: Introduction
1.1 Background:
A dictionary is a document which holds great value in the lives of the people. The
features and attributes that it exhibits remain unparallel and are surpass the expectations
of the people. It not only provides the meanings and definitions to the words belonging
to a language but also have certain elements of the culture of that language embodied
within it. The words that have been complied in a dictionary are much greater in scope
than just providing the meaning and add to the knowledge of the users.
Understanding the meaning of a language refers to revealing the importance and the
value of that language which can be done through the process of learning. Learning is
not only based on the thinking process of an individual, but is also affected by the
influences of the social attributes.
Thus, translation pertains to defining the meaning of the words on the basis of
experience up to such an extent that it can help in the conceptualization and providing
knowledge to an individual. It should be capable of inducing the process of learning a
language within an individual and provide the translation of words from one language to
the other.
The structures of the different types of dictionaries vary on the basis of the purpose for
which they are created. For example, a bilingual dictionary is created in such a way that
it can provide the meaning of the words given in one language, known as the source
language, into another language which is referred to as the target language. Both the
source and target language have their own linguistic systems and essence of meanings of
the words.
Many bilingual dictionaries have been created over the past years which can provide
translation of words from English to Arabic. However, one of the most popular amongst
them is “Al-Mawrid”. There are certain limitations to this dictionary. As the writer of12
this dictionary died even before it could be completed, the dictionary remains incomplete
and the logical structure of the dictionary was also one of the issues that were raised.
The dictionary Al-Mawrid was created on the basis of the traditional concept of
providing only meanings to the words and no method of selection or prioritization was
applied while including the words into the dictionary. Hence it is difficult in terms of
usage and does not serve the purpose to the user who wants to learn another language.
It provides only the information of the culture of the source language.
In the traditional bilingual dictionaries, the words which are included are arranged in
such a manner that they provide only meanings an act in an independent manner. There
is no provision for the association of the words although they are linked to each other.
The lexicographers did not attempt to associate the words or identify the relationship
between the words to assign meanings to the various words included in the dictionary.
This study has helped in disclosing some of the strings of words and the method of
association of words that acts as an initiator for writing a bilingual dictionary. There are
certain concepts which may be very fruitful for creating a bilingual dictionary and may
provide a wide scope for the lexical translation; however these concepts have not been
incorporated in the traditional process of writing dictionaries.
A dictionary can be defined as a hand book that provides knowledge about the culture
of a particular language. However, it should be kept in mind that it is not a guide book
which gives information about what the culture should actually be. The attempt to create
a dictionary by employing the new concepts and notions is undoubtedly an extremely
challenging task.
But there are certain conditions that make these attempts look possible. The presence of
the computer system is one of the conditions which make it easy for the user to track
words and their meanings. It also allows the words to be tagged or used for cross
referencing which otherwise is a very difficult task.
A dictionary is created in such a way that it makes the concepts of knowledge and
meaning entwined with each other. In this way, dictionary is known to manage both13
knowledge and meaning. A word can be viewed as something which stores knowledge
and meaning which has to be extracted from it.
Considering the conceptual level, the philosophical theory of knowledge would come
together with the psychological theory of learning. Therefore, in order to provide
meaning to a word and also to embody knowledge into it, a certain common standard
must be decided upon which can help in integrating all these concepts into a dictionary.
1.2 Objectives of the Study:
This research project aims at highlighting the shortcomings and limitations of the content
and structuring of the bilingual dictionaries by carrying out an in depth analysis of the
Arabic dictionary. It also aims at pointing out the failures of the lexicographers in
creating these bilingual dictionaries.
Another objective of carrying out this research is to bring out the effects that these
dictionaries have on the knowledge of the user of a particular language and development
of that language. It aims at finding out the impact of these dictionaries on the user as a
whole.
By conducting this research, an attempt will be made to figure out the problems that
exist in these dictionaries and the probable solutions for it which will help in providing
an improved structure to these dictionaries as well as make them more useful and
efficient. All of this is being done with the perception that it will make the bilingual
dictionaries more valuable and helpful for the users, translators and academicians.
To be more precise, the aims of the study are:
 To identify those areas of bilingual dictionaries which require some additions and
amendments, so that some aid can be provided for their improvement.
 To encourage the Arab scholars and lexicographers to put in extra effort and thought
process in creating new dictionaries or generating new editions of the old ones.
 To provide understanding to the students and translators those are linked with the
research process of the alternatives for solving the problems that arise from the
shortcomings of the English-Arabic dictionaries.14
1.3 Statement of the Problem:
It came to the notice of Haywood in 1965 that there was no equivalent of the modern
Arabic language in terms of the Oxford English dictionary. The attempts that were made
to create an Arabic dictionary to match the standards of the Oxford dictionaries went all
in vain. Even today, there has not been much change in the situation.
Till today, out of all the works that have been done on the Arabic lexicography, the
best one out of them has been credited to a European Orientalist. It is high time now
that the Arabs paid some attention to this problem and put in all the efforts for building
a concept and structure of the Arabic lexicography which would be based upon the
culture of the Arabs in the past (Haywood, 1965, p. 110).
One of the reasons behind this problem is that there does not exist a single linguistic or
scientific body which has taken the responsibility of providing the technical and scientific
terms in Arabic language. The only sources of providing these terminologies are the
creators of the monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, the writers and translators who are
involved in writing books that are based on various subjects, the Ministries and
educational institutions of Arab (Al-Kasimi, 1977, p. 111).
However, since the aims and objectives of these scholars, lexicographers and institutions
are different from each other, they are not able to provide the requisite help for solving
the problem. Therefore, an approach has to be deduced which can provide a standard
and systematic solution for structuring and developing the dictionaries. Some of the main
problems that need to be tackled have been pointed out in this research. They are:
 To identify the areas of ambiguity and indistinctness in the dictionary and to
determine the possible solutions for solving this problem.
 To determine ways of encouraging the Arabic scholars and lexicographers to come up
with new and improved concepts of creating a new dictionary or generating new
editions of the old ones.15
 To provide the best solution of overcoming the shortcomings of the dictionaries that
has been mentioned earlier.
1.4 Importance of the Study:
Language acts as a bridge between the different people and communities and helps in
creating a bond between their cultures. The main task of a lexicographer is to not only
create a dictionary which would compile the words belonging to a language and provide
the meanings of those words, but he must also provide the connotative meanings of the
words.
Apart from this he must provide knowledge to the user about the various contexts in
which those words can be used and their meanings in different contexts. In order to
help in the development of a language, the lexicographer must find a way to create the
dictionary in a systematic way so that the new and foreign words can be easily
incorporated into it.
Also, the representation of the meaning of the word is an important characteristic of the
dictionary, and the lexicographer must ensure that the words exhibit their meanings in
such a way that they can be easily conceived by the users with reference to the
language and culture embodied in that dictionary. The findings of this research can be of
some help to the students, scholars as well as the lexicographers.16
Chapter Two: Review of Related Literature
Introduction:
The aim of the research is to study and explore the world of dictionaries or lexicon. For
this, the author has studied and examined many research papers that were based on
lexicography, Arabic lexicography, its history, development and other related topics. This
has helped in deciding the overall approach of the study.
The chapter contains details of the role that modern linguistics played in the designing
of the lexical schematization. The approach that was applied by Saussure to modern
linguistics has been discussed. The various concepts of language and reality, conceptauditory image, linguistic entity and synchronic analysis have been discussed along with
their contribution to linguistics as well as lexicography.
The studies that were conducted by the other linguists and scholars in the postSaussarean era have also been studied. It contains a comparison between the concepts
that were given by Saussure and the new concepts given by the other linguists. The
meaning and working of the signifier-signified system and the meaning-making system
has also been discussed.
The various definitions of the term “dictionary” have been given by different scholars
along with the description of the criteria that are required for defining the term, namely
formal, functional and substantive criteria. The meaning and attributes of typology, i.e.,
the system that differentiates between items has been described.
The approach that was used by Ferdinand de Saussure involving the study of signs and
symbols can be of great significance when it comes to the study of the words and
meanings of different languages because even though the meaning of the words remain
universally unique, but with the change in the system of belief, the interpretation of the
word in a certain context changes such as that in Arabic, British or American culture.17
Keeping that in mind, the research concentrates upon the approach used by Saussure and
other researchers who have studied the relation between the words and symbols with the
human nature.
The problems that are faced in translating the Arabic language to English have also been
mentioned. Some of the words that are difficult to translate have also been described.
The relation that translation has with respect to dictionaries has also been discussed
along with the role played by the bilingual dictionaries in translation.
The chapter also contains the history of lexicography and Arabic lexicography. Along
with this, the different types of dictionaries, namely English-English, Arabic-Arabic,
English-Arabic-Arabic-English dictionaries have also been discussed with examples. Also
the basis and uses of the monolingual, bilingual, reference and production dictionaries
has also been discussed.
A brief description of the Nijmegen Dutch-Arabic dictionary project and the difficulties
faced in it has also been mentioned. The coming up and development of the electronic
dictionaries has also been discussed along with the details of the difference between the
printed and electronic dictionaries.
2.1 The Role of Linguistics in Lexical Schematization According to
Saussure:
The basics of modern linguistics and the Saussure’s approach to understanding the
different languages by studying the words and symbols need to be thoroughly studied in
order to clarify the role that linguistics play in designing the lexical schematization. In
spite of a huge difference between the present day language and Saussure’s ideas, the
consolidation of the ideas from both of them can ameliorate the structuring of the
dictionaries.
Earlier, language was restricted only to the study of concepts and meanings of the
words, but the modern linguistics has far more things to consider than merely understand
the concepts and meanings of words. The modern linguistics takes into consideration a18
number of factors that are related with the meaning and structuring of the words with
respect to the language (Sinha, 2005, pp. 29-31).
Apart from that, it considers the amendments that have been made to the language as
the time passes by which has not only helped in getting an in depth knowledge of the
language, but has also widened its scope.
The grammar part of the language was given a lot of importance in the traditional view
of linguistics. However, when it comes to writing, the vocabulary part of language
becomes more significant. Before Saussure had conducted his research, the earlier
researchers studied the language in the light of the rules and guidelines that were
prescribed for understanding the concept of different languages and their meanings. This
was a comparatively formal approach of studying language.
As there are certain predefined rules and principles that are followed in mathematics,
likewise in the earlier times, the structure of linguistics was restricted by the rules and
guidelines. Certain equations were fixed for the language which had to be strictly
followed. If at all the words were not arranged in a manner as defined in the equation
to make a sentence, it would be declared to be grammatically incorrect.
This concept of mathematics being used in the study of language has far been outdated
and in the modern linguistics, the study of language is carried out by looking at the
various factors and facets that might have an effect on it. This concept has been able to
flourish well with the changing time and has been able to cope with the changes in the
structuring of the various languages.
The structure and understanding of language has gained significant importance which is
evident from the change in the approach to linguistics from traditional to the modern
view. The comparison of linguistics has been done with the various forms of sciences
wherein the foundation is built on the basis of the concepts that were prominent in the
past, but it also keeps on developing by the regular changes that are made to it as and
when required. Therefore, in order to understand well the concepts of modern linguistics,19
one should have a good understanding of the history of the concepts that were used by
the earlier scholars.
One can understand the approaches that were used by Saussure in studying language
while going through the modern linguistics. The contributions that have been made by
Saussure in defining the building blocks of modern linguistics have been identified and
appreciated by the other scholars and academicians.
Saussure’s concept was based on not only based on the formal approach of using the
prescribed rules, but it also involved the study of language on the basis of its use in the
speech. Speech was considered as an important factor for the development of language
(Preucel, 2006, pp. 21-23).
Saussure believed that meaning had only a restricted role in getting into the depths of
understanding language, and that it is one of the smaller aspects of language. So, the
complete language cannot be understood on the basis of meaning alone (Saussure, 1998,
pp. 9-10).
He also pointed that the meaning of a word cannot be identified by only its language,
but one needs to understand the context in which it is being used in order to understand
the real meaning of that word. He said that language cannot be completely understood
by considering only one factor, and hence he divided linguistics into three parts for
studying. They are:
 The uncovering of the history for studying and forming the structure of languages.
 The recognition of the factors that have an impact on the development and evolution
of language and the way it is used.
 The study of language in different parts of the world with respect to the various
fields.
The modern linguistics has been able to widen the scope of looking at language. It has
not restricted language to be based on only one factor, such as grammar, but believes
that language can be understood only when we consider factors such as the context in20
which it is being used because it cannot be expressed by using any one factors as it is
linked with several things such as things, objects, etc., and are also coupled with other
words and concepts (Habib, 2008, p. 70-75).
The Saussure’s approach to the modern linguistics acts as an aid to the lexical
schematization as it allows conceiving the meaning of language by looking into the
various aspects of language and the factors to which it is related and which have an
impact on it (Croft & Cruse, 2004, p. 63-64).
Modern linguistics has the capability to study language in the view of different aspects
of knowledge such as history and etymology, which can be used to define a path for
the structuring of the information in such a form that will enable the language to be
distinguished.
The dictionaries have been created with the aim of providing reference to the user not
only in terms of its meaning or its grammatical use, but also to provide information
about its origin and the derivative forms of the words, how these words can be used in
speech, etc. In this way, the modern linguistics and Saussure’s approach to study
language have been useful for designing a dictionary.
2.2 The Nature and Structure of the Linguistic Entity:
2.2.1 Language and Reality:
Saussure believed that it is very important for words to have a definite structure, the
absence of which might lead the learning of meaning of any certain word or situation
inconceivable (Saussure, 1998, p. 11-12).
According to him, any language should have certain predefined standards governing its
structure so that it can be easily understood by people belonging to different parts of the
world. With regards to this concept, we can deduce that the concepts that we have in
our minds of existence and reality are in some way related to the language.21
There has to be some information or certain basic standards attached to the language,
without which it will not be possible to differentiate between what is trying to be
explained and everything would seem to be merged and indistinguishable. No ideas were
identified, as well as any signs or symbols were not assigned to the ideas.
