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Classification of dictionaries

All dictionaries are divided into linguistic and encyclopedic dictionaries. Encyclopedic dictionaries describe different objects, phenomena, people and give some data about them. Linguistic dictionaries describe vocabulary units, their semantic structure, their origin, their usage. Words are usually given in the alphabetical order.

Linguistic dictionaries are divided into general and specialized. To general dictionries two most widely used dictionaries belong: explanatory and translation dictionaries. Specialized dictionaries include dictionaries of synonyms, antonyms, collocations, word-frequency, neologisms, slang, pronouncing, etymological, phraseological and others.

All types of dictionaries can be unilingual ( excepting translation ones) if the explanation is given in the same language, bilingual if the explanation is given in another language and also they can be polilingual.

There are a lot of explanatory dictionaries (NED, SOD, COD, NID, N.G. Wyld’s «Universal Dictionary» and others). In explanatory dictionaries the entry consists of the spelling, transcription, grammatical forms, meanings, examples, phraseology. Pronunciation is given either by means of the International Transcription System or in British Phonetic Notation which is different in each large dictionary, e.g. /o: / can be indicated as / aw/, /or/, /oh/, /o/. etc.

Translation dictionaries give words and their equivalents in the other language. There are English-Russian dictionaries by I.R. Galperin, by Y.Apresyan and others. Among general dictionaries we can also mention Learner’s dictionaries. They began to appear in the second half of the 20-th century. The most famous is «The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary» by A.S. Hornby. It is a unilingual dictionary based on COD, for advanced foreign learners and language teachers. It gives data about grammatical and lexical valency of words. Specialized dictionaries of synonyms are also widely used, one of them is «A Dictionary of English Synonyms and Synonymous Expressions» by R.Soule. Another famous one is «Webster’s Dictionary of Synonyms». These are unilingual dictionaries. The best known bilingual dictionary of synonyms is «English Synonyms» compiled by Y. Apresyan.

In 1981 «The Longman Lexicon of Contemporary English» was compiled, where words are given in 14 semantic groups of everyday nature. Each word is defined in detail, its usage is explained and illustrated, synonyms, antonyms are presented also. It describes 15000 items, and can be referred to dictionaries of synonyms and to explanatory dictionaries.

Phraseological dictionaries describe idioms and colloquial phrases, proverbs. Some of them have examples from literature. Some lexicographers include not only word-groups but also anomalies among words. In «The Oxford Dicionary of English Proverbs» each proverb is illustrated by a lot of examples, there are stylistic references as well. The dictionary by Vizetelli gives definitions and illustrations, but different meanings of polisemantic units are not given. The most famous bilingual dictionary of phraseology was compiled by A.V. Koonin. It is one of the best phraseological dictionaries.

Etymological dictionaries trace present-day words to the oldest forms of these words and forms of these words in other languages. One of the best etymological dictionaries was compiled by W. Skeat.

Pronouncing dictionaries record only pronunciation. The most famous is D. Jones’ s «Pronouncing Dictionary».

Dictionaries of neologisms are: a four-volume «Supplement to NED» by Burchfield, «The Longman Register of New Words»/1990/, «Bloomsury Dictionary of New Words» /1996/.





Seminar 1


Language units.

The smallest language unit.

The function of a root morpheme.

The main function of suffixes.

The secondary function of suffixes.

The main function of prefixes.

The secondary function of prefixes.

Splinters and their formation in English.

The difference between affixes and splinters.

Structural types of words in English.

The stem of a word and the difference beween a simple word, a stem and a root.

The difference between a block compound and a nominal benomial.

The difference between a word and a phraseological unit.

The similarity between a word and a phraseological unit.


Analyze the following lexical units according to their structure. Point out the function of morphemes. Speak about bound morphemes and free morphemes. Point out allomorphs in analyzed words:

accompany unsystematic forget-me-not

computerise expressionless reservation

de-restrict superprivileged moisture

lengthen clannish pleasure

beautify workaholic reconstruction

beflower inwardly counterculture

specialise moneywise three-cornered

round table Green Berets to sandwich in


Seminar 2.



Classification of suffixes according to the part of speech they form.

Classification of suffixes according to the stem they are added to.

Classification of suffixes according to their meaning.

