaries because a dictionary editor does not change the facts of alanguage. Many older dictionaries tried to prescribe rules, some of wich didnot agree with the way people commonly talked or wrote. These books are calledprescriptive dictionaries. Most general dictionaries include:

1)  the ordinary words ofeveryday life, such as bread, run and with;

2)   literary words used asaggregation, despoil, incontrovertible;

3)  thechnical word, such asstarboard, gene and ratio;

4)  words used chiefly oninformal occasions, such as gap and wimp;

5)  words used in writing togive an old-fashioned flavor, such as aweary and avaunt;

6)  words not used today butfound in the writtings of some authors, such as plaister for plaster;

7)  words or phrases formother languages, such as coup d’etat from French, tofu from Japanese and barriofrom Spanish.

8)  Idioms, such as splithairs and unter the thumb of;

9)  Abbreviations, such asU.S.A., Kans., and p.;

10)Importantpropernames, such as Buddha and Jupiter.

No dictionary records all the wordsof our language. In fact, no one knows exatly how many words there are. Besidesordinary words used in evereryday speech, the English language includesthousands of geaografical names; hundreds of thousands of technical terms,including more than 750000 names of inspects alone. New words are coined fornewscientifiv and technical discoveries, and slang words and specificvocabularies constantly spring up. As nations draw closer together throughtrade and travel, satellite communication, and sharing of technology, languagestend to borrow more and more words from each other. That is why dictionaryeditors must be selective in the words they decide to include.

  Most dictionaries tell us much morethan just the meanings of words. Many list pronunciations, derivations, refixesand suffixes, illustrative quotations, synonyms and other information. Theillustration articles in dictionaries show in detail what dictionariescontain. 

Dictionaries may be clasified asgeneral dictionaries and special dictionaries. A general dictionary containsinformation on everyday words such as it and the. But it also defines manytechnical terms, such as chromatografhy and columella. A specialized dictionaryomits most everyday terms, and limits itself to information on words used in aparticular field, such as biology.

General dictionaries range in sizefrom small pocket dictionaries to large multivolume or table dictionaries. Thenumber of entries in general dictionary depends, on its purpose. Eachdictionary is designed to answer the questions of a certain type of reader. TheWorld Book Dictioanry is an example of a dictionary designed for family use.The largest general dictionaries may contain over 400000 entries when adictionary has this many entries, many absolete and technical terms areincluded. Other general dictionaries may have from 15000 entries to 200000entries.

Specialized dictionaries are designedto give more information in particular fields than general dictionaries can. Dictionaries of this kind can be divided into such group as:

1)  Explanatory dictionaries

2)  Etymological dictionaries

3)  Dictionaries of synonyms

4)  Phraseologicaldictionaries.

Besides, such dictionaries can bementioned as historical dialectal.

Bilingual or translating dictionariesreresent the most ordinary, widespread type. They contain words and expressionsof the native language and their foreign equivalents, or vice-versa. (theEnglish-Russian dictionary by V. K. Miller, etc)

Explanatory dictionaries givedefinitions of word meanings. In fact to a certain extent they acquaint us withthe history of vocabulary development. The explanation are given in the samelanguage, so they are one-language dictionaries, as it were. For example“Webster’s New World dictionary of the American language”, Webster’s “NewInternational dictionary of the English language”  are usually considered to bethe most available and popular editions. But the greatest authority, naturally,and the most comprehensive is The New English dictionary on HistoricalPrinciples.

Etymological dictionaries state theorigin of words. If borrowed, the source of borrowing and the original form aregiven, with all the subsequent changes in meaning and usage. If native, theAnglo-Dakon form is given together with the history of word development paralelforms in other Gemanic languages. Skeat’s Etymological dictionary is believedto be one of the most widely used.

Dictionaries of synonymes give eithergroups of synonyms without any explanations of difference in shades of meaningor usage, as concise dictionaries usually do, or as in full-size synonymicdictionaries, one can find lengthy definitions of every synonym that the groupcontains with even directions as to how to use them. The dictionary of thiskind is the Webster’s dictionary of synonyms. It does not give any etymologicalor historical information but it supplies very detailed and extensiveexplanations of the subtlest shades of meaning that synonyms differ in. Thelists of synonymes are much more exhaustive than in the earlier dictionaries ofsynonymes (e. g. amiable, lovable, gracious, cordial, affable, genial,warm-hearted, warm, responsive, kind, tender, kindly, begignant, benign).

Phraseological dictionaries deal withphraseological group of a certain language(“English Idioms” by W. G. Smith,“English Idioms and how to use them” by W. McMordie etc)

The best known phonetical dictionaryis “An English Pronouncing Dictionary” by Jones.  Among dialectal dictionariesthe “Slang Dictionary” by Chatto and Windus is famous. It is also called“Ethymological, Historical and Anecdotal”.