Prior to linguistics, nothing was discrete. Another thing that was questionable was that in
the absence of discretion of ideas, does speech provide any help in developing the ideas
(Saussure, 1998, p. 133). Saussure had put forward three arguments. The first argument
states that the languages are not capable of providing a nomenclature which can
determine the concepts or ideas that were present in the earlier times.
Nomenclaturism as defined by Preucel states that language is an aggregation of words
which are used to describe the objects, actions and other things in such a manner that
they can be distinguished from one another. Also each word is made up of letters which
give out a distinctive meaning to the words and make them identifiable (Preucel, 2006, p.
26).
Saussure believed that language is not just comprised of words or the letters that create
those words because those same letters constitute the sounds that can be expressed in a
logical manner. Nomenclaturism has also been related to the ideas that existed in the
past regarding the meaning of language.
If we consider the example of the word “love”, we will find that its meaning states that
it is something which defines kindness and compassion, however if we look at it in a
more practical manner, it is just presenting the feeling of kindness and compassion for
someone. The arising of these concepts from the ideas of the earlier times can only be
confirmed by studying the language.
Saussure was against the concept of nomenclaturism stating that language is not based
on what it is trying to present or communicate, it rather keeps on changing according to
the context in which it is being used or the meaning that has to be represented. It
means that the meaning of the word “love” may change from the one that has been
mentioned in the books if it is being used in different contexts. For example, if we say22
“love for one’s country”, it does not mean kindness and compassion in this statement. It
rather indicates the feeling of nationalism.
The second argument that was put forward by Saussure was that the realities are
represented in different forms by the different languages. The language differentiates
reality into many different categories whereas the conceptual world that is known to
everyone can be divided in a different manner. The languages of different origin do not
categorise reality in a similar manner (Chandler, 2002, p. 27).
The word “love” in the English language is called “Liebe” in German and both the
words are used in different ways according to their contexts of use. Language determines
the ideas and concepts of a human being when it comes to talking about reality.
However, the concept of “amorphous mass” contradicts the ideas that have been put
forward by Saussure regarding the relationship between reality and language.
This concept depicts the thinking that people had in the pre-linguistic times. It stated
that the thoughts and ideas of a person are free from any restrictions and do not come
together to project something to define any territories. If these thoughts are not arranged
properly, they convey no meaning at all. Hence, language is responsible for making this
amorphous mass meaningful and capable of being understood (Chandler, 2002, p. 27).
2.2.2 Concept-Auditory Image:
Language can be defined as a naming system wherein the letters come together to form
words, which lead to the formation of sentences, and this cycle of association keeps on
happening continuously. It has been postulated by Saussure that this viewpoint of
linguistics is extremely easy (Kemmer, 2008, p. 23). In spite of its simplicity, it is
capable of depicting the importance of language in the most suitable manner and has
been able to bring forward two important components of language.
The first component of language is the concept that represents the ideas and thoughts of
people by making use of words or is communicated by some means. The second
component is the auditory image which acts as a stimulant for communicating the23
meaning of the concept to the receiver (Figure 1). The auditory image may be defined
as the psychological element of the stimulus that creates an understanding in our minds
and is not restricted to the materialistic part of it.
Figure 1. General Model of Concept Formation
(Source: Saussure, 1998, p. 72)
The working of the concept-auditory image model is similar to the signified-signifier
relationship model. The most important thing that needs to be apprehended from this
model is the role that linguistic sign plays in the language as it is formed by combining
the concept and sound image.
This combination provides assistance in defining an outline of the process that must be
integrated with the meaning-making system. This approach has been further explained by
Saussure by giving an example of the word “tree” wherein he states that the main idea
or meaning of the word “tree” can be expressed in different languages.
A person starts bringing into existence the concept that needs to be explained behind the
word “tree” from the moment that person creates an auditory image of that word, no
matter what language the person speaks and understands.
Thus, the complete meaning of the word “tree” can be explained only by combining the
two components of language, that result in the formation of a meaning-making system.24
The auditory image of “tree” begins the conception of the meaning of the word leading
to its complete understanding.
It can be said that the process of creating a language involves the developing of the
naming concept which is exhibited by the auditory images and the patterns of sounds
that are created. The requirement of a medium for expressing the concepts and ideas in
front of others has resulted in the creation of the auditory images.
Different patterns of sound were created by making use of the auditory images which
alleviated the process of communicating the message or conveying the meaning to be
explained by the sender to the perceiver. An example for this can be that of the desire
of human beings to express their feeling of love that they have for others, for which the
language was developed so that it could be done in an easier and distinct manner.
In the view of Saussure, sign was the concept that was responsible for unifying the
signifier and the signified. The series of signs create a signifying system which has to
undergo a thorough examination considering its constituent parts (Barker, 2008, p. 76).
The relation that exists between a concept that needs to be expressed and the language
of speech can be understood by using sign as a medium.
In this system, the concept represents the signified while the language that is used
represents the signifier. As the realities are represented by different languages in different
forms, likewise the signified is represented in different ways in the form of concepts.
So, it can be said that the signifying system consists of a signifier that represents the
concept and a signified which is the language in which the concept is expressed.
The views of Saussure regarding the auditory image at the parole level support this
concept of auditory image wherein the signified-signifier relationship is used to represent
a concept at the langue level. Langue can be defined as a system of rules and
regulations that are applied to form a structure of any language (Hodder, 1991, p. 185).
Parole is the application of this concept by the people.25
As the Saussure’s signifying system is discussed further, it can be identified that the
relation that exists between the signifier and the signified can be expressed by using the
view of auditory image and concept at the parole level.
This concept can be delineated by considering the panoramic view of the speaker and
the laws that govern a language concerning the signified and signifier. Looking at the
point of view of an individual speaker, the concept that he wants to express can be
presented by making use of language in terms of speech or auditory terms.
In order to express the concept, the individual speaker makes use of the language to
make it clear. As mentioned earlier in the concept of “amorphous mass”, that in the prelinguistic times, the thoughts of a person were not bounded by any limitations and were
indistinct, there was a need for the language to make these thoughts elucidated. The
person can express his thoughts by making use of the auditory images which are
significant to him and this can be done in the form of linguistics (Chandler, 2002, p.
110).
In accordance with the system of language, concept can be defined as the thought that
is distinctive and an integral part of man. This concept that has to be expressed by
using language as a medium is termed as signified. Different languages make use of the
auditory images for expressing these thoughts in a distinct manner. The concept of
langue is responsible for expressing these thoughts with the help of a unique language
system.
2.2.3 Linguistic Entity:
A single concept can be expressed by any one or all of the languages in infinite ways.
This suggests that the signifier and signified of a signifying system can be isolated. It
means that the signifiers can combine with the other signifiers and similarly the signified
can join their counterparts which will allow a sign to become polysemous.
In such a case, the signifier and signified will become separated from the sign. This can
be explained by giving an example of the word “bed” which refers to a piece of26
furniture on which a person sleeps, but it is also used to refer to the borders of the
water bodies including rivers and streams.
The words, which are referred to as signs in linguistics, should be conceived with
reference to the time of the state or action. A person communicating his views by
speaking words can utter a single word at a particular time and the association of these
words leads to the formation of the statement or concept.
When we look at the writing part, here also the words are written one by one resulting
into a sentence in the end. This demonstrates that word is linear and the signifiers come
along one by one in a sentence to convert into the signified.
The view that was expressed by Saussure stating that the relation that exists between the
signifier and the signified is arbitrary in nature has been braced by pointing out that
everything has an arbitrary aspect in itself, even if they are considered non arbitrary. A
sound judgement can be made only in the meaning-making process because in order to
base things on a common ground, an association of people have agreed upon certain
view points.
The example of how a single signifier can be used to represent its meaning to more
than one signified can be explained by taking an example of the “peace sign”, which
originated and became famous amongst a community of people called the “hippies” in
the seventies.
Even today, people using the peace sign know what it stands for but do not relate it to
only that community. It is just that it was first used by the hippies; however neither its
meaning has any relations with that community nor did they realise that it was also a
representation of the “Cross of Nero”, which is the characteristic of the feeling of hatred
for Christ in the earlier Christian era (McCleary, 2004, p. 392).
The argument against the concept that everything is arbitrary, which also applies to the
signifier-signified relationship, and the conformity of the fact that a single signifier can
be used to represent more than one signifier can be explained by the following27
examples. The concept of arbitrations of a sign can be limited by the study of
Onomatopoeia, which corresponds to the sound presenting a specific meaning.
The sound that a rooster makes is represented in English as “cock-a-doodle-do” while its
onomatopoeic form in Spanish is “cocorico”. The exclamations expressing emotions and
the curse words are arbitrary, though to many languages they are unique. For example, it
is “Ouch” in English which is expressed as “Aie” in French.
2.2.4 Synchronic Analysis:
Even though Saussure believes that it is important to have knowledge about the origin,
history and development of words, he affirms that all this does not have much relevance
in the meaning- making system because according to him, language is arbitrary in nature.
He also states that linguistics must be described by making use of the synchronic
analysis, which at any particular time emphasizes on the meaning of the word.
In order to define the meaning-making process in a formal manner, there are three
prerequisites that need to be consummated. Firstly, the lexical entities of the language
system should work in such a manner so that they are not independent of each other
and act as a part of the whole system.
The second condition is that the language system should be flexible as it is arbitrary by
origin. This is referred to as transformation by Saussure and he also states that the
language system must be able to adapt itself to the changes because the nature of
language is not static and keeps on changing (Saussure, 1998, p. 87-89).
Even though synchronic analysis plays an important role in the meaning-making process,
the transformation of word must imbibe in itself the rules that apply to the language
system. Also, the language system should be capable of regulating by itself. Irrespective
of the number of times the transformation takes place, the new elements should function
keeping in mind the basic structure of the language system because of its capability to
be inerrant and universal (Saussure, 1998, p. 94).28
2.3 On Lexical Meaning and the Valuation of Its Terms:
2.3.1 Structure of Signs:
Something that should always be retained in the mind is that the value of a sign is not
characterised by any signifier that represents a signified, but is determined by considering
the complete structure of signs which is used by a community. Many people are
perplexed with the idea of value and signification and cannot make any distinction
between them and most of the times they are considered to have the similar meaning.
However, the difference between value and signification has been pointed out by
Saussure by saying that signification generally referred to as the meaning of the word,
which means that it is the point of association for the signifier and the signified.
On the other hand, value signifies as the connector between the various signs that exist
in a signifying system. According to Saussure, language can be defined as a system of
terms that are dependent on each other, and the value of each term is resulted by the
existence of other terms in the system (Saussure, 1998, p. 129).
Two concepts have been integrated in “value”. The first concept states that similar things
can be compared and are capable of changing positions with the others and the second
concept is that this holds true for the dissimilar things also.
Not much explanation is required for describing the capability of the similar things to be
compared with each other and the capability of being interchanged. However, if we look
at the dissimilar things, their comparison and interchange ability becomes seems difficult
to be understood and explained.
It has been found that the dissimilar things work in a manner that resembles the
working of similar things in certain aspects. However, the dissimilar things have to go
through a strict process of associating two dissimilar ideas. For example, the “peace
sign” given by the hippies is associated with maintaining peace, which can be
interchanged and expressed as an idea that implies profanity. The main point to be noted29
is that language is arbitrary in nature and the meaning of words can be extracted on the
basis of the other words on which its meaning is dependant (Saussure, 1998, pp. 111-
113).
In simple terms, the value of a word does not represent a unique concept throughout the
universe and is measured by considering the other factors, such as words that surround
it. Emphasis should be given on the statement that language is considered as a system
which inherits the value as its part, and each word has its corresponding value
(Saussure, 1998, p. 114).
The concept that each word has its corresponding value cannot be held true only on the
basis of similarity of things. It should also consider the differences that exist. The
meaning of a word cannot be deciphered by taking into consideration only the words
that are similar in nature, but one has to also go through the words that are comparable.
The words cannot be considered in an isolated form. The value of the term can be
determined by examining the system in which the term exists.
The meaning that a signifier intends to express can be understood because it stands
alone with other signifiers, which means that the value that is characteristic of each
word helps in distinguishing that signifier from the others. By this, Saussure meant that
since the value of the signifier is not related to its value in the system in which it
exists, therefore it becomes meaningful.
Taking an example of the word “bank”, in spite of its different meanings as the
financial institution and the boundaries of the water bodies, it is spelled in the same
manner and their values are joined in such a manner that they appear to be different
from one another.
2.3.2 Systemic Differences:
The difference between the units forms the basis of the formation of the system of
linguistics. Since the units can be differentiated from one another, therefore they have30
some value in the system. The idea of binary digits in computers is responsible for
creating this idea of difference.
The idea of binary opposition consists of a pair of opposite values that are defined
theoretically. The examples of this can be high-low, in-out, etc. On the other hand, non
binary opposition in not based upon the opposites but considers some of the differences
that occur between the two terms with regards to some of the sets of language.
In the words of Saussure, the concept of difference is defined by the way in which
language works with regards to the differences in the signs and how they are placed
(Saussure, 1998, p. 126). In case of a binary pair, the difference between the words is
defined by the value that it adds to that word. The words become distinct because of
this difference.
Because of the presence of this difference, the applicability of the value in words is
confined to the communities that make use of certain associations for their language
system. Thus, the value of a word in German language will be different from the value
of a word in Arabic language, and this applies to the words in all the language systems.
There might be stances that a word from two distinct languages might indicate the same
meaning, however, their values will be different.
2.3.3 The Value of a Word:
The “value of a word” cannot be determined without the presence of the other terms
that give meaning to that word in a particular context, that is to say that the words that
surround a term are used for determining the meaning of that word. A word comprises
of a value within itself (Saussure, 1998, p. 144).
