lexicography, the applied study of the meaning, evolution, and function of the vocabulary units of a language for the purpose of compilation in book form—in short, the process of dictionary making. Early lexicography, practiced from the 7th cent. BC in Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, was reserved for abstruse words of specific disciplines. General lexicography originated in the 16th cent., and aspects of the modern dictionary, such as etymology, developed during the 17th and 18th cent.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Lexicography: An Introduction
Howard Jackson.
Routledge, 2002
Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Lexicographer
Paul Fatout.
University of Oklahoma Press, 1951
Vocabulary: Applied Linguistic Perspectives
Ronald Carter.
Routledge, 1998 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Lexis and Lexicography"
An Encyclopaedia of Language
N. E. Collinge.
Routledge, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 19 "Language as Words: Lexicography"
Language Exploration and Awareness: A Resource Book for Teachers
Larry Andrews.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Words and Lexicography"
What Is Language? And Other Teaching Units for Grades Seven through Twelve
Edward B. Jenkinson.
Indiana University Press, 1967
Librarian’s tip: "Lexicography from Cawdrey to Webster's Third" begins on p. 170
English Dictionaries for Foreign Learners: A History
A. P. Cowie.
Clarendon Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Role of the Computer in Learner Lexicography"
Automating the Lexicon: Research and Practice in a Multilingual Environment
Donald E. Walker; Antonio Zampolli; Nicoletta Calzolari.
Oxford University Press, 1995
Lexical Acquisition: Exploiting On-Line Resources to Build a Lexicon
Uri Zernik.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1991
Lexicography and Physicke: The Record of Sixteenth-Century English Medical Terminology
R. W. McConchie.
Clarendon Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Early Lexicographers: Elyot to Bullokar"
Standard English: The Widening Debate
Tony Bex; Richard J. Watts.
Routledge, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Typography, Lexicography, and the Development of the Idea of 'Standard English'"
Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning
Michael Byram.
Routledge, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Lexicography" begins on p. 354
The English Language in Modern Times, since 1400
Margaret Schlauch.
Paanstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1959
Librarian’s tip: "The Beginnings of English Lexicography" begins on p. 106
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