Enter your keyword



AIA editorial 0 72

English Lexicography in time: social and cultural issues

Editors: Stefania Nuccorini, Università Roma Tre, Henri Béjoint, Université de Lyon2
Copy editor: Stephen Coffey, Università di Pisa

Whether purposefully and overtly or not, at different times English dictionaries have embodied and represented different socio-cultural attitudes towards the language or languages they have included. Their scope and coverage have often been affected, or determined, on the one hand by language policies, publishers’ opinions and interests, and, notably, lexicographers’ personalities, and on the other hand by target users, as shown, to mention a few both chronologically and conceptually far apart examples, by Cawdrey’s Table Alphabeticall (1604), meant to help “Ladies, Gentlewomen or any other unskillful persons”, by bilingual dictionaries with their ever present didactic concern, and, more recently, by general-purpose and specialist pedagogical lexicography, tailored to the needs of a variety of learners of English as a foreign language.
English monolingual dictionaries, at least since the 18th century, have been naturally concerned with providing a record of the language at a given time, both because of the concept of ‘record’ itself and because of the very considerable time necessary to compile them. Conversely, in recent times, newly-coined words, new senses of existing ones, and, above all, the creative use of English, as a mother tongue, as a second language, as an international means of communication, have been staking out and mapping the lexicographic territory: new technologies allow frequent updates and no restriction in terms of inclusiveness and additions, and corpus linguistics has greatly contributed to research into the use and the lexicographic representation of English(es).
Dictionaries have changed in time and especially online lexicographic resources have started considering and meeting users’ needs even before they arise, but it is legitimate to doubt whether at least some of the most recent reference tools can still be called dictionaries and to question the extent to which they convey or portray socio-cultural attitudes.
Socio-cultural factors have played a major role in the very long history of dictionary-making, which has been intertwined with the needs of the users and their use of lexicographic products. Thus the title of the issue: “English Lexicography in time: social and cultural issues”.

Paper proposals focusing on the above considerations and on the following points are welcome:

The lexicographer’s perspective: the dictionary-making process
– Different approaches: theoretical, practical, prescriptive, descriptive; variations in time and in space (England, USA, etc.)
– Target users
– Social and cultural issues: semantic and pragmatic aspects, bias, gender, censorship
– Language use: sources, data-analysis, consistency
– ‘Deficiencies’ and achievements
– Are there still lexicographers in the year 2019?
– The user’s perspective: dictionaries as products
– Critical issues
– Different types of dictionaries, different types of users, different types of uses
– Users’ awareness of linguistic, social and cultural issues in language use and in its lexicographic representation
– Dictionaries in language teaching and learning
– ‘Deficiencies’ and achievements
– Do all lexicographical resources include social and cultural issues?

Please send a 500-word abstract to Prof. Henri Béjoint (henri.bejoint@univ-lyon2.fr) and Prof. Stefania Nuccorini (stefania.nuccorini@uniroma3.it)
Abstract submission deadline: by 28 February 2019
Notification of acceptance: by 31 March 2019
Preliminary papers to the editors: by 30 June 2019
Revised peer-reviewed papers to the editors: by 20 December 2019
Final versions from the editors to the publisher: 30 January 2020