Saussure believes in the association of the string of words to exhibit meaning that relates
to bigger things which supports the use of phrases such as “bigger and better”. This is
because in the English language, the orders in which the words are arranged indicate the
meaning of that sentence.31
Taking an example of the sentence “The cat sat on the mat”, would give out another
meaning if the sequence of the words in the sentence were changed to “The mat sat on
the cat”. The position that a word holds in the chain of signification gives meaning to
that word. The reason behind this distinction in meaning is that the terms “cat” and
“mat” are different in that system.
Saussure believed that linguistics is a part of the theory of functions of symbols and
signs, and this lead to the significance of the association of terms in the study of
modern linguistics. This thought acts as a reminder of the concept of orthodoxy in the
thinking pattern of Saussure because the rules and regulations that influence the various
aspects of a language such as that related to the meaning and practicality are covered
under semiotics.
In the system of English language, certain rules of grammar need to be followed and
the arrangement of the words should be such that it implies the meaning that needs to
be communicated. The sentence must be created keeping in mind the order of subjectverb-object or in some cases, object-subject-verb. The order of words that is used in the
English language might be completely different to that applied in other languages.
In case of the German language system, this order of words may be adjective nounauxiliary-verb whereas in the French language system it might be noun adjective verb.
However, in case of the Latin language system, since the meaning of the word is
dependent upon its case, therefore the position of the word in the sentence does not
have any significance in determining the meaning of that word.
Syntagma is defined as the arrangement of the linguistic units or entities in a linear
form. The rules and regulations that are applied to this linear sequencing of words leads
to the association of words into phrases and sentences which leads to the formation of
the language system. Syntagma may pertain to the relation that exists between the words
which come together to form a sentence which would be in accordance with the rules of
grammar.32
For example, if we consider the sentence “The children are singing”, the relation that
exists between the words “children” and “are” is in accordance with the subject-verb
agreement which states that the verb that is employed in the statement should correspond
to the singularity or plurality of the subject noun that is used.
Therefore, it can be said that the syntagmatic relationship consists of the arrangement of
the words or linguistic entities in a linear form to create a phrase or sentence. In
lexicology, syntagma grants the formulation of the sentences by providing a structure to
it. The syntagmatic relations play a significant role in a language as they provide a clear
meaning to the sentence and the value of the lexical entity can be accurately expressed
by it.
However, the syntagmatic relationships ascertain that the words are arranged in such a
manner that they are in accordance with the standards that have been set for the
construction of sentences, as well as provide a language that helps both the speakers and
receivers in understanding the meaning that needs to be communicated.
2.4 Post-Saussurean Debates:
2.4.1 Language and Reality in Light of Saussure:
The views that were put forward by Saussure encouraged the other linguists to conduct
further studies on linguistics. The thoughts of Saussure regarding the meaning in
linguistics can be compared with the view points of other linguists that conducted further
studies on linguistics on the basis of three parameters:
 The linguistics meaning provides evidence of the conceptual reality that existed in the
pre-linguistic times.
 The reality can be partitioned by making use of linguistic meaning.
 The reality is structured by the linguistic meaning in a radical manner.33
Saussure was against the view that the conceptual realities that were present in the preexisting times were responsible for the creation of language. In his view, the languages
break up into parts to form the reality.
However, another cognitive scientist named Steven Pinker, who has been amongst the
contributors in the discipline of language studies opposed the concept given by Saussure
by saying that up to some extent, the conceptual realities of the pre-existing times have
been responsible for the structuring of the language (Pinker, 2007, p. 30).
There are similarities between the thoughts of Pinker and Noam Chomsky regarding the
language that it is conceptualised on the basis of the human instincts. Pinker believed
that there is a tendency of human beings to keep the conceptual realities such as
thoughts and assumptions stored in the mind, which are expressed and clarified in front
of others by making use of language. These thoughts and assumptions were declared or
expressed by making use of the communication process that is provided by the language
(Pinker, 2007, pp. 155-156).
The arguments presented by Pinker can be further supported by the conceptual reality of
pain or fear. Fear is a feeling that dwells in the minds of human beings and so the fear
of snakes is a spontaneous feeling generated by the mind. When a person is faced by a
snake, this feeling of fear gets transformed into an expressive form and the person starts
looking for help by calling others.
It is the man’s fear that exists in his mind that leads to the expression of fear and the
person calls for help. Similarly if a person is feeling pain and wants to express it
through the use of language, it is done in a way which is similar to that mentioned for
fear.
As it has been mentioned earlier that Pinker and Chomsky’s thoughts were similar, when
it came to the study of language, Chomsky believed that language is simply a
characteristic of mind that may be present within an individual since birth or in the
form of an instinct. In both the conditions, it is something that results from the mind of
a person.34
The view given by Chomsky points out that the rules and regulations that govern a
language are a resultant of the pattern that is created by the conceptual realities in the
minds of a human being, and have been exhibited by using language as a medium.
However, it must be noted that the classification of words into nouns did not exist in
the pre-existing times. The inclusion of the nouns as a part of speech has been because
of the homogeneity of words that was developed by the human based on the basic
conceptual realities. Thus, the concept of noun came into existence after the concept of
language of man took its place.
The hypothesis given by Sapir-Whorf states that the way we perceive the concept of
reality depends upon the thought process of a person which is a consequence of the
language. Thus, this view explains that language is similar to a prison, wherein once a
person understands the concepts behind a language, they remain with him forever.
However, the other interpretation of this view is that language is responsible for shaping
the thought process of a person, but its effects do not stay with him for a lifetime.
As against the opinion of Pinker, Sapir and Whorf state that reality is structured with
the help of linguistic meaning. In contrast with the concepts that were applied by
Saussure in studying the field of linguistics, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis came into
existence due to the presence of philosophical concepts that are applicable to the changes
taking place in the cultures.
Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf were the creators of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis,
who conducted studies on the linguistic relativity and determinism. The concept of
linguistic relativity is in the favour of the view that the conceptual realities that were
present in the pre-existing times are responsible for the creation of language.
It is based on the assumption that the variations that are present in the cultures are
responsible for the occurrence of changes in the linguistic meanings. Also, the beliefs,
ideologies and views of people that are affected by their different cultures provide
direction to the linguistic meaning.35
The concept of linguistic determinism corroborates the view that the structure of reality
is affected by the linguistic meaning in a radical manner. The reason behind this is that
according to linguistic determinism, the way in which a person looks at the world and
its surroundings have an impact on his language which subsequently affects the thought
process of that person.
The argument put forward by the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is that even though the
conceptual realities have an impact on the linguistic meaning, these conceptual realities
are based on the language of a person and are bounded by the depth of knowledge that
person have about the language.
It must be noted that the knowledge of a person about a language acts as a limiter for
the thought process of that person. For example, if a person does not know the meaning
of the word compromise, then he will not be able to turn that concept into a practical
action.
2.4.2 The Sign as an Abstract Notion and Utterances as Real Entities in the Light
of Saussure:
As discussed earlier, the model given by Saussure is based upon the linguistic signs
which included the signifier and the signified. The linguistic sign refers to the relation
that exists between the idea that is to be communicated by either making use of the
auditory image or the sound pattern that act as a signifier. The auditory image or sound
pattern can be represented in two distinct forms.
Saussure defines the auditory image or the sound pattern as the rendering and
comprehending of the concept that is explained with the help of a language by the
receiver. According to some of the linguists, these can be defined as the representation
of the thoughts using language as a medium, and are derived from the senses (Chandler,
2002, p. 176). Thus it can be said that the signified and the signifier are a creation of
the human mind, while they represent the entities that are non-psychological in nature.36
Saussure considers the signifier-signified relationship as one of the components of
semiotic analysis of linguistics. It was earlier expected that this concept of the signifiersignified relationship would contribute towards the development of linguistics to a great
extent, however, it turned out that it did not provide any significant help in the progress.
This inability to help in the development of linguistics can be explained by the
Saussure’s theory of signification. This theory does not provide any new ideas that might
be helpful for developing the language.
According to this theory, the auditory images and the sound patterns play the role of a
signifier while the role of signified is played by the concept. This theory was not that
developed so that it could be applied to the studies of other discipline. It proves that
signification contributes very little to the development of the linguistics.
The importance that was given to the semiotics is of great significance to the
lexicographers as the semiotics takes into consideration the various aspects of language
as well as the rules and regulations that are needed for creating a dictionary.
The dictionaries not only provide meaning and explanation to the words in various ways,
but they also provide guidance for correct pronunciation, the ways in which a word can
be used, the rules of grammar, the derivative forms of a word, their synonyms, etc
(Olivera & Arribas-Bano, 2008, pp. 107-108).
Due to the ability of semiotics to describe the correct pronunciation of a word, use of
that word in a grammatically correct form and providing the derivative forms of a word,
it acts as tool that can be of great significance to the lexicographers for providing a
structure to the dictionaries, and also for completing them.
Apart from this, the other two concepts that were given by Saussure, namely the concept
of langue and parole have also proved to be great contributors when it comes to the
study of linguistics and lexicography. This concept of langue-parole provides an
understanding to the other lexicographers the importance of different aspects of language,37
and also suggests that they should not just look at the technical elements or
characteristics of language.
It also throws light on the property of language to be unique according to the different
cultures, and states that it is affected by the views, beliefs and conceptual realities of the
people that live in a particular community and use that language. This acts as a means
for the linguists to understand the distinctions that occur in the languages with respect to
their structure and content.
This has also proved to be of great help in lexicography, with a special mention of the
bilingual dictionaries. Keeping in view of the concept that there are variations in the
language in terms of its designing, content and usage, the lexicographers had to pay
special attention to understanding the ways in which the translation of the words can
take place from one language to the other, keeping in mind the difference in the views
of the people residing in different parts of the world and the structure of the language.
Another concept that should be given special importance by the lexicographers while
creating a dictionary is that there should be an evident difference between competence
and performance, as it has been mentioned by Chomsky.
He stated that linguistic competence and linguistic performance were two different
concepts, out of which linguistic competence indicates the knowledge that one has
regarding language, while linguistic performance refers to the ways in which it is
spoken.
Apart from the Saussure’s concept of langue-parole and the definitions given by
Chomsky regarding linguistic competence and performance, another thing that should be
kept in mind by the lexicographers while creating bilingual dictionaries is that they
should be capable of translating words from one language to the other and should also
provide guidance to the user to learn the target language efficiently.
The concepts provided by Saussure and Chomsky have helped in creating a structure for
lexicography that is based on the more rigid and efficient measures and guidelines. The38
foundation of lexicography has been laid out by the concepts that were given by
Saussure. While creating a dictionary, the lexicographers lay emphasis on the concepts of
syntagma and paradigm that were provided by Saussure for representing the signs in
linguistics (Hartmann, 2003, p. 228).
The contributions that have been given by Saussure to lexicography include the guidance
on structuring of the dictionary, its content and usage (Hartmann, 2003, p. 228). On the
other hand, Chomsky has set apart the standards that need to be reached while creating
a dictionary.
According to Chomsky, the dictionaries should be created in such a way so that they
can help the user understand and learn the target language, while making use of a
bilingual or multilingual dictionary and also provide guidance to them so that they can
use that language practically.
In a nutshell, it can be stated that Saussure and Chomsky have provided concepts that
have helped in the structuring of a dictionary, providing the right content, and has set
certain standards to be met by the dictionaries, abiding to which the dictionaries can be
declared as an efficient tool for being used by different type of users.
2.4.3 The Arbitrary Relationship between Signifier and Signified in the Light of
Saussure:
The concept that was put forward by Saussure regarding the arbitrary nature of the
signifier-signified relationship was in contrast with the thoughts of some of the linguists
such as Benveniste and Harris. According to Benveniste, as the language is based on the
differences, and the signifier and the signified are a part of that system, it gives
conformity that the signifier-signified relationship is not arbitrary.
Since the concept or signified and the auditory image or sound pattern that acts as the
signifier belong to distinct systems, therefore, it can be said that the cognition and
explanation that is expressed in the form of the auditory image and the concept are not
arbitrary in nature. The language has been based upon a particular system and has been39
structured according to certain rules and guidelines, which state that the concept and
auditory images are not random in nature.
Lexicography depends upon the structuring of the words, which includes the knowledge
of the origin and history of the word. The concept that signifier and signified are
distinct parts of a system, acts as a support to the study of linguistics and lexicography.
On the basis of this assumption, it can be said that the lexicographers should be capable
of providing meanings to the words in a structured manner and taking a broader scope
of language. If at all it would have been true that the concept and auditory image are
random in nature, then it would have been impossible to create a logical and consistent
dictionary and lexicography would have ceased to exist.
2.4.4 Synchronic Analysis in the Light of Saussure:
Saussure said that the study of linguistics should be done considering only a particular
frame of time, without taking into account its origin and history. He also stated that the
study of language should be done on the basis of its structure and the rules and
guidelines that apply to it at a given point of time with no regards to its etymology.
However, this view has been opposed by other linguists by stating that since the
language is affected by a number of factors that are present in different phases of time,
therefore linguistics should take into consideration all the factors that exist in the present
time and also those which have impacted the language in the history (O’Sullivan, 1994,
pp. 85-86).
The emphasis that has been given to the synchronic analysis by Saussure has played a
vital role in lexicography in the creation of dictionaries. However, the application of the
diachronic approach should also be considered. The information about the origin and
history of a language plays an important role in lexicography as they provide guidance
in learning the pronunciation and derivative forms of the words.40
The lexicographers are incapable of determining the ways in which the changes will take
place in a language as it passes through time in spite of the requirement to modify the
dictionaries. Therefore, it becomes compulsory for the linguists to study language on the
basis of the concept of synchronic analysis so that they can come into terms with the
changes that are taking place in the rules of grammar and the language, with time, so
that the dictionaries can be updated with the latest information.
2.4.5 On Sterkenburg, Swanepoel and Geeraerts’ Conceptions of the Lexicon:
2.4.5.1 Meaning-Making in a Multi-Lingual Context:
People have become habitual to referring the dictionaries in case they want to know the
meaning of a given word, specifically those words which they have come across for the
first time. It is very important for a person to know the exact meaning of a given word
because it allows the person to make use of that word in the right context giving away
the meaning that is required to be conveyed.
