Lexicography is the discipline which focuses on the design, compilation, use and evaluation of general dictionaries. Lexicography is usually divided into two groups: practical lexicography and theoretical lexicography. Practical lexicography is the art of compiling, writing and editing dictionaries. Theoretical lexicography concerns the analysis and description of the semantic, syntagmatic and paradigmatic relationships within the lexicon of a language.
The term lexicography should not be confused with the term lexicology which is the branch of linguistics which studies the words, including their nature and function as symbols.
The discipline origins relate to 1971 when Ladislav Zgusta published the first international handbook on lexicography which is still at the base of the discipline.
To create a well-crafted dictionary, lexicographers should considered different activities including target the audience and its need; define the communicative and cognitive functions of the dictionary; select and organise the components of the dictionary; choose the dictionary structure; select collocation and examples; define terms; organise the definitions; and specify the pronunciations of the words. As well as this, lexicographers who focus on the production of bilingual dictionaries should consider activities such as translating words, examples and phrases.
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