Classification of suffixes according to their productivity.

Classification of suffixes according to their origin.

Classification of prefixes according to their meaning.

Classification of prefixes according to their origin.

Classification of prefixes according to their productivity.


Analyze the following derived words, point out suffixes and prefixes and classify them from different points of view:


to embed nourishment unsystematic

to encourage inwardly to accompany

translatorese dispensable clannishness

to de-restrict workaholic jet-wise

reconstruction to overreach thouroughly

afterthought foundation childishness

transgressor to re-write completenik

gangsterdom pleasure concentration

refusenik counter-culture brinkmanship

allusion self-criticism to computerise

slimster reservation translation


Seminar 3


Compound words.

Characteristic features of compound words in different languages.

Characteristic features of English compounds.

Classification of compound words according to their structure.

Classification of compound words according to the joining element.

Classification of compound words according to the parts of speech.

Classification of compound words according to the semantic relations between the components.

Ways of forming compound words.


Analyze the following compound words:


note-book speedometer son-in-law

to job-hop brain-gain video-corder

fair-haired forget-me-not Anglo-Russian

teach-in back-grounder biblio-klept

theatre-goer well-dressed bio-engineer

to book-hunt mini-term to baby-sit

blood-thirsty good-for-nothing throw-away

do-gooder skin-head kleptomania

sportsman para-trooper airbus

bus-napper cease-fire three-cornered

tip-top brain-drain bread-and-butter

Compare the strucure of the following words:


demagougery tablewards heliport

tobbacoless money-wise non-formal

booketeria go-go motel

counter-clockwise to frontpage productivity

giver-away newly-created nobody


Seminar 4.




Conversion as a way of wordbuilding.

Different points of view on the nature of conversion.

Semantic groups of verbs which can be converted from nouns.

The meanings of verbs converted from adjectives.

Semantic groups of nouns which can be converted from verbs.

Substantivised adjectives.

Characteristic features of combinations of the type «stone wall».

Semantic groups of combinations of this type.


Analyze the following lexical units:


to eye a find to slim

a grown-up to airmail steel helmet

London season resit sleep

a flirt a read handout

to weekend a build-up supersonics

a non-formal to wireless to submarine

to blue-pencil to blind - the blind - blinds

distrust a jerk to radio

news have-nots the English

to co-author to water to winter

a sit-down mother-in-law morning star

undesirables a walk a find

dislike log cabin finals


Seminar 5.


Shortenings and abbreviations.


Lexical and graphical abbreviations, the main differences between them.

Types of graphical abbreviations.

Types of initias, peculiarities of their pronunciation.

Lexical shortenings of words, their reference to styles.

Compound-shortened words, their structural types.


Analyze the following lexical units:


aggro /aggression/ Algol / algorythmic language/

apex /eipeks/ - advanced purchased excursion/ payment for an excursion ninety days before the time of excursion/

A-day /announcement Day - day of announcing war/

AID / artifitial insemination by a donor/

AIDS / acquired immunity deficiency syndrome/

Ala / Alabama/ a.s.a.p. /as soon as possible/

bar-B-Q, barb /barbecue/ to baby-sit / baby-sitter/

A-level /advanced level/ BC /birth certificate/

burger /hamberger/ Camford, Oxbridge

CALL /computer-assisted language learning/

CAT /computer-assisted training/

cauli / cauliflower/ COD / cash on delivery/

COBOL / k ubol/ /common business-oriented language/

co- ed comp /komp, k mp/ /accompaniment/

DINKY /double income, no kids yet/

E-Day /entrance day //Common Market/ expo/exposition/

edbiz/ educational business/ el-hi / elementary and high

schools/, ex lib/ex libris/ /from the library of/

etc Euratom fax /facsimile/

G-7 / group of seven: GB, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Italy, Spain/. FORTRAN /formula translation/.


Seminar 6.

Phraseological units.


Ways of forming phraseological units.

Semantic classification of phraseological units.

Structural classification of phraseological units.

Syntactical classification of phraseological units.


Analyze the following phraseological units according to their meaning, structure, syntactical function and the way they are formed:


When pigs fly /never/. To leap into marriage.

To be a whipping boy. To be behind scenes.

Girl Friday /a man’s assistant/. Fire in the belly.

