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The contribution of corpus linguistics to lexicography and the future of Tibetan dictionaries

Garrett, Edward and Hill, Nathan W. and Kilgarriff, Adam and Vadlapudi, Ravikiran and Zadoks, Abel (2015) 'The contribution of corpus linguistics to lexicography and the future of Tibetan dictionaries.' Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines, 32. pp. 51-86.

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Abstract

The first alphabetized dictionary of Tibetan appeared in 1829 (cf. Bray 2008) and the intervening 184 years have witnessed the publication of scores of other Tibetan dictionaries (cf. Simon 1964). Hundreds of Tibetan dictionaries are now available; these include bilin gual dictionaries, both to and from such languages as English, French, German, Latin, Japanese, etc. and specialized dictionaries focusing on medicine, plants, dialects, archaic terms, neologisms, etc. (cf. Walter 2006, McGrath 2008). However, if one classifies Tibetan dictionaries by the methods of their compilation the accomplishments of Tibetan lexicography are less impressive. Methodologies of dictionary compilation divide heuristically into three types. First, some dictionaries lack explicit methodology; these works assemble words in an ad hoc manner and illustrate them with invented examples. Second, there are dictionaries that are compiled over very long periods of time on the basis of collections of slips recording attestations of words as used in context. Third, more recent dictionaries are compiled on the basis of electronic text corpora, which are processed computationally to aid in the precision, consistency and speed of dictionary compilation. These methods may be called respectively the 'informal method', the 'traditional method', and the 'modern method'. The overwhelming majority of Tibetan dictionaries were compiled with the informal method. Only five Tibetan dictionaries use the traditional methodology. No Tibetan dictionary yet compiled makes use of the modern method.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia
Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Depositing User: Nathan Hill
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 14:42
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/19777

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