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Chapter 6

LIN200 Chapter 6 notes.docx

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Bridget Jankowski

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LIN200–Chapter6(Week2Reading) The Dictionary 6.1 Introduction  First English Dictionaries in the 17 century were lists of “hard words”  1702 John Kersey’s New English Dictionary first attempt at complete list of vocabulary including ordinary words like tree and have  An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) first comprehensive American Dictionary by Noah Webster o Reason why American spelling of words differs from that of the British o E.g. draught  draft; tyre  tire; centre  center; honour  honor  OED put together over period of seventy years (1858-1928), 13 volumes, 414, 000 entries organized to illustrate history and development of each word since time of King Alfred (899 AD) 6.2 What Dictionaries Contain  Dictionaries list words (incl. compound words), prefixes and suffixes, abbreviations, and lexicalized (i.e. idiomatic) phrases (e.g. trial and errori)  Many also list proper names, including famous people and geographical place names  Each entry begins with spelling and syllabification of word followed by pronounciation and definition  Etymology of word may appear at beginning/end of entry, definitions are numbered with closely related definitions under a single number (e.g. 1a, 1b), while distinct meanings are listed under separate numbers  Definitions organized by syntactic category (e.g. V, N, Adj. etc.) 6.3 Word Meaning: Referential Meaning vs. Affective and Social Meaning  Referential meaning: part of the word’s meaning that indicates what object(s), event(s), or qualiti(es) word refers to. o E.g. referential meaning of ‘dine’ is ‘to eat dinner’  Affective meaning (or connotation) is the information the word provides about the speakers’ attitude o E.g. dine has a positive attitude whereas eat dinner is neutral  Social meaning/ register of a word = social context in which the word is normally used o E.g. dining has a formal register o Basic choices for register include: formal, informal, and neutral  More specific registers are: medical, legal, educational, etc.  Referential meanings not easy to pin down
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