Call for papers: Children’s dictionaries

Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America invites submissions for a special issue focused on the topic of Children’s Dictionaries, edited by Susan Rennie.

Children’s dictionaries have a long history within the practice of lexicography, from Renaissance dictionaries compiled to aid the learning of Latin to the latest dictionary apps designed for use in schools. In content and style they are enormously varied, ranging from pedagogical dictionaries written for classroom use to whimsical glossaries of words in children’s fiction; and they span a wide age range from first word books and picture dictionaries to dictionaries aimed at high-school students.

A children’s dictionary is very different to an adult dictionary of the same size and headword count; and decisions over which words are allowed into, or excluded from, children’s dictionaries can be emotive. More weight may be given to words used in fiction, and less to slang and current buzzwords. Definitions and usage examples will reflect the experience of children rather than grown-ups; and children’s thesauruses typically have a more creative focus than their adult counterparts.

Despite these important differences, and the long and varied history of children’s dictionaries, there has been comparatively little research to date on the topic, and the specialism is often passed over in general surveys or handbooks of lexicography. This special issue aims to redress that imbalance. As well as pertaining to lexicography and dictionary history, the topic also has relevance for researchers in education, psychology and children’s literature.

Articles are invited on any aspect of children’s dictionaries, including but not limited to the following:

  • the history of children’s dictionaries or children’s lexicography
  • the compilation of children’s dictionaries, including the use of dedicated corpora
  • the content of children’s dictionaries, including the treatment of potentially sensitive terms
  • prescriptive versus descriptive approaches in children’s dictionaries
  • the relationship between children’s dictionaries and children’s fiction
  • the design of children’s dictionaries, including the role of illustration and typography
  • thesauruses or topic-based dictionaries for children
  • children’s dictionaries in languages other than English, including bilingual and ELT
  • digital applications in children’s lexicography
  • children’s dictionaries and literacy
  • dictionary usage by children and/or in schools

Full papers should be submitted to guest editor Susan Rennie (scrennie@gmail.com)by January 15, 2022. Informal inquiries before that date are welcome.

All papers will be reviewed anonymously by at least two peers.

Information about the journal and guidelines for contributors can be found here.

Publication is planned for Spring 2022 (volume 43, issue 1).

DSNA Ballot

The Nominating Committee and Executive Board are pleased to present the 2021 DSNA ballot for electing new Board officers, new Fellows, and voting on new Amendments to our Code of Regulations. You can access the ballot at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DSNA21.

Voting is limited to members of the DSNA in good standing. The ballot will remain open until April 17, 2021.

This ballot features quite a number of items, so please click through each page of the ballot and vote in all three sections. The ballot is introduced and explained in a letter by President Elizabeth Knowles.

We will announce the results of the ballot at our Biennial Business Meeting on May 21, 2021, at noon EDT (US). A link to the Business Meeting will be sent out to our members a week prior to the meeting.

Thank you for your participation!

New payment software

We have changed with how we process member payments. Due to steep increases in the fees that PayPal and WildApricot charge us to process payments, we have decided to switch payment platforms and save money there rather that pass those increases along to our members. This means that all automatic renewals currently in our system will have to be cancelled and reinstated on the new payment platform. We know this is a hassle, and will remind you when we send our our standard renewal letter that you will need to sign up for automatic renewals once more this year. If you have any questions about this, email the office at dsnaadmin@gmail.com and we’ll help get your renewal sorted.

DSNA 23 VIRTUAL MEETING ANNOUNCED: JUNE 4, 2021


DSNA 23. President Elizabeth Knowles and the DSNA executive board are pleased to announce that DSNA’s 23rd biennial meeting will take place virtually on Friday, June 4th, 2021. Save the date for an exciting meeting, different in structure from previous DSNA biennials! Further details to come soon.

DSNA 24. To maintain DSNA’s history of meeting in odd-numbered years, the meeting previously scheduled for 2021 at the University of Colorado, Boulder will instead take place in 2023 at that university.

ELEXIS tools and services

17 ELEXIS partners are constantly developing and improving ELEXIS tools and services for lexicography.

https://elex.is/tools-and-services/

We are constantly enriching our resources to enable smart research not only for lexicographers and researches in Natural Language Processing, but also for teachers and other professionals without formal training in lexicography. And what better way to start off a new school year than with newly developed resources?

Below, you can find a comprehensive overview of all open-access resources that are currently available. The newest ones are listed first, but you can find a quick list of all resources right here:

  • OneClick Dictionary
  • Clusty
  • NAISC
  • Elexifier
  • VerbAtlas
  • SyntagNet
  • SketchEngine
  • Lexonomy
  • Elexifinder
  • Lexicographic newsfeed

New Editor of Dictionaries

The Executive Board of DSNA is delighted to announce that Lynne Murphy has been appointed as the next Editor of Dictionaries, to take over the role when Ed Finegan steps down next year. Lynne is an accomplished lexicologist and theoretical semanticist, the author of Semantic Relations and the Lexicon (Cambridge UP, 2003) and Lexical Meaning (Cambridge UP, 2010), as well as co-author of Key Terms in Semantics (Bloomsbury, 2010) and Antonyms in English (Cambridge, 2012). She is also author of the extremely popular The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship between American and British English (Penguin, 2018), written with support of a very competitive National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for public-facing scholarship. She is the Lynneguist behind the blog, Separated by a Common Language. She has taught at the University of the Witwatersrand, Baylor University, and the University of Sussex, and has been a member of DSNA at least since 1992, when she was studying for her Ph.D. with Ladislav Zgusta at the University of Illinois.

Lynne’s scholarly sophistication and command of style, her experience with writing and editing in various registers, her deep roots in the Society and American lexicography, and her access to the United Kingdom and Europe, all contribute to making her an exceptionally well-qualified choice to take over Dictionaries. I know you will join me in welcoming her appointment in the warmest terms.

Elizabeth Knowles

President, DSNA