From the category archives:

language technology

  • What goes in the dictionary when the dictionary is online?

    Posted by on July 15, 2014

    The familiar question of “how words get into the dictionary” is harder to answer when the dictionary is online. Printed dictionaries have limited space, so we have to be selective. This contributes to the popular view of lexicographers as “gatekeepers” – the people who decide, on behalf of the rest of the population, which words are […]

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  • Field – a trilingual football expressions dictionary

    Posted by on June 25, 2014

    You wait ages for a trilingual dictionary of football, and then two come along at once (you can read about another trilingual football dictionary here). The team behind this new dictionary is led by  Rove Chishman, a Professor of Linguistics and coordinator of the Graduate Program in Applied Linguistics at the University of Vale do […]

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  • FrameNet Brasil World Cup Dictionary

    Posted by on June 10, 2014

    We are delighted to introduce a new author to our blog. Tiago Torrent is a Professor of Linguistics at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil. He is also the leader of the FrameNet Brasil research group, which gathers together linguists and computer scientists for the development of frame-based resources for Natural Language Processing. […]

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  • Don’t let them bully you!

    Posted by on June 03, 2014

    Readers of our blog will be aware that – despite several decades of serious linguistic research based on the evidence found in corpora – the world is still plagued by self-appointed “experts”, who seem to enjoy lecturing the rest of us on what is wrong with the way we write and speak. Worse still, these […]

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  • The words you need: follow the red words and stars

    Posted by on April 03, 2014

    I learned a great new Spanish word last week: tiquismiquis. Its equivalent in English would be something like nitpicker or fusspot. It’s not quite a case of onomatopoeia, but there’s something about the word that matches the referent, and this makes it easier to remember. Next time I come across it, I’ll know what it […]

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  • Corpus linguistics in a MOOC – the future of education?

    Posted by on March 12, 2014

    Today’s guest post comes from Tony McEnery, Professor of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, and a leading figure in the world of corpus linguistics. ______________ If somebody had told me that, when I agreed to do a massive open online course (MOOC) for corpus linguistics, I would be crowd-sourcing word meanings from thousands […]

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  • Crawling the Web for new words

    Posted by on February 26, 2014

    Today’s guest post, from Daphné Kerremans of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, is another in our occasional series on developments in language technology (and how they help us produce better dictionaries). Daphné is a linguist interested in the socio-cognitive mechanisms of language processes, specifically regarding the adoption of linguistic innovations by individuals and the speech community at large. She […]

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  • Bored of life? Carry on irregardless!

    Posted by on September 03, 2013

    A couple of weeks ago, most of the UK newspapers featured a full-page ad from Volvo promoting a new car, with the tag line ‘Bored of German techno? Try some Swedish metal’. Bored of? Traditionally, the preposition that follows bored is with. (By is often found, too, but typically when bored is functioning less as […]

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  • Tapping the brain for words

    Posted by on August 27, 2013

    Our next guest post comes from Doug Higby. Doug is with SIL International where he coordinates training and promotion of technology for advancing language-based development in the thousands of languages where SIL works. __________ If you were to build a dictionary from scratch, how would you go about it? Would you start with ‘a’ for […]

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  • Macmillan Dictionary’s new update

    Posted by on August 19, 2013

    In an earlier post, I mentioned an interview I had with a journalist, many years ago, about all the changes we had made in a new edition of a dictionary I then edited. Predictably, none of the really interesting things we discussed ever got a look-in. What excited the paper was the fact that we […]

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