About the Conference

The Dictionary Society of North America has held biennial meetings since 1977. Bringing together scholars of lexicography and professional lexicographers, the conference is an important event for anyone interested in modern dictionary research and practices. Speakers must be DSNA members; nonmembers should apply for membership when they receive their acceptance to speak. Join here.

DSNA 23: Now Online

The DSNA is pleased to announce that our 23rd biennial meeting will be virtual to accommodate the travel difficulties the pandemic has wrought. You’ll find the conference announcement below; we will update this page with the links to the call for papers and the registration as the conference committee publishes them.

DSNA 23: Fitness of Our Dictionaries and Lexicography to 21st-Century Realities

Held virtually on June 4, 2021
10:00 am – 3:30 pm North American Eastern Time
(GMT 15:00 – 20:30)


Introduction: Steve Kleinedler (Past President, DSNA)

Keynote:  Dictionaries as Authorities: Can They Be and Should They?

Kory Stamper and Bryan Garner
Moderator: Lane Greene (The Economist)


1. How global and national events affect modern lexicography
Moderator: Ben Zimmer (Wall Street Journal)

2. Dictionaries in the public eye
Moderator: Anne Curzan (University of Michigan)

3. The Future of dictionaries and lexicography
Moderator: Sarah Ogilvie (Oxford University)

A Life in Lexicography: Elizabeth Knowles (President, DSNA)

Provision will be made for break-out rooms and a social hour following the formal conference.


Abstracts are invited for nine papers to be presented, three each on three panels, at the online-only DSNA 23 meeting. Each abstract should be centrally relevant to one of the panel topics described below and should specify the panel it is being submitted to. Presentations are limited to 15 minutes and must be pre-recorded. Each panel will have a 15-minute moderated live Q&A.

The organizers encourage submission of public-facing papers, with appeal to a wider audience than normally attends a DSNA conference. Short papers cannot attempt a state-of-the-art picture but should aim to describe or critique an aspect of the topic from a 21st-century perspective. All abstract submitters must be willing to pre-record their presentation and to be virtually present during the entire panel in order to participate in the Q&A. Authors of papers accepted for panel presentation will receive guidelines for preparing the recordings.

Note: Each set of panel presentations is planned to form the core of a forum to be published in Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America. In addition, papers based on select other submitted abstracts will be accepted for possible inclusion in the forum (all papers to be refereed in accordance with the journal’s practices).

More details on how to submit abstracts can be found in the Call For Papers on EasyChair. Abstracts must be submitted via EasyChairDeadline for abstract submission is March 5th at 11:59 pm North American Eastern time.


1. How global and national events affect modern lexicography

Online dictionaries are able to adapt speedily to rapid changes in vocabulary and usage. As an example, Covid-19 and the pandemic have spawned a range of new words and new applications for existing words, such as contact tracing, community spread, flatten the curve, PPE, social distancing, and Covid-19 itself. Who monitors these and similar developments for dictionaries? Who writes or revises the definitions? How do lexicographers keep up with global and national changes in vocabulary and word meanings? How does the proliferation of new vocabulary affect established lexicographical approaches? We welcome abstracts that explore any aspect of dictionaries and lexicography addressing lightning-speed developments in the lexicon.

2. Dictionaries in the public eye

Dictionaries continue to carry significant authority in the professional and personal lives of people in all walks of life and all stations. Courts in the US and Britain increasingly cite dictionaries as evidence for the meaning of even everyday words. Lexicographers and dictionary publishers now use social media in savvy ways to engage more users. Reporters are fascinated with new words and how they get into dictionaries, and they pay a good deal of attention to contests about words (e.g., WOTY, spelling bees, political gaffes). Teachers and students increasingly turn to online resources for authoritative word explanations and definitions – sometimes online dictionaries from established publishers and sometimes not. How do common understandings – or misunderstandings – of dictionaries and their authority manifest in how users approach these issues? What trends can we find in the attention to dictionaries in the public forum? How should dictionaries adapt to each of these audiences and common uses of dictionaries – or should they? We welcome abstracts that explore any aspect of dictionaries and lexicography in public forums or these questions in particular.

3The future of dictionaries and lexicography

While a dictionary’s word list (entry list) and definitions have traditionally been the work of humans – lexicographers – they are now increasingly generated semi-automatically from large text datasets (corpora). New working models are emerging in which digital humanities, corpus linguistics, linked data, NLP, and machine learning are applied to the selection of illustrative quotations, disambiguation of word senses, choice of labels, and writing of definitions themselves. How efficient and accurate are these computational methods when compared to those of humans? Will human lexicographers always be needed? Will some computer programs be able to generate definitions on the fly and provide the information users expect? And will the notion of “the dictionary” need redefining as a result? We welcome abstracts that explore any aspect of the future of dictionaries and lexicography in general, or these questions in particular.