In the earlier times, communication was restricted to the noise and body language, and
there was no role of words in it. But with due course of time, development of human
beings and the language that they used took place.
It has been mentioned in one of the stories of the “Tower of Babel” that in the earlier
times, there was only one language that was used for communicating, but because of
certain unfavourable circumstances it divided into a number of languages which is
evident even today.
As the languages multiplied in number, it became difficult for the people to
communicate with each other, and it became important to conceptualise a common
ground for the two speakers who speak different languages wherein they could
understand what the person speaking a different language is trying to convey.41
The initial solution that was discovered for this problem was that the two native
languages were combined together to give rise to a new mixed language which could be
understood by the speakers of both the native languages (Crystal, 2003, p. 117).
However, this did not prove to be an ideal solution because in case there were more
than two different languages, then it became difficult to come down to a common
language, also certain words were interpreted in the wrong way as understanding the
meaning of a word depends upon the way in which it has been comprehended by the
receiver. This further led to the rise of two obstructions in the process of
communication, namely equivocalness and indistinctness.
Ambiguity or equivocalness can be described as a situation where the meaning of a
word, phrase, sign or symbol cannot be determined accurately in the context it is being
used and can be explained in more than one ways.
On the other hand, vagueness or indistinctness refers to the property of the concept of
being unclear and not able to express its meaning properly. If the scope of the concept
is unclear, then it is difficult for a person to clearly understand the meaning of that
concept even though it might pertain to a group of things that are associated with the
concept.
One of the attributes of ambiguity is that the words used in this concept are dependent
on the context in which they are used, for deriving their meaning and are capable of
expressing more than one meaning at a given time. It must be noted that a word or
sentence that shows an ambiguous nature in one context might not exhibit the same
property in a different context.
This property of ambiguity is a resultant of the different ways in which a particular
sentence may be analysed giving rise to more than one meaning for a single sentence.
The two types of ambiguity that exist are structural and lexical ambiguity. An example
of lexical ambiguity may be the words like light and bear that exhibit more than one
meaning.42
2.4.5.2 Critical Importance of Dictionaries:
There are certain problems that have to be faced while using a dictionary of a particular
language which include the attributes such as ambiguity and vagueness. The basic
purpose for which the dictionaries have been created is to provide a brief and precise
meaning to the words belonging to particular languages, which are also referred to as
the building blocks of a language. It is also used for looking up for phrases or idioms.
The dictionary calls attention to the fact that language is arbitrary in nature, while
subsequently defies its arbitrary nature by providing a number of meanings for a single
word.
The term “dictionary” is defined as a noun which is a book that contains the meanings
of the words of a language that are arranged in an alphabetical order, gives information
about their origin, usage, pronunciation and the grammatical rules that apply to it. It is
also referred to as the reference book of foreign language wherein the meanings are
given for the words belonging to two or more languages, arranged in an alphabetical
order. It is also defined as a book that gives definitions for particular words.
One of the objectives of this research is to provide an accurate and precise definition of
the term “dictionary” and to define the mechanism that is used in these dictionaries. In
order to get detailed and clear information about the dictionaries, it is important to
address its origin and history.
For this, certain books such as “The ‘Dictionary’: Definition and History” by
Sterkenburg, “Dictionary Typologies: A Pragmatic Approach” by Swanepoel and
“Meaning and Definition” by Geeraerts have been used for conducting the study.
2.5 On the Naissance of the Dictionary:
2.5.1 The Functional Definition of a Dictionary:
It has been stated by Sterkenburg that the definitions that have been given for the word
“dictionary” does not enclose the entire range of meanings. Those definitions only refer43
to the monolingual dictionaries that are used to provide meanings to the words of a
certain language arranged in an alphabetical order (Sterkenburg, 2003, p. 3).
This definition refers to a dictionary that is used for looking up for the meanings of the
words of a particular language, their usage and structure. It does not cover the other
types of dictionaries that exist.
An example can be taken of a biological dictionary that will provide definitions for only
the technical and scientific terms that are used in biology. There are different prototypes
of dictionaries pertaining to different fields of studies and it will be very difficult to
consider all the prototypes of dictionaries to come down to a single definition of
“dictionary”. Keeping this problem in mind, Sterkenburg suggested that in order to define
dictionary in a concise and accurate manner, one should have some knowledge about its
history.
Another definition that was given for “dictionary” by Ladislav Zgusta, also known as the
father of lexicography, stated that it is an arrangement of the linguistic forms that are
generally spoken by the people belonging to a certain community, and the meanings are
provided for those words in such a form that can be easily interpreted by the reader. It
also provides some information about the purpose of a given linguistic form in a
community (Zgusta, 1993, p. 4).
Zgusta also stated that a dictionary is created solely for the people belonging to a
certain community of people wherein the rules and regulations of that community are
used for structuring the dictionary accordingly. However, a loophole was discovered by
Sterkenburg in this definition of dictionary given by Zgusta that it was meant for only a
particular group, specifically the group of people who have received higher education.
2.5.2 Relativism in Dictionaries:
Another definition of dictionary states that it is an assembly of the meanings of the
words that are used by a certain group of people. It includes all the information that is
relevant to a particular word comprising of its origin, history, usage, pronunciation, etc44
(Svensen, 1993, p. 2). This definition of dictionary is concentrated upon the physical
components that are involved in the process of assembly of the words into a single unit.
The way in which the dictionary is presented makes it different from the other
compilations of information. In a dictionary, the headwords or the words whose meaning
we are looking for are arranged in an alphabetical order. The difference between a
dictionary and an encyclopaedia is that in case of encyclopaedia, the information may be
laid out in an alphabetical or chronological order.
It has also been pointed out that in case of a dictionary the information is arranged in
an arbitrary manner and not according to the topics or the time period. It means that
one can easily refer to the meaning of a word in a dictionary by making use of the
alphabetical order, but cannot get the definitions on the basis of the topics (Svensen,
1993, p. 5).
The features of a dictionary can be divided into two components, namely formal feature
which provides the spelling, pronunciation and usage of a given word and the other
element is referential usage, which means that the dictionary should be able to remove
any ambiguities that are present for a given word regarding its meaning, pronunciation,
etc.
Sterkenburg agrees with both the definitions given by Zgusta and Svensen, however a
disagreement may appear in this concept as the definitions given by the two linguists
might hold true during their periods, but many changes have taken place with the
changing time. The dictionaries that are created nowadays are for an everlasting time
period while the books have been converted to their electronic forms.
In accordance with the fact stated above, it becomes inevitable to answer certain
question that have been raised against the definitions given by Zgusta regarding the
focus of the dictionary only on the highly educated group of people, and that given by
Svensen regarding the structure of the dictionary. Another issue that needs to be looked
upon is the ambiguity regarding the change in the definition of “dictionary” with respect
to the change in time.45
2.5.3 Criteria Setting:
It has been suggested by Sterkenburg that a precise and clear definition can be given for
the term “dictionary” only after taking into consideration three criteria, namely: formal,
functional and substantive criteria.
2.5.3.1 Formal Criterion:
The formal criterion is mainly concerned with the use of the electronic dictionaries
instead of the written or printed form of dictionaries. However, it must be noted that
there is not much difference in the two forms of dictionaries since they are both based
on the similar rules, standards and guidelines, and the only difference that lies between
them is in the form in which they are presented.
The contents of the printed and electronic form of dictionary are the same; the
difference is that in a printed dictionary, the contents are written on a paper while in
the electronic dictionaries the content is contained in a file document (Sterkenburg, 2003,
p. 5).
An electronic dictionary can be viewed and operated only when the computer allows the
software to run. It must be pointed out that electronic dictionary has certain additional
features that make it more attractive than the printed form of dictionaries.
In the traditional printed form of dictionary, the reader can look for the meaning of a
word by making use of the alphabetical arrangement of the words. Whereas in case of
an electronic dictionary, the user has more than one way of getting access to the
meaning of a particular word which makes the search easy and also saves time.
One such way of finding the meaning to a word is by directly entering the word into
the locator. In case the person does not the exact word he is looking for, then in this
case he can make use of the antonyms and the synonyms that are provided for each
word. The definition given for a particular word or phrase might also be useful for
searching of the term.46
Another advantage of using an electronic dictionary is that the content within the
electronic dictionary can be modified at any point of time. New words or phrases can
be added and the outdated terms that are not used anymore can be deleted. Both the
printed and electronic forms of dictionary are capable of helping the user with the
pronunciation of a term, but the advantage of using electronic dictionary is that the user
can listen to how the word is pronounced in a correct manner.
2.5.3.2 Functional Criterion:
The functional criterion deals with the benefits that both the printed and electronic forms
of dictionary offer to its users. The basic purpose of creating a dictionary is to become
aware of the knowledge of a language. It is used for storing different types of words
that may be new, old, scientific, etc. Although it might not be possible for a dictionary
to cover the complete system of language, as there are certain words that still need to
be invented while others are used by people belonging to only a certain community.
It implies that the words are compiled in a dictionary on the representative basis. It
means that if a word is being only by a particular group of people such as the technical
or scientific terms, then it cannot be represented in a dictionary. This can be explained
by taking an example of the word “kneecap” which is termed as “patella” in terms of
scientific language used by the doctors.
The word must be applicable universally. A person refers to a dictionary to look up for
the meaning of a word that is not known to him, and wants to get information
regarding only that particular word. In case he cannot find that word in the dictionary,
he would reach to a conclusion that such a word does not exist.
The second function that is performed by a dictionary is that it helps in deciding
whether a word exists or not. A dictionary provides the complete guidance with
reference to a particular system of language, and in case a word is not mentioned in the
dictionary, it means that the word does not exist.47
Only those words which are restricted by boundaries and are used by the people
belonging to a particular region are not included in the dictionary. Those words which
lack the property of universality and cannot be understood by all the people are not
included.
Neologism is defined as the act of creating new words or phrases. It forms an important
part of any system of language and is useful for increasing the purview of a dictionary.
The newly created words which do not have any value attached to them are not
included in the dictionary. A dictionary behaves like a law that acts to make the
language pure and free from mistakes.
With regards to the second function of dictionary, it can be compared to someone who
preserves morality by not including the words that are offensive or demonstrate profanity.
Care is taken while creating dictionaries so that that the use of any taboo words does
not violate the beliefs of the people belonging to any particular group of people.
Different dictionaries make use of different approaches to explain the meaning of these
taboo words. For example, the term “nigger” is defined in the Merriam-Webster
dictionary as an offensive term against the people belonging to the community of
African-Americans, whereas in the American Heritage dictionary, it is conveyed as a
view of low opinion.
2.5.3.3 Content-Based Criterion:
It has been mentioned earlier that a dictionary contains information that is related to the
meaning, pronunciation, usage and rules of grammar of the words belonging to a
particular language. The content-based criterion states that a dictionary must abide by the
law of dictionary and the intrinsic value that is attached to the information of any
particular language must be represented in a proper manner.
However, there are chances that a dictionary might not be able to fulfil the second
condition as the language is arbitrary in nature and keeps on developing. This supports
the validity of the exclusion of certain regional words from the dictionary. This criterion48
indicates the presence of certain abstract words as according to this criterion the meaning
is derived from the signs of language.
It means that the concept of a lexeme, which refers to a word or an idiom, is of great
significance. A lexeme is similar to the lexicon and may be represented by using a
single term or by bringing together a group of terms such as in “put up with”. It is
known as the basic unit of the language and might be comprised of any number of
words.
The basic units that are used in the semantic analysis are mostly represented by the
lexeme or lexical item, and these lexemes are usually termed as headwords in case of a
dictionary (Crystal, 2007, p. 193). With regards to the ability of the lexemes to signify
the changes in the words with respect to the plurality, tense, etc, in case the lexeme is
not known properly, the meanings within that lexeme will overlap.
If we take an example of the word “back”, it might be concerned with the rear portion
of the human body or may be used as a verb to indicate the meaning “to provide
support”. But if we look at the term “back” in a dictionary in the form of a lexeme, it
might suggest the meaning that is concerning the “return”. The dictionary provides
different meanings to a single word in a brief and precise manner such that there is no
ambiguity left in its meaning or usage.
Thus “dictionary” can be defined as a prototypical dictionary that may be represented on
paper or in the electronic form which helps in providing knowledge to the user about a
particular knowledge and also helps in maintaining purity of language.
2.6 On the Typological Nature of Dictionaries:
2.6.1 User-Driven Typologies:
A dictionary may consist of words that are used by everyone in their normal day-to-day
conversations, or may even comprise of the scientific and technical terms that are used
only by a particular group of people and are defined by their usage. Different types of49
dictionaries are used by different people on the basis of the needs of the user regarding
a particular field.
For example, if the user is looking for the meaning of the word “highfaluting”, then he
must make use of an ordinary dictionary which would provide the meaning of the term
as something that is pretended to make it look more impressive. But this word is used
in the normal terms with reference to showing self importance.
On the other hand, if a person wants to look for the meaning of a scientific or
technical term, then he must refer the technical dictionary that are created in such a way
so as to give complete information regarding terms that are belonging to a specific area
of knowledge such as biology or engineering. For example, the term “rust” that is
normally used to refer to the corrosion of metal is known as “iron oxide” in scientific
terms.
Dictionaries can be differentiated into different types on the basis of the practical
requirements of the users. As new demands arise from the users, it leads to the creation
of new types of dictionaries. The development of the dictionary in an everlasting form is
because of the practicality that exists in nature.
If a person needs to look up a term that is used in physics, he will not make use of a
normal dictionary. If at all it happens that the meaning of a word is not defined in any
of the types of dictionaries that exist, then there rises a need for the creation of a new
type of dictionary. Such kind of problems that relate to the language can be solved on
the basis of the knowledge that the user has of a particular language, which would help
him in deciding upon the type of dictionary that he should use (Swanepoel, 2003, p. 44).