Before using a dictionary, one shouldbecome familiar with the metods, principles, and scope of the book becausevarious dictionaries are arranged in different ways. Many American dictionariesare arranged in different ways. Many american dictionaries arrange all entriesin a single alphabetical list. Others put abbreviations, geographical andbiographical names, and foreign words and phrases in separate lists, usually atthe end of the book. All good dictionaries today have introductory sections thatexplain what the book contains and how it is arranged.

First of all let us now lookcarefully at some dictionary entries in an effort to secure from them all theinformation they contain. We shall begin by looking closely at the entryanecdote in the College edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary.

an.ec.dote(an’ik-dot’), n, [Fr. ;ML.Anecdota;Gr. Anekdota, neut. Pl. of anecdots unpublished;an-,not+ekdotos<ekdidonai;ek-, out+didonai, to give]

1)    pl. Originally,little-known, entertaining facts of history or biography; hence,

2)    a short, entertainingaccount of some happening, usually personal or biographical. –SIN., see story.

This dictionary makes etymology oneof its strong features and so serves exceptionally well for our purpose.

The following things about this entryare of interest:

1) The entry word, printed inboldface to give it more prominence, is divided by periods into its threesyllables. This form of division not only helps out with the pronunciation of aword, but it also gives assistance to one whohas to divide a word at the end ofa line of writing or printing.

 In such cases, wordsshould be devided with respect to their syllables.

2) then, within curves,the word is rewritten, this time in symbols that show pronunciation. A heavyaccent mark, immediately follows the syllable which receives most stress, and alighter mark indicates the syllable getting minor stress. A sylable, here Ik,which gets no stress is followed by a hyphen. Following the indication ofpronuciation comes the abbreviation of the of speech to wich the word belongs.

3)    It is well-accepteddictionary procedure to place etymologies in square brackets just after theindication of the part of speech of the word involved. Etymology easier tofollow if we begin at the very end of it and proceed back to its beginning.

In Greek there was a verb,“didinai”, meaning “to give”. A common prefix, ek-, was often used before thisverb and it then became “ekdidonai” (to give out). From this expanded form ofthe verb Greek formed an adjective, “ekdotos”, given out. In Greek it wascustomary to prefix an- to adjectives beginning with a vowel and thus reverseor negate their meanings. So the Greeks formed “anekdotos”, not given out.

Greek adjectives had masculine,feminine, and neuter forms. The neuter plural of “anekdotos” was “anekdota”,unpublished things, that is, things not given out. Latin, during the medievalperiod, borrowed “anekdota” in the form “anecdota”. This latin term passed intoFrench, where it was spelled “anecdote”. From French the word, unchanged inform, passed into English.

4)    The meanings are given inthe order of their ages, the oldest meaning being given first. Observe howoriginal meaning ledon to sense 2, the one which nowadays the word usually has.

5)    At the very end of theentry there is a reference to story for a presentation of the synonyms of“anekdote”.

Dictionariesperform a useful service by distinguishing between such terms as “anecdote”,“narrative”, “tale”, “story”.

Of course, the larger a dictionaryis, the more information one can obtain from it. Here is the entry “anecdote”as it appears in the current large unabridged Webster’s New Internationaldictionary, Second edition.

an’ec-dote (an’ek-dot; an’ik-), n

[Fr. Fr. Ir. Anekdotos notpublished, fr. An- not + ekdotos given out, fr. Ekdidonai to gove out, topublish, fr ek- out+didonai to give. See DATE point of time]

1)   pl. Literally, unpublisheditems; narratives of secret or private details of history;-often in book titlesNow rare.

2)   A narrative, sually brief,of a separable incident or event of curious interst, told without nealice andusually with intent to amuse or please,often biographical and vharacteristic ofsome notable person,esp. of his likable faibles. (Some modern anecdotes over,he noded in his elbow chair. Prior)

Syn. –see story.

An’ec-dote v. I.  To tellanecdotes-v. t.

To use as a subject for anecdotes.Both rare.

Notice that the etymology here endswith a reference to the entry DATE, meaning a point of time. An inspection ofthe etymology “given of that entry reveals that “anecdote” belongs to a groupof words that are related because they all trace their ancestry, in whole or inpart, back to the same IE root that os seen in the Greek verb didonai, meaningto give. Here is the lst of words Webster cities as being related in the mannerindicated: anecdote, condone, dado, damu, dative, datum, die, n..., donate,dose, dower, edit, pardon, render, sacerdotal.

One of the unique and highly valuablefeatures of the unabridged Merriam-Webster is that it often groups wordsbasically related, because they, or parts of them, go back to a common ancestorword. No othe english dictionary gives so much of this kind of information.Some of the commonest words in the language have a surpisingly large number ofrelatives.

