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Lexicography, semantics and pragmatics

Tadeusz Piotrowski (University of Opole)

In my paper I will discuss one particular methodology of describing meaningful units of a language: lexicography. Lexicography is perhaps the oldest type of linguistic description, and, in contrast to most theoretical semantic descriptions, which are based on a handful of examples, it has produced an extensive number of descriptions most linguistics items in actual languages, those descriptions are dictionaries. The lexicographic methodology is both perhaps surprising and reassuring until now dictionaries have been as a rule written using the same traditional methods (cf. Piotrowski 2001). I will consider why this has been so, and, further, I will look into the contemporary changes in lexicography, in particular the change of the medium in which they are encoded, i.e. the use of computer techniques in lexicography, on the background of recent changes in methodology of describing meaningful units in linguistics, i.e. the fact that context is taken into account (in pragmatics) when analysing them. I will also attempt to consider whether all these changes will have an influence, and what this influence could be, on dictionaries in the near future.

Piotrowski, Tadeusz. 2001. Zrozumieńá leksykografińô. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN