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Russian-Swedish Lexicography

Page history last edited by Per Ambrosiani 6 years, 2 months ago

Theoretical basis for Russian-Swedish lexicography and Swedish-Russian open access database


The rapid evolution of modern electronic technology and the appearance of various national language corpora and databaseshave led traditional bilingual dictionaries to gradually depart from their usual format and produce digitized variants of their paper editions. Electronic dictionary editions differ from paper dictionaries only in format. They are constructed on the same theoretical basis as traditional bilingual dictionaries which is obviously insufficient. They are far behind in the synchronic description of their given languages, and most important, they describe inadequately a language pair in a lexicographic format.What we need is a new computer product which is compiled on a new theoretical basis. It has to be structured as a hypertext and should include numerous references, authentic examples, audio files etc.   

      Today there are a number of specialized open access resources, (cf., for example, FrameNet (Johnson, Fillmore et al.), VerbNet (Kipper et al. 2006), Språkbanken,WordNet (G. Miller, C. Fellbaum), lexical-semantic database (Lexicographer) for the electronic description of the Russian verb (E. Padučeva). These sources offer researchers and students of English, German, Swedish and Russian a fairly broad range of information as well as illustrative materials taken from real texts. Development of an electronic biligual database (Swedish-Russian) is therefore going to be an important step for a linguistically correct and consistent description of this language pair and provide the users with new opportunities for learning and researching the given languages. The project consists of a theoretical and practical part and is going to:

(1) develop principles for correct lexicographic description of both languages and for compiling the Russian-Swedish and Swedish-Russian bilingual lexicographic database online;

(2) find out similar and different features in the lexical systems of Russian and Swedish;

(3) find out contrasive specific features that have not been described before;

(4) develop and compile a Russian-Swedish and Swedish Russian database online on the basis of the principles worked out within the project.

Our project for the compilation of a bilingual Swedish and Russian lexicographical database with authentic contexts takes into account all the necessary and sufficient principles for a consistent description of these languages.  In the process of our lexicographical work we are going to single out what is common to the features that distinguish lexical units in Russian and Swedish on the axes of time, space, derivational potential, and stylistic markedness.  The project for developing an electronic open access database seeks to produce a “synthesis of philology and culture” for Swedish and Russian. This electronic resource will enable u

     a)         to identify convergences and divergences in the use of Swedish and Russian;

     b)         to determine the peculiarities of each of the lexicographically compared languages with more precision,                        including features that, in most cases, escape attention in a purely “internal” study of a language.

The presentation of materials in our project is based on the so called principle of proportional focusing as formulated by J. D. Apresjan in the foreword to the New Comprehensive English-Russian Dictionary, which consists in structuring each unit of the dictionary so as to enable the user to distinguish its nucleus and several layers of the more distant periphery.  We will also take into account the principal dictionary opposition between the static nature of the dictionary and the dynamic nature of language.

Language, of course, is constantly evolving, and the lexical system is particularly dynamic. Because dictionaries often do not manage to register all the lexico-grammatical features in the language system, proportional focusing of dictionary materials remains important for modern lexicography. Thus our project for the compilation of a bilingual Swedish and Russian dictionary database takes into account all the necessary and sufficient principles for a consistent description of these languages.  


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