Registration for DSNA 23 will open on March 1st. The fees for attendance are as follows:

DSNA Member: $25
Non-member: $70 (which includes a year of membership in the DSNA)
Students: Free (when registering using an academic email account)

We will have a limited number of gratis press passes available for the conference. Interested journalists should contact the DSNA office with their credentials to receive a registration code.

When registration opens, we will post the link for signing up. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact the DSNA.

 List of conferences by Lise Winer

Because of the uncertain circumstances engendered by the pandemic, many conference dates and plans are changing.  Please check with the conference organizers for dates, places, and (a)synchronous web accessibility. 

ICCLWO 2021: 15. International Conference on Computational Linguistics and Word Origins. February 18-19, 2021 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. https://waset.org/computational-linguistics-and-word-origins-conference-in-february-2021-in-jeddah

ICCLL 2021: 15. International Conference on Corpus Linguistics and Lexicology. March 22-23, 2021 in Prague, Czechia. https://waset.org/corpus-linguistics-and-lexicology-conference-in-march-2021-in-prague

ICLLDP 2021: 15. Linguistics, Lexicography and Discourse Prosody Conference, Madrid, Spain (Mar 25-26, 2021).  https://waset.org/linguistics-lexicography-and-discourse-prosody-conference-in-march-2021-in-madrid

ICLCL 2021: 15. International Conference on Lexicography and Corpus Linguistics. April 08-09, 2021 in Athens, Greece. https://waset.org/lexicography-and-corpus-linguistics-conference-in-april-2021-in-athens

ICLDP 2021: 15. International Conference on Lexicography and Discourse Prosody. April 12-13, 2021 in Venice, Italy. https://waset.org/lexicography-and-discourse-prosody-conference-in-april-2021-in-venice

ICLTL 2021: 15. International Conference on Linguistic Theory and Lexicology. April 22-23, 2021 in Boston, United States. https://waset.org/linguistic-theory-and-lexicology-conference-in-april-2021-in-boston

ICLSP 2021: 15. International Conference on Lexicology and Discourse Prosody. May 13-14, 2021 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. https://waset.org/lexicology-and-discourse-prosody-conference-in-may-2021-in-amsterdam

ICLS 2021: 15. International Conference on Lexicology and Sociolinguistics. May 17-18, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. https://waset.org/lexicology-and-sociolinguistics-conference-in-may-2021-in-sydney

ICLSLDP 2021: 15. International Conference on Language Sciences, Lexicology and Discourse Prosody. May 17-18, 2021 in Paris, France. https://waset.org/language-sciences-lexicology-and-discourse-prosody-conference-in-may-2021-in-paris

ICLLDP 2021: 15. International Conference on Linguistics, Lexicology and Discourse Prosody. May 20-21, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. https://waset.org/linguistics-lexicology-and-discourse-prosody-conference-in-may-2021-in-vancouver.

ICCBL 2021: 15. International Conference on Corpus Based Lexicology. June 15-16, 2021 in Toronto, Canada. https://waset.org/corpus-based-lexicology-conference-in-june-2021-in-toronto

ICLSP 2021: 15. International Conference on Lexicology and Semantic Prosody. July 12-13, 2021 in Ottawa, Canada. https://waset.org/lexicology-and-semantic-prosody-conference-in-july-2021-in-ottawa

ICLSCBL 2021: 15. International Conference on Language Sciences and Corpus Based Lexicology. September 20-21, 2021 in Toronto, Canada.  https://waset.org/language-sciences-and-corpus-based-lexicology-conference-in-september-2021-in-toronto

ICTCLL 2021: 15. International Conference on Theoretical Corpus Linguistics and Lexicology. September 9-10, 2021 in Singapore.  https://waset.org/theoretical-corpus-linguistics-and-lexicology-conference-in-september-2021-in-singapore

ICHLL The 11th International Conference on Historical Lexicography and Lexicology will be held in June 2021 at the University of La Rioja, Logroño, Spain. https://www.nerthusproject.com/events

ASIALEX 2021. The 14th International Conference of the Asian Association for Lexicography. June 12, 2021.  Indonesia, online. http://badanbahasa.kemdikbud.go.id/lamanbahasa/Asialex2021/

AFRILEX, 25th International Conference of the African Society for Lexicography, 29-30 June, 2021. Online, www.afrilex.co.za

The seventh eLex conference, Electronic lexicography in the 21st century: will be held in Brno, Czechia, from 5-7 July 2021. The meeting will be hosted by Lexical Computing. https://elex.link/elex2021/

EURALEX. 19th Conference, 7-11 September 2021. Alexandroupolis, Greece, Democritus University of Thrace.  https://euralex2020.gr/