Man Friday /a true friend/. A dear John.

To be on the beam. Game, set and match.

Country and western. To jump out of one’s skin.

As smart as paint. It’s my cup of tea.

Robin Crusoe and Friday / seats at a theatre divided by a passage/. Fortune favours fools. To be in the dog house.

The green power. Green Berets.

Culture vulture. To get off one’s back.

To make headlines. On the nose.

With a bump. To have a short fuse.

To vote with one’s feet. Nuts and bolts.

Blackboard jungle. The sky is the limit.

Cash and carry. To nose out.

To sandwich in. Berlin wall.

A close mouth catches no flies. To speak BBB.



To sound like a computer. As dull as lead.

Last but not least. On the stroke of.



Seminar 7.


Phraseological units.


Students choose ten phraseological units from Koonin’s dictionary of phraseological units and a unilingual dictionary of idioms and analyze them in the written form. During the seminar they analyze their phrasological units chosen from dictionaries at the blackboard.


Seminar 8.




Classification of borrowings according to the language from which they were borrowed:

Latin borrowings.

French borrowings.

Italian borrowings.

Scandinavian borrowings.

German borrowings.

Russian borrowings.

Classification of borrowings according to the borrowed aspect: phonetic borrowings, semantic borrowings, translation loans, morphemeic borrowings, hybrids.

Classification of borrowings according to the degree of assimilation: fully assimilated borrowings, partly assimilated borrowings, barbarisms. Borrowings partly assimilated semantically, grammatically, phonetically and graphically.


Analyze the following borrowings:


school represent sky-blue

degree rhythm immobility

chandelier the Zoo vase

mot /mou/ hybrid bouffant

illuminate keenly communicative

possessiveness to reproach command

moustache gifted boutique

skipper cache-pot well-scrubbed

nouveau riche emphatic mysteriously

dactyl Nicholas group

to possess chenile psychological

garage guarantee contempt

trait/trei/ triumph stomach

sympathy cynical Philipp

schoolboy Christianity paralyzed

system hotel cyclic

diphtheria kerchief dark-skinned.



Seminar 9




Word and notion.

Lexical meaning and notion.





Classifications of homonyms when applied to analysis.

Classifications of antonyms when applied to analysis.


Analyze the following lexical units applying the above mentioned classifications of homonyms and antonyms:


present - absent, present - to present

like, to like - to dislike - dislike

sympathy - antipathy

progress - to progress, regress - to regress

success - failure, successful- unsuccessful

left - left/to leave/, right adj. - right n.

inflexible - flexible

unsafe - safe adj. - safe n.

fair n. - fair adj. unfair, foul

piece - peace

dark-haired - fair-haired

a row - a row /rou/ - /rau/

a fan - a fan

superiority - inferiority

different - similar, indifferent, alike, difference - similarity

meaningful - meaningless

after prep.- before -before adv., before conj.

to gossip - a gossip

shapeless - shapy

air - to air - air

fearless - fearful

bright - dim, dull, sad

to fasten - to unfasten

something - nothing

eldest - oldest -youngest

to husband - husband

obscure - to obscure

unaccustomed - accustomed

to exclude - to include

to conceal -to reveal

too - too- two

somewhere - nowhere

a drawer - a drawer

with - without



Seminar 10.


Neology «blowup» and the work of R.Berchfield.

Semantic neologisms, transnomination and proper neologisms.

Semantic groups of neologisms connected with computerization.

Social stratification and neologisms.

Semantic groups of neologisms referring to everyday life.

Phonological neologisms and borrowings as strong neologisms.

Morphological and syntactical neologisms.

Changes in pronunciation.


Analyze the following neologisms from the point of view of neology theory and also from the point of view of their morphemic structure and the way they were formed:


to clip-clip AIDS coup

sound barrier to Vice-Preside boutique

to re-familiarize tourmobile sevenish

to de-dramatize non-formals to baby-sit

to scrimp and save fireside chat hide-away

coin-in-the-slot cashless society memo

We shall overcome. to dish old wine in new bottles

to-ing and fro-ing multinationals the Commons

hyperacidity religiosity D-Day

face-to-face/tuition/ femme-fatalish to the wingtips

to river singer-songwriter beatnik

communication gap laundered money cheeseburger

Don’t change horses. to put a freeze on micro-surgical

SA out-doorsy medicare

Cold War self-exile public-schooly

brain-drainer movers and shakers Euroyuppie


Seminar 11.