In the dictionary Century the entryof the word anecdote is as follows:

Anecdote(an’ek-dot), n[<F.Anecdote,

               First in pl. Anecdotes, M. L. Anecdota, <Gr.            , pl., things unpublished,applied by Procopius to his memoirs of Justinian, which consisted chiefly ofgossip about the private life of the court;prop. Neut. pl. of               ]

1)  pl. secret history; factsrelating to secret or private affairs, as of governments or of individuals:often used (commonly in the form anecdota) as the title of works treating ofsuch matters.

2)  A short narrative of aparticular or detached incident; a single passage of private life, =Syn.Anecdote, Story.

An anecdote is the relation of an interestingor amusing incident, generally of a private nature, and is always reported astrue/

A story may be true or fictious, andgenerally has reference to a series of incidents so arranged and related as tobe entertaining.

In this treatment of the word thereare some things not observed before:

1)  as is often done indictionaries, thi sign < is used freely in the sense of ‘from’. One instanceof its use is seen in the etymology above.

2)  According to the etymologygiven here, the form which anecdote had in French was the plural, a form to beexpected from the word’s being derived from a plural in Latin and in Greek.With this informatinon, it is easier to understand why it was in its pluralform that the word made its first appearance in Engish.

3)  The remainder f theCentury entry is easily understood with the possible exeption of theabbreviation”priv,. ”  for privative, a word used in grammar in connection withthose prefixes which change the sense of a word from a positive to a negativeone, as do un-, il-, in-, ir-,  in English.(Compae such words as lawful,unlawful, legal, illegal; tolerant, intolerant, regular, irregular). Greek madeuse of a prefix of this kind, a-, which might also appear as an-. In Greekgrammar this prefix is referred to as” alpha privative”

It may appearto the beginner that by this time we have certainly found out all there is toknow about anecdote, but we have not.               

Here is how the entrylooks in the Oxford English dictionary.

Anecdote(                       ).[a fr.  Anecdote, or ad.  Its source, med. L. Anecdota(see sense I), a.Gr.               Things unpublished, f.                            Published,f.                       To give out, publish, applied by Procopies to his“Unpublished Memories” of the of the Emperor Justinian, which consisted chieflyof tales of the private life of the court;whence the application of the name toshort stories or particulars]

1) pl. Secret, private, orhitherbo unpublished narratives or details of history. (At first, and how againoccas. Used in L form anecdota(             ) 1676 MARVELL Mr. Smirke Wks. 1875IV.41.  A man… might make a pleasant story of the anecdota of that meeting.1727. Swift”Gulliver” VIII. 230. Those who pretend to write anecdotes, or secrethistory[...]

2) Thenarrative of a detached incident, or of a single event, event told as being initself interesting or striking( At first, An item of gossip)

1761 Gorke in Elli’s Orig.  Left 11.483. IV. 429. Monsieur Coccei will tell you all the anecdotes of London betterthen I can[...] 1838. Ht. Martineau Demerara

12. He told some anecdotes ofAlfred’s childhood. Mod. An after-dinner anecdote

b. collect

1826 Disraeli Viv. Grey 3. II. 95 Acompanion who knew everything, everyone, full of wit and anecdote.

3) Comb., as anecdote-book,-loving;anecdote-monger a retailer of anecdotes[...]

1)  With the informationalready given, it is easy to understand the etymology of this entry. It shouldbe observed that according to it, anecdote may not have come into English fromFrench, but directly from midieval Latin. That this source is likely issuggested by the spelling the word has in the earliest example found of its usein English. Had it come from french anecdotes, it is not easy to see why Marvelin 1676 spelled it anecdota. Of course, it may have come into English both fromFrench and from Latin.

2)  The most noteworthyfeature of this entry, and of the dictionary from which it comes, is that thedefinitions are followed by examples of the use of the word in the sensesgiven. These examples all follow the same pattern. First comes the date, thanthe authors name in small capitals, than thie title of the work cited, usuallyabbreviated, followed by the number of the page. The use of illustrative quotationsisa marked feature of historical dictionaries. They are given generously in theOED, there being about 1827306 of them in that great work.

It wod be a mistake, however, toconclude that the earliest example given in the OED for a word in a particularsense is really the first time the word uccurs in print. The OED is aremarkable dictionary, but it would bu much more so if those who collected,material for it had been able to find the very first printed uses of all thewords with extremely useful to have such dates as are given, but they shouldnot be misinterpreted.

3) Under 3 in the above entry thereare given combinations into which anecdote has entered. The first two of these,anecdote-book, and anecdote-loving, are illustrated by only one example each.Neither of the expressions appears to have been much used. The same may be saidof anecdote-monger, which is treated slingtly differently becouse two examplesof its use were available.

