Spanish lexicography in the Internet era

Authored by: Ignacio Bosque , María Auxiliadora Barrios Rodríguez

The Routledge Handbook of Lexicography

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138941601
eBook ISBN: 9781315104942
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315104942.ch40

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Abstract

Some years ago, the Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez wrote that he did not trust dictionaries, but he still liked to consult them every time he finished a text. 1 He used to do that – he declared – not in order to change some expression in his writing, but only to check whether or not his spontaneous and intuitive interpretations of words happened to coincide with the ones these works attempt to provide. The famous writer would have been surprised to know that, far from opposing the ordinary speaker’s views on language, lexicographers strive to develop descriptions of the lexicon that match the linguistic knowledge of common speakers. They do not always succeed because the task of capturing all the nuances hidden in simple words is much more complex than we usually think. In this brief overview, we will schematically draw the main lines followed by current lexicographical studies in Spanish, and we will provide the bibliographical references necessary for the reader to complete our general picture. Perhaps García Márquez would have liked to know something about the enormous efforts lying behind the dictionaries he did not trust.

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