The practical aspect of nature plays an important role in solving such problems. It is not
necessary for the users to have knowledge of all the types of dictionaries that exist in
nature, the mere knowledge of the type of dictionary that should be used for looking up
a word will be sufficient.
2.6.2 Fundamental Attributes of a Typology:50
Typology has been defined as the system which differentiates between the various items
(Swanepoel, 2003, p. 45). It involves the process of determination of different themes and
differentiation into different categories.
With the help of typology, new types of languages can be added to the system, which
will widen the scope of the system of languages. It must be kept in mind that the
classification of the dictionary into different types based on the specific subject matter or
language is not an easy task and requires a lot of planning. A classification is certified
only if it satisfies the three basic attributes.
Firstly, it should be capable of providing a structured view of the different types of
dictionaries. The second characteristic is that it should define the main characteristic of
each type of dictionary and the third characteristic is that it should be able to run
parallel in all the categories and sub categories of a language system (Figure 2).
Figure 2. A Sample of a Lexical System
(Source: Swanepoel, 2003, p. 46)
The typologies that are given by Zgusta, Geeraerts and Janssens are generally used. In
the view of Zgusta, the typology should be such that there is a clear distinction between
the dictionary and the encyclopaedia. The dictionary provides information regarding the51
meaning, pronunciation and grammar of a particular word whereas an encyclopaedia is
used for getting information regarding an event or an entity.
Secondly, it must be clearly mentioned whether the dictionary is making use of a single
language or it is multilingual. It should also be mentioned clearly whether the language
belongs to the present era or some other time period. Also, the areas to which the
dictionary is restricted and the standards that are used in those areas should be
mentioned.
In the views of Geeraerts and Jannsens, the differentiation of dictionaries is based upon
their structure and can be classified into micro- and macro-structure. The macro-structure
of dictionaries provides information about the basis of the structuring of the dictionary,
whether it should be based on the alphabetical arrangement of words or in accordance
with the meaning.
The micro-structure of dictionary comprises of the grammatical and syntactic rules that
must be applied to all the words belonging to a particular language (Figure 3). It also
lays emphasis on the order in which the data should be placed in accordance with its
typology.52
Figure 3. Grammatical and Syntactic Concerns of a Dictionary (Source: Geeraerts,
2003)
2.6.3 Geeraerts’ and Janssen’s Micro-structure:
It can be summarised that there is a need for the existence of different types of
dictionaries in accordance with the requirements of the users. The dictionaries should be
structured in such a way that they are capable of satisfying the needs of the user.
Since the needs of human beings keep on changing constantly, therefore it allows for the
development of new types of dictionaries. The continuous fluctuations in the needs of
the users are responsible for the creation of different types of dictionaries in the present
scenario, and the same is predicted to happen in future.53
2.7 On Geeraerts’ Meaning and Definition:
2.7.1 Property Attribution:
The categorization of the properties of the words that are given in the dictionary should
be done in such a way that it proves to be helpful to the user and the purpose of
creating the dictionary is served. It is one of the most things to be taken care of while
creating a dictionary. The meanings and definitions that are contained within a dictionary
are the focal point of deriving the success rate of the purpose for creating a dictionary
(Geeraerts, 2003, p. 327).
There are five things that should be kept in mind while creating a dictionary. Firstly, the
identity of the words that will be embodied within a dictionary should be well
comprehended by the lexicographer and he should have the complete knowledge of all
the senses in which a word will be represented to ensure that the lexemes of a language
are independent of each other.
The second thing that should be remembered is that the lexicographer should be able to
identify that what and how much information must be included while providing an
understanding to the words of a language.
Thirdly, ambiguity and vagueness are the two attributes that should be completely
dismantled while creating a dictionary. The lexicographer should be cognizant of the
appropriate definition that should be used for projecting the correct meaning of the word
to the users.
Fourthly, different languages put forth different perceptions of a word. Therefore, it is
important to provide the correct definition of the sense in which the word is being used,
so that the aim of explaining the actual perspective of the word sense in a language can
be met.54
Lastly, the format in which the definition is being represented is also one of the
important attributes of a dictionary. Hence, the lexicographer should choose the format
that will be best suitable for a given type of dictionary.
2.7.2 Uniqueness Factor:
Any term should be unique to at least such an extent that it can be identified distinctly
from the other words. In the view of Geeraerts, it is difficult to maintain the uniqueness
of the identity of each word because they mostly exist as a combination of words.
Defining a word in terms of what it is and what it is not can be done by explaining its
similarity and opposition. It has been postulated by Geeraerts that the uniqueness of the
identity of each word can be maintained only if the lexicographers explain the
semasiological and onomasiological differences between the words.
Semasiology is that field of linguistics that studies the relation between definition and
meaning, without considering the speech sounds of the words (Hullen, 1999, p. 433). The
focus of semasiology is on that part of language which deals with the plurality of the
words.
The uniqueness of the identity of a single word can be exhibited by associating it with
other words. In this way, the demarcation of the meaning of a word can be done which
will further help in the categorisation of the word in terms of which is the appropriate
meaning for a given word.
Onomasiology deals with carrying out inspection of the different definitions that exist for
a given word (Hullen, 1999, p. 16). The focus of onomasiology is on the meaning of the
word and on the general idea that any word portrays in the minds of the users.
Onomasiology has nothing to do with the plurality of the word, as in case of
semasiology, and is concentrated upon the central concept that is held by a word.
A question had been raised by Geeraerts which stated that how can the synonymous
attribute of a word be identified with respect to other words. The answer to this55
question was that if the word is associated with the concepts that are similar and
opposing in nature, then it will help in determining the synonymous attribute of the
word with respect to other words.
It is required for the lexicographers to conduct an in-depth analysis of the semasiological
perspective of a word as it is related to the origin of the meaning and definition of
words. As a matter of fact, it is associated with the identity of the word with regards to
the semantic information.
In contrast to this, onomasiology is associated with the creation of lexical typology
instead of demonstrating the various senses in which a word can be represented. It
focuses on providing explanation to the synonymous and antonymous relation that is held
between the concepts embodied within different words. Onomasiology recognises the
relation between words instead of their identities (Figure 4).
For example, the dish that is prepared by using long, narrow and fried potatoes is
known as “French Fries” in the United States, while it is famous by the name “Chips”
in Britain. Semasiology deals with the concept and the basis of the word, whereas
onomasiology is concerned with the different definitions that are given for similar words.56
Figure 4. Examples of Polysemes
(Source: Geeraerts, 2003)
2.7.3 Handling Multiple Meanings:
In order to delineate the uniqueness in the identity of the various words, the
lexicographers must take into consideration the concepts of semasiology. Along with this,
it is essential for the lexicographers to apply the polysemic perspective, which
consequently leads to the process of identifying the appropriate definitions for explaining
the meaning of the various words so that there is no confusion left.57
If we take the example of the word “cinnabar”, in case its reference to the colour sense
is ignored, then it may express itself in terms of a moth. This can be explained by the
taxonomical relationship that exists between the terms “cinnabar” and “moth”, wherein
cinnabar represents a certain variety of moth.
As a single word can be represented by giving a number of definitions, it is the
responsibility of the lexicographer to determine the correct set of meanings that can be
used to represent a particular word. It depends upon the lexicographer which words he
includes in the dictionary and which definitions he chooses to be used for substantiating
the senses in which the words are required to be expressed.
The choice lies within the hands of the lexicographer whether he wants to provide only
the vocabulary or extend it to marked words (Sterkenburg, 2003, p. 85). It is the
perquisite of the lexicographer till the definitions that are used are able to identify the
words individually. The identity of the words is created by these definitions in terms of
both denotation and connotation.
2.7.4 Meaning in the Context of Reality:
2.7.4.1 Types of Meaning and Their Relevance to Lexicography:
The words are used to create an impression of the world. They are very helpful in
knowing the reality because the meanings or definitions that are assigned to represent the
word make use of the different sources and approaches which apply to the current state
of affairs of the world. The different meanings that are assigned to the words have been
derived from the various views and understanding of the people with regards to the
world.
If we consider the example of the word “love”, it may be the representation of a feeling
or emotion. However, it also represents kindness and pity. Another meaning that it
portrays is that of selflessness when talking in terms of sacrificial love and love for
one’s own country which pertains to nationalism.58
According to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, thought is independent of grammar. It states
that the principles of logic and reasoning are applied to grammar, which should be
acquired by every observer living in the world (Whorf, 1956, p. 208). A word can
represent its meaning by referring to other words, and even if the words exhibit abstract
concepts which do not have tangible properties, they can be explained by associating
them with abstract words.
Taking an example of the word “cat”, we associate it with a four legged mammal which
bears whiskers and is a member of the family of felines. Thus, whenever we look at a
cat, we associate it with the meaning that has been defined above.
Another way of deriving meaning from a word has been described in the Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis, which states that a person can deduce the meaning of a word even without
having any prior knowledge about the grammar or the syntax.
This argument given by the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis can be proved by giving the
example of the way in which the human beings learn the languages belonging to their
community and culture when they were kids.
For example, when the child has no prior knowledge of linguistics or grammar, he
learns the meaning of the word “rain” when an adult tells him that it is raining and lets
him observe the rain. The child may not understand the meaning of the word, but may
associate it with other abstract things such as water falling from the sky only by means
of observation.
For those words which cannot be represented by referring to other words, we derive
their meaning by conceiving rather than perceiving. In case of conceiving, we understand
things mentally by making use of the senses, however in perceiving, the meaning can be
understood only in the presence of material objects.
Taking an example of the word “Ouch”, it cannot be explained by referring to other
words; however, whenever someone uses this term, we associate it with sudden pain. It59
indicates that the abstract words cannot be represented by referring to other words, but
they can still be explained to project their respective meanings.
Connotations are also a part of any language. Three non-denotational types of meanings
have been postulated, namely emotive meaning, grammatical meaning and pragmatic
meaning (Geeraerts, 2003, pp. 86-87). If a word is capable of stimulating a specific
emotion, then it has an emotive meaning. Those words which express an emotion are
assumed to be integrated with the emotive meaning.
This can be associated with either conveying a compliment or expressing a low opinion.
The speaker of the word generates the specific emotions with regards to the words that
have been referred to. For example, the word “faggot” expresses a derogatory meaning
to the homosexual community as it contains an emotive value of low opinion. However,
the term “homosexual” in this case would give away a more objective meaning.
Geeraerts asserts that the term “faggot” has a denotational as well as a connotational
value. The grammatical meaning makes use of words that are imbibed with specific
morphological operations.
It has been stated that the main function of the grammatical meaning is to express the
syntactical structure of a sentence in an open and observable manner. For example, the
words like “Thus”, “As a result” and “Therefore” are used in the beginning of a
sentence to represent that the sentence is a consequence of some situation.
There are certain words which are included in the extralinguistic consequences and are
used to express a certain meaning. Some of the examples of such words are “redeemer”,
“whatness”, “universalizability”, etc. These words are used for providing important
information about the general concepts of a particular field of knowledge with respect to
the word, in a way that is in accordance with its meaning (Radden & Cuyckens, 2003,
pp. 35-36).60
The basic semantic principles might not be of much use while analysing the meaning of
these words, however their meanings can be derived by determining the context in which
these words are being used.
The pragmatic meanings proceed to a conclusion by reason or argument rather than
intuition. The words expressing such meanings are used for expressing speech acts. For
example, the terms such as “Ouch”, “Hey” and “Hello” do not depict any concept, but
express what they are. The three types of meaning that have been mentioned are used to
represent the aspects of meaning other than those that are denoted by the word.
It has been pointed out that the emotive meaning incorporated with a word can be
understood by the characteristics of its meaning. A word is termed as emotive if it is
capable of indirectly representing a positive or negative implication and can be easily
comprehended by the person to whom it has been implied.
For example, the word “cow” in its denotational form represents a female bovine animal.
However, this term can also be used to imply a woman who has a large physique. In
case a word is used to project a negative implication, then the actual definition of the
term is substituted by this implication to express the disapproval implication of the
headword (Geeraerts, 2003, p. 87).
The grammatical and pragmatic meanings of a word are deduced with the help of
metalinguistic definitions which depend upon the meanings that are derived from the
context of the culture in which the word is being used.
The definitions of expressions of linguistics and not merely descriptions of things are
known as metalinguistic definitions. The lexical entities are those words that provide a
denotational meaning by providing a description.
If we take the example of the word “chair”, its denotative meaning is that of a seat
which is supported by four legs and has a rest for the back. The word “cow” can be
used as a substitute for a “fat woman”. But the words such as “Ouch” cannot be61
substituted by any other words. They do not have any substitute words that can express
the similar meaning.
The grammatical meaning involves the use of the words that are used to express a given
grammatical function, but the pragmatic meaning refers to the meaning that is being
understood and not what is mentioned within the context. The metalinguistic definition is
put forward in case of the grammatical and pragmatic meanings. The metalinguistic
definition is not substitutive syntactically and is used to describe a word or term rather
than an object.
A rule has been created that the syntactic class of the headword that is being defined
would be the same as the definition of that term. It means that the nouns will be
defined by using nouns, so on and so forth. It must be noted that the expression of
metalinguistic definitions is not just restricted to the grammatical and pragmatic
meanings.
The grammatical and pragmatic meanings are based on the accepted truths and facts, and
can be defined only by employing the metalinguistic language which undermines their
status as compared to the denotative meanings.
The concept of metalinguistic definition is applicable to all the non-denotational
meanings. Hence, the pattern in which the grammatical and pragmatic meanings can be
used, along with its context is based on the metalinguistic language.
If we look at a dictionary, it can be observed that the various contexts in which a
single word can be used are described in its structure and development. Different
approaches being used to define the meaning of a word will help the lexicographer to
provide definition of the word in various contexts, which will make the dictionary more
relevant and can be related to different situations. This can prove to be of great help
while developing bilingual dictionaries.
