WHAT IS A LEXICON
WHAT IS A LEXICON
This unit aims to:
- give you an outline of the background and aim for a lexicon
- list characteristics of a lexicon
- clarify what this LEXICON is
- identify what this LEXICON may be used to do
Paper and pen for taking notes
Your mobile phone for looking up information
1. OUTLINE OF A LEXICON
You are more than likely very familiar with using a dictionary, whether a mono-lingual one or perhaps a bi-lingual one. Dictionaries have been devised over the centuries to assist us in gathering, sorting, defining and sharing specific information about words and phrases.
2. CHARACTERISTICS OF A LEXICON
A lexicon is an alphabetical list of the words in a language or the words associated with a particular subject.
The term LEXICON is listed in most dictionaries, with entries covering the following:
The vocabulary of a person, language or branch of knowledge
A word book
A word hoard
An inventory of lexemes (word forms)
A world stock (a catalogue of a language’s words)
A set of neologisms (newly made words)
A document of established lexical norms and conventions (via use)
A person or groups knowledge about a language
An historical ‘map’ of ancient words
A specialist set of terms gathered in a collection.
wordbook, vocabulary, glossary, encyclopedia, lexicon, concordance, word list, vocabulary list.
(COLLINS English Thesaurus. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-thesaurus/lexicon)
3. CLARIFYING WHAT THIS LEXICON IS
This LEXICON has been designed to support design students, educators, professionals and researchers in shaping design futures literacies. This is done via a set of experimental use cases with master’s and PhD students and design educators and researchers.
4. LEXICOGRAPHY TODAY
Traditionally, dictionaries were made by specialist scholars of language, linguistics, literature and publishing. In the past three decades this has shifted to the building of bodies or databases of words drawn from spoken and written contexts. We are now able to search for the meanings of words across these databases (through what is called computer concordaning) and look into how they are used, how often (frequencies) and in relation to what other words (collocations). Lexicography, or dictionary making, is changing as we use social media and build online bodies of language behaviour and expression.
Download this UNIT in printable format:
Bennett, Tony, Lawrence Grossberg and Meaghan Morris. 2005. New Keywords. A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Oxford: Blackwell.
Durkin, P. (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Lexicography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Durkin, Philip. 2016. The Oxford Handbook of Lexicography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Enzler. S.M. (n.d.). The Climate Change Glossary. Lenntech B.V.
Halliday, Michael, and Colin Yallop. 2007. Lexicology: A Short Introduction. London
Howe, C & Pandian, A. (2020). (Eds). Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon. Punctum Books.
Jezek, Elisabetta. 2016. The Lexicon: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Olavarrieta, C., Glenn, J. & Gordon, T. (2014). (Eds.). Futures: World Foresight Encyclopedic Dictionary. Washington D.C.: The Millenium Project.
Sinclair, John, ed. 1987. Looking Up. An Account of the COBUILD Project in Lexical Computing. London: Collins ELT.
Svensén, B. (2009). A Handbook of Lexicography. Cambridge: CUP.
Williams, Raymond. 1976. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. London: Fontana.
CONTRIBUTE TO THIS UNIT!
Future Education and Literacy for Designers (FUEL4Design) is an open project.
You are invited to contribute by presenting your own use of this UNIT as well as share feedback on this resource.
An addition or comment to a UNIT or the use of an ESSENTIAL you see as appropriate.
Making a contribution will help connect the LEXICON to other work, innovations, settings and persons.
Your contribution can be related to the content of the LEXICON, to the work you do or that of others.
Send your suggestions, cases, courses, projects and additions to: email@example.com