Control work on the analysis of language units. Each student gets six language units of different types / simple words, derived words, compound words, phraseological units, combinations of the type «stone wall», borrowings, abbreviations, antonyms, homonyms, neologisms, abbreviations/ and is to analize them from all points of view which were studied during the seminars.


Seminar 12.



Analysis of the control paper.

Historical development of British lexicography.

Historical development of American lexicography.

Classification of dictionaries.

Student reports on dictionaries they use in their work.




Adams V. Introduction into English Wordformation. Lnd., 1983.

Akhmanova O.S. Lexicology: Theory and Method. M. 1972

Arnold I.V. The English Word. M. 1986.

Burchfield R.W. The English Language. Lnd., 1985

Canon G. Historical Changes and English Wordformation: New Vocabulary items. N.Y., 1986.

Ginzburg R.S. et al. A Course in Modern English Lexicology. M., 1979.

Jespersen, Otto. Growth and Structure of the English Language. Oxford, 1982.

Halliday M.A.K. Language as Social Semiotics. Social Interpretation of Language and Meaning. Lnd., 1979.

Howard Ph. New words for Old. Lnd., 1980.

Labov W. The Social Stratification of English in New York City. Washington, 1966.

Maurer D.W., High F.C. New Words - Where do they come from and where do they go. American Speech., 1982.

Patridge E. Slang To-day and Yesterday. Lnd., 1979.

Potter S. Modern Linguistics. Lnd., 1957.

Quirk R. Style and Communication in the English Language. Lnd., 1980.

Schlauch, Margaret. The English Language in Modern Times. Warszava, 1965.

Sheard, John. The Words we Use. N.Y.., 1954.


Амосова Н.Н. Этимологические основы словарного состава современного английского языка. М. 1956.

Амосова Н. Н. Основы английской фразеологии Л. 1963.

Aпресян Ю.Д.Лексическая семантика. Синонимические средства языка. М.1974.

Арнольд И.В. Лексикология современного английского языка.М. 1959.

Беляева Т.М., Потапова И.А. Английский язык за пределами Англии. Л. 1971.

Беляева Т.М. Словообразовательная валентность глагольных основ в английском языке. М., 1979.

Виноградов В.В. Об основных типах фразеологических единиц в русском языке. Виноградов В. В. Лексикология и лексикография. Избранные труды. М. 1977.

Волков С.C., Cенько Е.В. Неологизмы и внутренние стимулы языкового развития. Новые слова и словари новых слов. Л., 1963.

Жлуктенко Ю.А. и др. Английские неологизмы. Киев., 1983.

Заботкина В.И. Новая лексика современного английского языка. М., 1989.

Иванов А.Н. Английская неология. Сб. науч. тр. МГПИИЯ 1984.Вып. 227.

Ивлева Г.Г. Tенденции развития слова и словарного состава. М. 1986.

Кубрякова Е.С. Роль словообразования в формировании языковой картины мира. М. 1988.

Кунин А.В. Фразеология современного английского языка. М. 1972.

Мешков О.Д. Словообразование современного английского языка. М. 1976.

Cилис Я.Я. Лингвистическое и социальное в неологии британского варианта современного английского обращения. Неологизмы в лексике, грамматике и фонетике. Рига, 1985.

Тимошенко Т.Р. Телескопия в словообразовательной системе современного английского языка. Киев.1976.

Швейцер А.Д. Cовременная социолингвистика. Теория.Проблемы. Методы.М.1977.

Швейцер А.Д. Социальная дифференциация языка в США. М. 1983.




Bloomsbury Dictionary of New Words. M. 1996.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English. Oxford 1964.

Hornby The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English. Lnd. 1974.

The Longman Register of New Words. M. 1990.

Longman Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. M. 1986.

Longman Lexicon of Contemporary English. Longman. 1981.

21st century Dictionary of Slang. N.Y. 1994.

Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English. N.Y. 1978.

Апресян Ю.Д. Новый большой англо-русский словарь. M. 1993.

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Трофимова З.C. Dictionary of New Words and New Meanings. Изд. «Павлин», 1993.





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