One of the aims of creating a bilingual dictionary is to provide learning of the target
language to the user and not merely providing the meaning of the words pertaining to62
that language, so that the user can understand the meaning of that word in various
contexts and make use of it without anyone’s help. Hence, the bilingual dictionaries will
become capable of providing the denotative as well as connotative meanings which will
help the user to use the language in different contexts.
2.7.4.2 Lexical Semantic Relations:
In lexical semantic relations, there are a fixed predetermined set of semantic relations
which help in dealing with relations that exist between the various lexical items. Some
of the relations can be that of synonymy, antonymy and hyponymy. Apart from this,
some other forms of lexical semantic relations that exist are entailment, meronymy,
singular or plural, magnifier, etc.
An example of entailment can be “sleep” vs “snore”, while that of singular or plural can
be “bee”, whose plural from is “swarm”. Meronymy is a type of semantic relation
wherein a part is compared to the whole. An example of magnifier can be “wound” vs
“badly” (Cruse, 1986, p. 84).
Synonymy:
Two lexical units namely X and Y will be called as synonyms if they are identical
syntactically and if any sentence containing the unit X is compared to another sentence
containing the unit Y, wherein all the other words except X and Y are same, and they
give away the same meaning.
Talking in terms of semantics, synonyms can be defined as words or lexical units
sharing “common traits”. Also, those words which contain an attributional overlap and
have differences in terms of “necessary resemblances” and “permissible differences” are
termed as synonyms (Cruse, 1986, p. 266).
Hyponymy:
A lexical unit Y will be termed as a hyponym of the lexical unit X if it is more
specific than X. For example, dog is a hyponym of animal and red is a hyponym of63
scarlet. Hyponymy can be defined as the semantic relation of being subordinate or
belonging to a lower rank or class. The opposite of hyponymy is hypernymy, wherein a
lexical unit X is considered as a hypernym of Y if X is more generic than Y (Cruse,
1986, pp. 88-89).
2.7.4.3 Denotative Meaning and Various types of Connotative Meaning as Proposed
by Different Writers:
It has been mentioned earlier that denotation is the method of representing a word in
such a way that the meaning of the word is based on facts and evident observations. In
case of denotation, the user does not have to make any assumptions, the meaning can
rather be seen and is evident in front of the user (Rayner, Wall, & Kruger, 2001, p. 38).
Denotation refers to the actual meaning that is assigned to the signifier and these
denotative meanings are generally included in the dictionaries.
On the contrary, connotation refers to providing meaning to a word that is based on the
cultural experiences and the interpretations of the reader. Connotation comes into the
picture when denotative signifier-signified relations are unable to fulfil the requirements
of a given language (Barthes, 1967, pp. 42-45). Connotations can be defined as a certain
set of definitions that have been created by the users belonging to a particular language.
For example, the word “rose” is denoted as a flower that consists of red petals and
thorns, whereas the connotative meaning of “rose” refers to love and compassion.
Connotative meaning is based on the perceptions, beliefs and views of human beings and
may differ from one person to the other. For example, the white colour may be
interpreted as an indication of peace and purity.
Different types of connotative meanings have been given (Hervey, Higgins, & Haywood,
1995, pp. 98-104). They are:64
 Attitudinal Meaning:
The meaning that is interpreted on the basis of the feelings, emotions and attitude of a
certain human being is known as an attitudinal meaning. For example, the word “nigger”
may or may not be acceptable, which depends upon the feelings of the user. Black
people consider the use of the word “nigger” by people, especially white people as an
expression of low opinion and might take it as an offense. However, there might be no
such problems if a black person called another black person by that word.
 Associative Meaning:
Associative meaning is defined as the meaning that is deduced by associating words with
other abstracts and concepts. The abstractness pertains to the quality of the meaning of
an entity which states whether it is conceived as an occurrence or object, an entity or
comprising of matter, or something else. For example, the reason behind the association
of the white colour with peace and purity is because of the quality of it being clean
and spotless.
 Affective Meaning:
The meaning that is deduced as an effect of the emotions is known as affective
meaning. The feelings that may be expressed by causing a change in the tone may be a
connotation of feelings of anger or eagerness. If a person asks someone in an inquisitive
manner that “What are you doing?”, then it means that the person wants information
about the other person’s doings. However, if the same statement is said with a little
high tone and strong expression, then it might be interpreted as a representation of
anger.
 Reflected Meaning:
Reflected meaning can be defined as the extended meaning of a word or the meaning
that is beyond the actual meaning of the word. For example, in the statement “My past
is coming back to haunt me”, the term “haunt” does not represent its actual meaning65
which would mean that the past of the person is a ghost which would come to scare
him. It simply means that some of the deeds that the person did in the past had results
that are bothering him even in the present (Hervey, Higgins, & Haywood, 1995, pp. 98-
104).
However, it must be noted that the reflected meaning of a word or sentence does not
occur to a person in a spontaneous manner. When the expression is considered in an
isolated manner, its reflected meaning occurs to be not presently active. The context in
which the expression is used acts as a stimulus to the reflected meaning. Connotative
meanings can also be used to show emphasis or to represent information as predictable
or unpredictable (Hervey, Higgins, & Haywood, 1995, pp. 98-104).
2.7.5 Linguistic Perspectives:
Geeraerts suggested that in order to vindicate the use of a particular perspective of
linguistics, the lexicographers must have knowledge of the various components of the
intensional and extensional definitions (Geeraerts, 2003, p. 88). The “intensional definition”
pertains to the common attributes that determine the nature of a given category or the
pre-eminent elements whereas the “extensional definition” pertains to the constituent of a
category.
The intensional definition provides the stipulations for the word and its characteristic
which make the definition, and can be termed as definiens. The extensional definition
serves as the differentia which refers to the individual members of the word or
definiendum that is being defined.
For example, the term “dog” (definiendum) is referred to as an animal which barks and
is a member of the canine family (definiens). It may pertain to different breeds such as
German shepherds, Dalmatians, Poodles, etc (differentia).
The linguistic perspective takes into consideration the definitions of the word that are
synthetic as well as analytic. The analytic definition concentrates upon the in-depth
meaning of a particular word whereas the synthetic definition concentrates upon the66
proper usage of the word that is being defined and provides information of synonyms.
An analytic definition may provide information about the grammatical use of a word in
a sentence whereas the synthetic definition provides the information of the word on the
basis of the usage of it and may also provide synonyms of the word according to the
context in which it will be used.
The lexicographer has to then decide which one out of the two definitions he should use
for defining the word. There is a gradation between the two definitions. Both the
analytic and synthetic definitions are referred to as intensional as they help in
clarification of the basic elements that are held by a category of words. However, it
may also be considered as extensional if the embers of the definiendum are specified
individually and defined.
It has been observed that both the analytic and synthetic definitions have also been used
to define some of the words in the dictionary such as “parsimonious”, which refers to
exhibiting or having the quality of parsimony, especially unwilling to part with money.
The word “especially” has been used in the definition to provide the extensional
definition of the word so that it can be used to provide similar examples for the given
word. The combination of the two types of definitions would prove to be advantageous
in a way that it can be easily comprehended by the user and the usage of the word is
also given in common contexts, which makes the dictionary user familiar (Greeraerts,
2003, p. 90).
Provided the four criteria (intensional, extensional, analytic and synthetic) for
corroborating the meaning and definition of a given word in different senses, it depends
upon the lexicographer which definitional format does he chooses out of the four
options, which is the final step of the production of the dictionary.
Apart from this, the lexicographers have to also make a choice between the controlled
and sentential definition. The controlled definition provides meanings to those words
which it considers should be known to the user even before he uses the dictionary.
Whereas in sentential definition, the meanings can be clubbed together to form sentence.67
The controlled definition has been structured in such a way that it makes the dictionary
easy to use. The reason behind this is that the lexicographer makes use of those words
which are known to the users which lead to forming definitions which can be easily
understood.
On the contrary, the sentential definitions are used to provide meanings to the words
which are easy to understand. These are some of the points that need to be considered
by the lexicographer during the production of the dictionary to make it more efficient
and effective in use (Greeraerts, 2003, p. 91).
2.8 The Cognitive Considerations in Translating the Arabic Lexicon to
English:
2.8.1 Domain of Translation Problems:
It has been pointed out that the process of translating a lexeme from its native language
to some other language is very difficult, the reason being that during translation, the
sense in which a word is being used in one language cannot be captured and transferred
to some other form (Saussure, 1998, p. 72). Another research paper has been referred to
study the translation between English and Arabic by making use of dictionaries (AlBesbasi, 1991, p. 4).
This part of the thesis will describe the working of the translation mechanism by
referring to the specifics of translation that have been given by Al-Besbasi in his
research paper. Apart from this, the use of dictionary will also be discussed.
It has been stated that the actual meaning of a word cannot be derived by merely
looking up the meaning of the word in the dictionary. According to Putnam, the
meaning of the words cannot be understood by only knowing the dictionary meaning of
the words as they provide only the “general intelligence”, which is not always required.
The concepts of “same meaning” and “same reference” are as difficult as is the general
intelligence provided by the dictionary. The matter of interpretation can be very subtle68
even when we consider the texts that cannot be really termed as literary. In extremely
difficult situations, it is impossible to apply any theory of sameness of meaning or
reference.
It has been stated that it is important for a translator of dictionary to know the anatomy
of the process of translation, so that the complete translation process can be well
understood. The critical part in this is that it is difficult to find out the similarity or
difference in meaning. Most of the translators are unable to provide a satisfactory
explanation for this issue.
There have always been a limited number of theories of translation because they are
theoretical or abstract in nature which is the main reason behind the insufficiency of the
first principle of translation if it has not been misinterpreted (Al-Besbasi, 1991, p. 4).
According to the definition of translation theory, the main aim of this theory is to
ascertain suitable methods of translation which can take into consideration a great extent
of text or categories of text. Also, it provides a framework, a set of rules and
regulations along with the suggestions for making the translation process easy. The
translation theory is involved in making choices and taking correct decisions (Newmark,
1981, p. 19).
2.8.2 Dictionaries as a Tool used by Translators and the Implications for
Lexicographers:
Dictionary is generally defined as a book for reference to the meanings of the words;
however it has other uses also and is used by different users with varying purposes. It
has been considered as an important tool for the translators when it comes to both the
bilingual and multilingual dictionaries.
The bilingual dictionary is considered as the first and only help to the translators that
plays a significant role in the translation process, and the translator who does not refer
it in cases of confusion can be considered as arrogant or unwitting or both.69
The multilingual dictionaries can provide collocations and can be used to provide some
clues to the source that should be used. The use of bilingual dictionaries is obligatory
because they require the verification in a minimum of two target languages (Anderman,
Rogers, & Newmark, 1999, p. 25).
The dictionary provides great help in the translation process, but the translators should
not solely depend upon this tool. Even though the shortcomings of Arabic dictionaries
have not been discussed, it can be easily understood that the linguists and academicians
can make out the shortcomings of the dictionaries in the translation from one language
to the other, and also to develop learning amongst the users.
One thing that should be kept in mind is that no matter how good a bilingual dictionary
can be, for any given term in a given language, it can provide its meaning in only the
target language and does not cover all the terms unless it is a technical term.
Also, the context in which the term is being used in a single language needs to be
known to the translator so that he can make the best choice out of the various
alternatives of meanings for a given term (Anderman, Rogers, & Newmark, 1999, p. 27).
If the lexicography can prove to be helpful to the users in understanding the source
language by making use of either the bilingual or multilingual dictionaries, then the
lexicographers must look for the approaches for creating these dictionaries which can
make them more efficient and helpful.
In the present scenario, the requirements of the translators are not completely fulfilled by
the lexicography. The lexicographers should make note of this fact so that they can
come up with better ideas that can be according to the needs of the translators. The
dictionaries should be created in such a way that they also provide brief information on
the usage of dictionaries.
The dictionaries should provide a user guide or some information on how to use the
dictionary so that it becomes easy for the user to find the information for which they
are using the dictionary. Also, it is very helpful to the users if the dictionary provides70
some information about the way it is organised, its language, the abbreviations used in
the dictionary, and also some guidance on the lexical and grammatical usage (Posteguillo,
2003, p. 440).
2.8.3 Equivalence and its Relevance to Lexicography:
When talking in terms of lexicography, equivalence can be defined as the relationship
that exists between lexemes belonging to two or more languages that have the same
meaning. The dictionaries make use of equivalents to explain the meanings of the terms
in different languages (Olivera & Arribas-Bano, 2008, p. 71).
A lexeme has been defined as a word or an idiom that is used in a certain sense. The
translators try to match the lexemes of different languages on the basis of the similarity
of their meanings, and this process is known as equivalence.
As the translation theory in linguistics is based upon the comparison between texts
belonging to two different languages, i.e. the source and the target language, therefore
equivalence can be defined as the relationship between two texts instead of the
languages. When it comes to the study of comparison of two languages, the textual
equivalence and linguistic equivalence are considered to be different from each other.
The linguistic equivalence deals with the relationship between two language systems and
has nothing to do with the expression in the form of the text. It can be concluded that
the theory of translation can prove to be helpful if it considers the systemic relationships
(Teubert, 2007, p. 54).
Talking about semantics, when two data elements belonging to two different
vocabularies have data which represent the same meaning, then it is termed as semantic
equivalence. The equivalence may exist in the form of an instance, concept or attribute.
If two instances of a language are similar or provide references for the same instance,
then that language is known to have instance equivalence.71
If the language has two different high level concepts that have the same meaning, then
that language is known to have class equivalence. If the language has dual properties
wherein the words that describe and attributes have the same meaning, then this property
is known as attribute equivalence.
On the contrary, the role and purpose for which the bilingual and multilingual dictionary
is being created, acts as a parameter for measuring the importance of equivalence in
lexicography. The main task of the lexicographer of a bilingual dictionary is to organise
the lexical units belonging to different languages, i.e. the source and target language, and
try to create a relationship between the meanings of the words and their equivalents, and
also between the two languages.