The modern American dictionary istypically a single compact volume published at a relatively modest pricecontaining:

1)  definitive Americanspellings;

2)  pronunciation indicated bydiacritical markings;

3)  strictly limitedetymologies;

4)  numbered senses;

5)  some illustrations;

6)  selective treatment ofsynonyms and antonyms;

7)  enxyclopedic inclusion ofscientific, technological, geofraphical, and biographical items.

The first American dictionaries wereunpretentious little schoolbooks based chiefly on Johnson’s Dictionary of 1775by way of various English abridgments of that work. The most famous work ofthis class, Noah Websters Compedious Dictionary of the English Language(1806)was an enlargement of Entick’s spelling Dictionary (London 1764), distinguishedfrom its predecessors chiefly by a few encyclopedic supplements and emphasisupon its Aericanism. The book was never popular and contributed little eitherto Webster’s own reputation or to the development of the American dictionary ingeneral.

The first important date in Americanlexicography is 1828. The work that makes it important is Noah Webster’s AnAmerican Dictionary of the English Language in  two volumes. Webster’s book hasmany deficiencies-etymologies quite untouched by the linguistic sciense of thetime, a rudimentary pronunciation system actually inferior to that used byWalker in 1791, etc. –but in its insistence upon American spellings, indefinitions keyed to the American scene, and in its illustrative quotatons fromthe founding Fathers of the Republic, it provided the country with the firstnative dictionary comparable in scope with that of Dr. Jhonson. Probably itsgreatest contribution to succeding American dictionaries was the style ofdefinition writing-writing of a clarity and pithiness never approached beforeits day.

The first American lexicographer tohit upon the particular pattern that disbinguishes the American dictionary wasWebster’s lifelong rival, Joseph E. Worcesfer. His Comprehensive Pronouncing,and Explanation Dictionary of the English Language(1830), actually a thoroughlyrevised abridgment of Webster’s two-volume work of 1828, was characterised bythe additions of new words, a more conservative spelling, brief, well phraseddefinitions, full indication of pronunciation by means of diacritics, use ofstress marks to divide syllables, and lists of synonyms.  Because it wascompact and low priced, it immediately became popular-far more popular in fact,than any of Webster’s own dictionaries in his own lifetime.

In the field of unabridgeddictionaries, the most important accretion is the great /american linguist,William Dwight Whitney and issued in six volumes. At the moment, the mostimportant advances in lexicography are taking place in the field of theabridged collegiate-type dictionaries.

Meanwhile the scholarly dictionaryhas not been neglected.  Once the New English dictionary Was published,scholarly opinion reealized the need to supplement it in the various periods ofEnglish and particulary in American English.  The first of the proposedsupplements, edited by Sir William Graigie and Professor G. R. Hulbert, is theDictionary of American English on Historical Princples., completed in 1944.This was followed by a dictionary of Americanisms, edited by Mitford M. Mathewsand publishied in 1951.  A Middle English Dictionary, a dictionary of LaterScottish are in preparation, and work on the American Dialect society is nowunder way.

1)  Dictionaries prooide withvarious kinds of useful information. Some of them, besides entries, haveadditional articles about the English language, forms of address, weights andmeasures, special signs and symbols, common given names, some list historicalevents, and some, home remedies and so on.

2)  The common reader turns toa dictionary far information about spelling, pronunciation, meaning and properuse of words, He wants to know what is current and respectable. He wants toknow facts about any language, especially difference berween the American andEnglish languages.

3)  The average purcaser of adictionary uses it most often, probably, to find out what a word “means”. As areader he wants to know what the author intended to convey.  As the speaker orwriter, he wants to know what a word will convey to his editors. And this too,is complex, subtle and forever changing thing.

4)  Dictionary material whichare in different kinds of dictionaries widely uses in language investigationsby linguists.

5)  Using the dictionary helpsus to improve our language. We learn more and more new words, phrases, setexpressions. Our vocabulary becomes richer and our language becomes moreconnected and tuneful

The list of literature

1.  Readingsin Modern English lexicology. Ленинград-1975ю

2.   V Kuznetsova. Notes onEnglish lexicology К. Радянська школа 1966

3.   I. V. Arnold. The Englishword М.  Вищашкола 1986

4.  Раєвська Н. М. English Lexicology. К. Вища школа. 1971.

5. Educational book guilt New York 1957

6.   The World BookEncyclopedia. Chcago. London. Sydney. Toronto 1994

7.   The american heritagedictionary. Second college edition. Houghton Misslin. Company Boston. 1983

8.   Webster’s New worlddictionary of the american language. David. B. Guralnik, general editor. 1985

9.   Webster’s NewInternational Dictionary of the English language. (secon edition, unabridged)G&C. Merian Company, publishers Springfield, Mass. USA. 1958.

10. The American Heritage Dictionary ofthe English language. William Morris. Boston/ New York/ Atlanta/ Geneva/Dallas/ Palo Alto 1969


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