General dictionaries provide the user with information about the meaning, the grammatical catcgor'v, the pronunciation, and the spelling of words. Most dictionaries indicate in what social or pragmatic situatiort a word is appropriate, because competent language use involves not only how to combine words grammatically, but how to put the words in the right situation. To indicate information about use and situation, most dictionaries resort to what ar~ ofien called register labels.
While the register label indicates situation, another important category of usage labels that constitutes usage information is the field label which marks the field of terminology'. The concept of terminology and that of general dictionaries appear at first sight to be mutually exclusive. Terminology is normally seen as the object of specialized dictionaries, while the so-called "general language" is considered the focus of general dictionaries. However, in some of the earliest English general dictionaries dating back to about the seventeenth century, terms were included. Moreover, this trend has continued and become even more marked over time. Hence, terminology in general dictionaries and its indication is a valid subject of study.
This thesis has three primary objectives:
i) to examine theoretical ideas on register and terminology
ii) to examine and analyze register labeling and field marking in modem monolingual and bilingual dictionaries; and
iii) to suggest methods to improve register and field labeling in English-Chinese dictionaries
This thesis is divided into seven chapters.
Chapter 1: From Language Variation to Usage Labels in General dictionaries
In this chapter the concept of language varieties in sociolinguistics is examined, which prepares for the presentation of concepts of usage, and types of usage labels and their roles according to theoretical works.
Chapter 2: Register Study and Register Labels in Dictionary Front Matter
The study of regü~ter in linguistics and lexicography is discussed. The treatment of register is inspected in the front matters of some general dictionaries.
Chapter 3: Register Labeling within Dictionary Entries
This chapter, turning from theory to practice, analyzes actual labeling practices in three monolingual and three bilingual dictionaries. Consistencies and discrepancies between these dictionaries are revealed by examination of dozens of entries in them.
Chapter 4: Suggestions of Register Labeling Practice in English-Chinese Dictionaries Corpus Use
On the basis of the previous chapter, recommendations are made to improve register labeling in E-C dictionaries, particularly by analyzing context of an item in corpus.
Chapter 5: Terms, Field labels, and Coverage of Terms in General Dictionaries
This chapter presents the definition of LGP and LSPs, the definition of words and terms, and clarifies the similarities and differences between general language and special language. The role of field labels which are used to identify technical or specialized senses (i.e. to identify terms) is discussed. The front matters of some selected dictionaries are examined to find the fields they cover.
Chapter 6: Treatment of Terms in General Dictionaries
The topic of this chapter is analyzed from two points of view: their inclusion and indication of field. This chapter draws conclusions regarding the inconsistencies found in examination of some sample terms in those dictionaries.
Chapter 7: Suggestions of Coverage of Terms and their Labeling in English-Chinese Dictionaries Practical polices, regarding the inclusion of terms, and how they should be marked, as well as how field labels should be selected and used, are suggested to be applied in E-C dictionaries.
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