It is the responsibility of the lexicographer to stimulate in the user an urge to learn and
become aware of a foreign culture, and be able to associate the meanings and images of
the words of the foreign language as close as possible to the meanings that exist in the
minds of the native speakers of that language.
There is a difference between the concept of equivalence in lexicography and translation.
But it plays an important role in the development of precise translation and pragmatic
lexicography.
Equivalence plays a significant role in the difference between the languages and their
systems, along with the differences between the various contexts in which the language
is being used, such as the social, cultural and political aspect. It has become possible for
the lexicographers to create precise and authentic bilingual and multilingual dictionaries
because of the presence of equivalence.
It can be concluded that equivalence plays an important role in lexicography, specifically
for the creators of the bilingual dictionaries. The reason behind creating bilingual
dictionaries is to create a system which would allow the user to compare the words and
concepts that belong to his language with those belonging to some other language,
known as the target language. The competence level and efficiency of the equivalence
determines the level of preciseness and authentication of a bilingual dictionary.72
2.8.4 Translation in Relation to Lexicography:
The bilingual lexicography which makes use of the translation process has been involved
in questioning and contention (Olivera & Arribas-Bano, 2008, pp. 71-72). The process of
creating bilingual dictionaries is very difficult and the sources that have prevailed for
creating these dictionaries over the time have made it difficult for the lexicographers to
create an adequate bilingual dictionary. But the significance of translation in bilingual
lexicography cannot be denied.
The process of translation is accountable for the codification that takes place for the
lexical equivalents in the elements that are included in the bilingual dictionary. Also, the
bilingual dictionary acts as a lexical summary which cater the translators with the
equivalents that are required by them to perform their tasks (Olivera & Arribas-Bano,
2008, pp. 71-72).
The main problem that les in the translation is the meaning. For each word that is
present in the source language, there has to exist its equivalent in the target language.
The lexicography that involves cross-linguistics in search of meaning must learn from the
translators the art of inventing the translational equivalents of words in a given language,
since these equivalents are created and do not exist as such (Altenberg & Granger, 2002,
pp. 191).
It can be said that the bilingual and multilingual dictionaries might cease to exist in the
absence of translation (Olivera & Arribas-Bano, 2008, pp. 71-72). It would not be
possible for the lexicographers to create the bilingual and multilingual dictionaries if they
did not have any knowledge about translation, and if the translators did not help in the
process of translation to make sure that the translation of one language to the other is
done in accordance with the concept of equivalence that has been previously described.
The translators work with the text and their task is to rephrase the text given in one
language into another language so that the meaning of the text in both the language
remains the same. It means that they assign a meaning to the text in a given language
(Altenberg & Granger, 2002, p. 191).73
Thus, the translators are responsible for ensuring that the bilingual and multilingual
dictionaries are created by the lexicographers in such a manner that it provides precise
meanings to the text provided in source language and translated into the target language.
Translation acts as a very important tool in case of bilingual lexicography.
2.8.5 The Importance of the Bilingual Dictionaries for Translation:
Al-Besbasi made use of the Al-Mawrid dictionary in his thesis, which is amongst one of
the most popular dictionaries for Arabic-English translation for the professionals. It was
found that the use of bilingual dictionaries is more than the other types of dictionaries.
Hence, it can be said that the bilingual dictionaries play a major role in the translation
process (Al-Besbasi, 1991, p. 168).
The reasons behind consulting the bilingual dictionary for the translation process are to
find an equivalent for an Arabic word or phrase in some other language. The bilingual
dictionaries can be used to determine the contexts in which a foreign language is being
used by providing the synonyms and antonyms that are relevant to the Arabic form.
Another reason is to determine some of the characteristics of semantics such as
synonymy and the subtle difference between the words that are to be translated.
Also, three purposes have been identified behind this, the first being for the verification
of the suitability of the equivalents for the semantics that have been translated. The
second purpose is to verify that a provisionary translation is available for the word.
Also, another purpose is to make sure that the grammatical rules are being followed
during the translation process. It means that the grammatical rules contained within the
source language must also be followed when it is converted into the target language.
The process of translation becomes easy to understand if the source of the word that is
being translated can be made available along with the translation depicting how these
words were used in the source. Examples of the foreign concepts help in bringing out
the differences that exist between the words.74
The person who requires the translation might not be able to understand the given
meaning of the word in its translated form. Therefore, the translator should make use of
more than one equivalent for defining the given word or text in the translated form.
Some of the important features of a bilingual dictionary include the provision for the
equivalent translation and interpretation of the source language into the target language
which will allow the users to understand the meanings and usage of the translated words
in a better manner. Although Al-Mawrid is considered to be amongst the best ArabicEnglish dictionaries, there are certain concepts that have not been incorporated into the
dictionary.
This creates an opportunity for the existence of the other bilingual dictionaries which
would be able to overcome the drawbacks of Al-Mawrid dictionary. The other bilingual
dictionaries can also be used to provide conformity to the translation of the word from
one language to another in Al-Mawrid. They can be used to check whether the
equivalents that are mentioned in Al-Mawrid are correct or not (Table 1).
LEXEME AL MAWRID OXFORD
BILINGUAL
DICTIONARY
E-TRANSLATOR
ELECTRONIC
DICTIONARY
ﺣﺐ ﺣﺐ ﺣﺐ Love
ﺟﻤﺎل ﺟﻤﺎل ﺟﻤﺎل Beauty
ﻋﺪاﻟﺔ ﻋﺪاﻟﺔ ﻋﺪاﻟﺔ Justice
اﺳﺮة اﺳﺮة اﺳﺮة Family
Table 1: Complimentary Equivalents
However, the bilingual dictionaries may also give rise to definitions that are conflicting
in nature. The term “accrue”, which means “come into possession of” has been define d
in Al-Mawrid as ﻋﺪ. On the contrary, it has been defined in the e-translator bilingual
Also, the term .ﯾُﻜﺘَ ﺠﻤﻊ، ﯾﻜﻨﺰ، ﯾﺮاك َﺴـﺐ، ﯾﺘﻨﺎﻣﻰ، ﯾﻨﻤﻮ، ﯾﺰداد، ﯾﺼﺒﺢ ﻻزﻣﺎً أو ُﻣﺴـﺘَﺤﻘﺎً، ﯾ dictionary as
“accounting” has been coined in Al-Mawrid as اﻟﻤﺤﺎﺳﺒﮫ.75
There are no equivalents provided in the Al-Mawrid dictionary, and in such conditions
the translator of the bilingual dictionary has to come up with equivalents on his own. In
this way the translation becomes dependent upon the way in which the translator
understands the concepts and meanings, which might become a reason for creating
problems in the future.
Such variations do not exist only in the printed form of bilingual dictionaries, but they
also exist between the electronic dictionaries. For exaplme, in Al-Mawrid the term
“enrich” is defined as ” “, whereas in the electronic bilingual dictionary it is given as
“أﻏﻨﻰ” (Table 2).
The citation form used in Al-Mawrid is of present ( ) اﻟﻤﻀﺎرع , whereas that of the Edictionary is of the past (اﻟﻤﺎﺿﻲ). The reason behind the discrepancies and the limitations
of both the forms of Al-Mawrid is their inability to represent accurately the present and
past forms of the terms.
LEXEME AL MAWRID OXFORD
ETRANSLATOR
اﻟﻤﯿﺰاﻧﯿﮫ ﻣﻮازﻧﺔ ﻋﺎﻣﺔ Balance sheet
اﻟﺤﺎﻟﮫ ﺣﺎﻟﺔ إﻋﺮاﺑﯿﺔ Case
ذﻛﺮ ﺑﺪون ذﻛﺮ اﻻس Anonymous
ﺷﻔﻘﮫ ﺑﺪون ذﻛﺮ اﻻﺳﻢ Compassion
Conformist
/اﻟﺘﻮاﻓﻘﻲ
اﻹﻧﺴﺠﺎﻣﻲ
اﻟﻤﻮاﻓﻖ
دﻣﯿﮫ ﻟﮭﺎﯾﺔ Dummy
ﻣﺮﺗﺪ ﻣﺮت Apostate
اﻟﺤﻘﯿﻘﺔ اﻟﺤﻖ Truth76
ﻣﻮھﺒﺔ ﻣﺬﯾﻌﻮ أو ﻣﺬﯾﻌﺎت Talent
Table 2: Different Equivalents
Looking at the Table 2, it can be observed that the common words have more chances
of having the same equivalents in the different types of dictionaries, whereas the words
that are not used commonly have chances of having different equivalents in the different
types of dictionaries.
2.9 History of Arabic Lexicography:
It has been accepted by almost all the Medieval Arab writers that Abu I-Aswad Al-Duali
was the first grammarian in the Arabic language. Although all the literature written by
him, pertaining to philology has become extinct by now, the given fact holds true till
date.
The way in which it has been depicted in the varied isnads that his teachings have been
imparted to concomitant generations of scholars indicate that they are worthy of the
same amount of respect that is given to the Hadith isnads.
Also, it has been acknowledged that there must be some amount of truth behind these
traditions. The perennial averment about Abu I-Aswad that he was indebted to Khalifa
Ali ibn Abi Talib for his knowledge of grammar is not quite convincing (Haywood,
1965, pp. 12-18).
The credibility of Abu I-Aswad being the discoverer of the grammatical study has been
confirmed by Ibn al-Nadim, who states that a book collecting friend of his possessed an
old manuscript of Abu I-Aswad’s work, which could not be traced after the death of the
book collector.
Al-Qifti later declared that he had seen the manuscript about which Ibn Al-Nadim had
mentioned which showed that it was undoubtedly the first grammatical book in the
Arabic language. The main purpose behind studying the Arabic language was religion
and the incorrect use of the language while conversing, mainly involving mistakes in the77
vowels and pronunciation due to the presence of the foreigners like Persians in the
country.
The Arab education was based on the concept of learning by ear and not by eye,
mainly because of the high cost of the manuscripts. Abu I-Aswad’s work was divided
into grammar and lexicography to which a large contribution was made by alZamakhshari who exhibited how his writings could be used for making the required
corrections in the speech.
Also, scholars like Al-Khalil and Sibawaihi have been some of the greatest contributors
to both lexicography and grammar in the late Eighteenth century (Haywood, 1965, pp. 12-
18). Al-Khalil was the first man who made an effort to compile the whole content of
vocabulary into a single document in any language.
Another great scholar who has contributed to the Arabic lexicography was Isa Ibn Umar
Al-Thaqafi. The work that had been carried out before the era in which Al-Khalil lived,
was taught in the form of oral teachings.
The Sibawaihi’s book on grammar named “Kitab” was completely separated from AlKhalil’s dictionary which was later used by the other writers for almost two centuries to
look up for Arabic words.
Also, new forms of it came into existence by making some amendments in it and
adding new information to it. Some other scholars who have given a great contribution
to the Arabic lexicography includes Al-Zubaidi, Ibn Khallikan, Ibn Duraid, Al-Jauhari,
Al-Hajjaj and many others (Haywood, 1965, pp. 12-18).
2.10 History of Lexicography:
The origin of lexicography goes back to the seventh or eighth centuries when they were
written in Latin and the term “dictionary” had not even evolved. In those times, the
people of Western Europe spoke Latin which became the language of the dictionaries
which first came into existence.78
Whenever a person reading a Latin book or someone from the religious community, who
were renowned for owning many Latin books, encountered a Latin word which could not
be cited in the vocabulary, they found out its meaning and jotted it down over the word
in such an easy language so that the people who would go through that book later on
would be able to understand its meaning.
As the time passed by, one of the readers came up with the idea of compiling the
meanings of all such words in the manuscripts that were accessible to him so that it
became easy for people to learn those words and teach them to others also.
The intention was to increase the knowledge of people regarding Latin words and
phrases. Those words were termed as glosses and hence the book that contained an
aggregate of glosses came to be known as glossary.
Another story that relates to the history of lexicography is that in the old times, Latin
was a foreign language, whose learning was done by means of oral communication and
the learning of Latin grammar and vocabulary. Gradually, the Latin words belonging to
different activities were brought together and noted down in a single book called the
vocabulary (Murray, 1993, pp. 101-122).
Both the glossary and vocabulary were used together in a combined form wherein the
glossary helped in expounding the vocabulary, which was used by the other people who
added more words to it as they came across more manuscripts, which helped in making
it more helpful to the people using it. Then it was suggested that all the letters and
phrases be put in an alphabetical order for the ease of the users to look for the words
and their meanings.
The alphabetical arrangement was carried out in those times up to the first three
alphabets of the word. By the eleventh century, not only did the ancient vocabularies
and glossaries become richer in words, but the language that was used in it also came
closer to English.
In this manner, the purpose for which these vocabularies were created, that is, to help
people understand the difficult Latin words by means of easier language and later on in79
English, was served to quite an extent. In about 1440, a new type of vocabulary was
created which contained the English words with their Latin meanings.
The term “dictionary” came into existence during the sixteenth century when Sir Thomas
Elyot’s Dictionary became quite illustrious. Subsequently, the French-English, SpanishEnglish and Italian-English dictionaries were also created. In the eighteenth century,
Nathanael Bailey was recognised for his scholarly works in creating an English
dictionary which could be put to more practical use and was used as a basis by Dr.
Johnson, who took English lexicography to great heights (Murray, 1993, pp.101-122).
2.11 Different Types of Dictionaries:
2.11.1 English-English Dictionary:
The English-English dictionaries such as Oxford’s English Dictionary and Merriam
Webster’s English Dictionary have been created keeping in mind the language learners.
They provide meanings to a large number of English words, help in improving the
pronunciations of words, guides the users in their usage and their collocation with other
words.
They also give illustrations of how those words can be used in phrases and sentences so
that the users can get a deeper view and understanding of their usage. One of the key
advantages of using these dictionaries is that they make use of very simple language
while describing the meanings of the words so that the user can easily understand its
meaning (Harmer, 2001, pp. 97-110).
The words are arranged in an alphabetical arrangement so that the user does not have to
put in much effort in looking for the requisite word. Abbreviations are also included in
these dictionaries. Some of the words belonging to languages other than English, which
have been used by people in their common speech, are also included in the EnglishEnglish dictionaries.
They have been designed in such a manner that even the beginners do not have much
problem in extracting meanings from these dictionaries, however, most of them prefer
bilingual dictionaries in the initial stage of learning.80
The Oxford English dictionary, Collins English dictionary, Merriam-Webster Third New
International dictionary and The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English are some
of the examples of English-English dictionary.
There are many types of English-English dictionaries existing in the market including
learner’s dictionary, student’s dictionary, illustrated dictionaries, crossword dictionaries,
pocket dictionaries, etymological dictionaries, etc. These are either targeted to a particular
group of people or are meant to serve a certain purpose such as use of pictures or
graphs in the dictionary to make it easier to understand, or to help in solving a
crossword puzzle (Figure 5).
Figure 5. English-English Dictionary
2.11.2 Arabic-Arabic Dictionary:
One of the most important advantages of using an Arabic-Arabic dictionary is that as
users are searching for the meanings of the Arabic words that they come across while
reading or listening, they also get to know some new words of Arabic. It not only
increases the knowledge of Arabic words, but also helps in teaching how those words81
can be used in sentences or phrases in the most precise form so that it becomes easy
for the other person to understand what the speaker or writer is trying to convey.
An additional feature of the Arabic-Arabic dictionary is that they give the idiomatic and
contextual use of the Arabic words that the users are looking for, which is not available
in other dictionaries.
Mukhtar us-Sihah, Al-Faraid, Al-Bustani, Al-Wafi are some of the famous Arabic-Arabic
dictionaries. These have been created to either bring out the meaning of the Arabic
words that were used in the ancient times or to find out the extensions of those words.
2.11.3 Arabic/English dictionaries aimed principally at native speakers of English:
In such type of dictionaries, since the user is a native speaker of English and is at the
beginner level in learning the Arabic language, the meanings of the Arabic words can be
explained by making use of a high level of English as it will not be much of a
problem to understand for a native speaker of English. The user would have come
across these words while listening or reading something in Arabic and would want to
understand the meaning of it.
An English and Arabic dictionary-Part 1 by Joseph Catafago (1858) is one such
dictionary wherein the aim is to help the English travellers and the students to learn
Arabic (Figure 6). Only those words are mentioned in the dictionary which is commonly
used by the people.82
Figure 6. An English and Arabic dictionary-Part 1 by Joseph Catafago
2.11.4 Arabic/English dictionaries aimed principally at native speakers of Arabic:
In this, it is kept in mind that the user does not know much English and so the Arabic
words are explained in very simple English so that it can be easily understood by the
user who is trying to learn the English language. In such cases, the user might know
the meaning of the Arabic word, but would like to learn how to express it in the
English language.
Pocket Arabic dictionary by Fethi Mansouri (2004) and Arabic-English dictionary by F.
Steingass are the dictionaries which help the native speakers of Arabic to be able to
communicate with people located in different parts of the world (Figure 7).83
Figure 7. Pocket Arabic dictionary by Fethi Mansouri
2.11.5 English/Arabic dictionaries aimed principally at native speakers of English:
In the English-Arabic dictionary, since the target users are native speakers of English, so
their main aim of using the dictionary is to learn the Arabic language. Keeping this in
mind, simple Arabic terms are used for the similar meaning English words so that it
becomes easy for the user to understand and learn.
English-Arabic dictionary by Ross Forman and Awatef Halabe is aimed to help the
English travellers and students to learn Arabic (Figure 8).84
Figure 8. English-Arabic Dictionary
2.11.6 English/Arabic dictionaries aimed principally at native speakers of
Arabic:
The English-Arabic dictionaries have been created keeping in mind that it is aimed at
the native speakers of Arabic, which means that their command over the Arabic words
would be more than that on the English words. Hence, even the simplest English terms
can be explained in a high level Arabic language. The aim here is to make the user
learn the English similitude for the Arabic term.
English-Arabic dictionary by John Wortabet and Harvey Porter (2003) is aimed to help
the Arabic travellers and students to learn English. In this, the English words are given,
against which its Arabic word is mentioned (Figure 9).85
Figure 9. English-Arabic dictionary by John Wortabet and Harvey Porter
2.11.7 The Nijmegen Dutch-Arabic dictionary project:
This project was started in 1990 when a request was sent to the Dutch Ministry of
Education and Science to provide support in making the feasibility report. However, the
project could not be completed in the provided time because of many reasons.
The translation of all the Dutch words and phrases into Arabic language was a difficult
task and took more than the time that was assigned for doing this work. Even after the
completion of translation, the whole compilation process of the Arabic words took a long
time. The corrections that were to be made took more time than expected (Figure 10).
The project could be completed only by 2002, as a lot of time was consumed in
transferring the data containing Dutch and Arabic words into a DTP program which had
to undergo a proof reading process even after going through several rounds of checks by
the specialists. The resulting dictionary turned out to be very large in volume and had to
be printed in two different volumes (Al-Kasimi, 1977, p. 111).86
Figure 10. The Nijmegen Dutch-Arabic dictionary
2.11.8 Monolingual and Bilingual Dictionaries:
The monolingual dictionary is used to provide information that is relevant to the term
that the user is looking for. The dictionaries are created by the lexicographers to help
the language learners who are the users of their products (Figure 11).
The monolingual dictionaries are used for giving more accurate meanings to the terms.
Although their usage is difficult than the bilingual dictionary, they provide a better
understanding to its users. As compared to this, the bilingual dictionaries are basically
used for quick consultation.
The research conducted on the use of monolingual and bilingual dictionaries shows that
about 75% of the people prefer using bilingual dictionaries. However, it is said that the
use of bilingual dictionaries can at times be misguiding as there might be chances of
having some language barriers between the two languages that have been used in the
dictionary.
The way in which the words are organised in a dictionary is another problem of the
bilingual dictionaries. In most of the cases, the synonyms are used in place of the87
translated words during the translation of the entry word from one language to the other.
This creates a problem for the users to understand the meanings of the words.
The use of different types of dictionaries depends upon the needs of the user (Laufer &
Hadar, 1997, pp. 189-196). A Navajo/English bilingual dictionary by Alyse Neundorf, A
bilingual dictionary of school terminology by Barbara Thuro are examples of bilingual
dictionaries (Figure 12).
Figure 11. Monolingual Dictionary88
Figure 12. Bilingual Dictionary
2.11.9 Reference and Production Dictionaries:
The reference dictionaries is the form of dictionary which is most commonly used by
the users to find meanings to the words they cannot understand, learn their pronunciation
and their usage. These dictionaries are referred when the user comes across a difficult
word and wants to know its meaning.
The Metallic Migmaq-English reference dictionary, Oxford English Reference Dictionary,
Grammar Essentials – A Reference Dictinary are examples of the reference dictionary.
Both monolingual and bilingual dictionaries are included in this type. However, production
dictionaries are its complete opposite form. They start with the meaning that the user wants
to express and then identify a suitable word for expressing it (Figure 13).
The users begin by looking for the term that they know and wish to express in a
different form, finally reaching to the requisite word with its meaning and usage89
(Harmer, 2001, pp. 97-110). An example of the production dictionary is the Longman
Language Activator, which was the first production dictionary in the world.
The dictionaries are used for reception when the users come across a word that they do
not know while reading or listening and either stop at that very instant to look for its
meaning or do it later. The main purpose here is to understand the meaning of the word
in the context that it is being used. The grammatical characteristics of that word may be
learnt when the dictionaries are used for production (Scholfield, 1995, pp. 13-34).
Since the monolingual dictionaries contain lexical information, they can be very helpful
for the translators. The role of dictionaries and dictionary consultation in the translation
phases has been overlooked. They play a major role in the research phase of the
translation process. It acts as a primary source of information for the translation process.
The dictionaries may be used to look up for similar words, definitions, spellings, usage,
etc. However, the layout of the dictionary or the instructions for using the dictionary
may be some of the difficulties that the translators have to face while looking for the
word meanings (Ramos, 2005, p. 24).
Figure 13. Reference Dictionary90
2.11.10 Electronic Dictionaries:
One of the reasons for the transition from the paper dictionaries to the electronic
dictionaries is that the electronic dictionaries are more voluminous and hence their
representation in the electronic form can save a lot of paper. The electronic dictionaries
provide more flexibility in the access to information. The electronic dictionaries are also
less expensive than their paper forms.
The storage space has been one of the issues in case of the two forms of dictionaries.
It can be understood in two ways: the space required for storing all the words and their
meanings, called the storage space, and the presentation space which refers to the space
that is required for presenting the information in front of the user.
In context with the storage space, there are no restrictions in the electronic dictionaries;
however, the storage space in the paper dictionaries is determined by the number of
volumes, layout, its weight and several other factors. The use of high resolution videos
is avoided in case of electronic dictionaries because they require a lot of storage space.
The presentation space in case of paper dictionaries is static, meaning that the
information is given on the two facing pages of the dictionary which do not change in
appearance or content. Whereas, when we look at the electronic dictionaries, the
resolution of the screen on which the information is displayed may keep on changing
and so less information can be given away in this form (Lew, 2007, p. 344).
One of the advantages of using electronic dictionaries is that it allows the user to make
cross references without even moving away from the page that the user is viewing. This
feature of immediate cross reference is not present in the paper dictionaries. The
bilingual production dictionaries are few in numbers because a lot of storage space is
required for accommodating this type of dictionary (Figure 14).
So, proposals have been made for creating production dictionaries in an electronic form
as it does not have any limitations in terms of storage space. The electronic dictionaries
can be customized according to the needs of the user or on the basis of online
monitoring with regards to the behaviour of the user (Lew, 2007, p. 344).91
Figure 14. Electronic Dictionary
2.12 The Nature of the Bilingual Dictionaries in the Perspectives of
Arabs and Westerners:
According to Nawal El-Badry, the initial drift that caused the native English speaking
lexicographers to get involved in the English-Arabic translation was the trend of getting
to know about the culture, art, language, religion, etc. that came up in the nineteenth
century. This helped in the creation of the bilingual English-Arabic dictionaries.
The first printed bilingual dictionary that came into existence was named “An English
and Arabic Dictionary; In Two Parts: Arabic and English, English and Arabic” and was
compiled by Joseph Catafago. It contained equivalents in both the languages. The
headwords are in the Arabic language and are arranged in the order of the Arabic
alphabets.
However, it was stated to be just a brief summary of the words and that its existence
was not really useful to the users, as the users were not able to express their ideas in
Arabic because the book kept its focus in providing a complete understanding of a
famous and difficult topic. In doing so, it missed out on the other topics that were
required by the users (El-Badry, 1990, p. 17).92
The most intellectually productive dictionary was named “Arabic-English Lexicon,
Derived from the Best and Most Copious of Eastern Sources” and was written by
William Lane.
It was stated that the English students can now make use of the Arabic-English
dictionary that has been compiled by William Lane and contains the contributions of
many Arabic lexicographers. The work is very accurate and has been represented in a
very simplified language which makes it one of the best lexicons that have been
presented in any language.
However, William Lane could not complete the dictionary as he died even before it
could be completed. But he ensured that it was not just an ordinary dictionary that
would provide knowledge to the users only regarding the common words. He tried to
integrate all the Arabic concepts into the dictionary whether they were abstract or
tangible.
One of the main attributes of his dictionary that set him apart was that he made use of
both the prose and verse which no other lexicographer did in those times. He believed
that if he made use of these citations, it will become easy for the users of his
dictionary to understand the concepts as well as make them aware of the slight
differences that prevail between the various terms.
In 1881, another book named “English-Arabic Lexicon, in which the Equivalents for
English Words and Idiomatic Sentences are rendered into Literary and Colloquial Arabic”
was published by George Percy Badger which included the colloquial words and idioms
in the dictionary for the first time and gave a new direction to lexicography.
Badger provided more clarity in the translation than that provided by Lane by making
use of the literary sources such as “Qamus of Muhitu-̛ l-Muhit” by Butros al-Bustany
and others. His aim was to create a dictionary that would maintain the cultural aspects
of the Arabic language as well as prevent any problems of equivocalness and
indistinctness that usually exists in the Arabic concepts. The only limitation of his work
was that he did not provide any guidance for the pronunciation.93
Different bilingual dictionaries came into existence for serving the purpose of providing
better understanding to the students of English the concepts of Arabic as well as to
provide information to the Arabic students about the western culture.
There are certain basic factors which are called as the foundation of the bilingual
dictionaries and are the reason for the creation of more and more bilingual dictionaries
in order to provide better understanding to the users.
Each new dictionary that comes up is based upon the works that have been carried out
by its predecessors and a genealogical tree can be drawn out for any dictionary which
will provide the information about the earlier works that have been integrated in the
dictionary. It is not possible for any lexicographer to create a completely new dictionary
that does not make use of any previous work (Collison, 1980, p. 19).
Conclusion:
In this chapter, it has been found that knowing only the meaning of the word is not
sufficient for a person to understand and learn a language. It is important to know the
pronunciation, etymology and usage of the word so that the user can make use of those
words in real life. The dictionaries have been created keeping this concept in mind, so
that it can be made as user friendly as possible.
The history of lexicography and Arabic lexicography indicates that the concept of
dictionary was first considered many years ago, and many developments have taken place
over the years in the original piece of work to create what we call as the “dictionary”.
Along with Saussure, many other linguists such as Zgusta, Svensen, Sterkenburg, etc
have given their contributions towards lexicography.
The concepts given by Saussure and other linguists, along with the concepts of modern
linguistics have been the basis of creating a dictionary. The different types of
dictionaries have been created, based on the requirements of the user. The bilingual
dictionaries prove to be very helpful in the translation process. The purpose with which
these dictionaries are created is to not only provide the meaning of the word, but to
induce some learning in the user.94
The role that lexicography plays in the development of linguistics has also been
discussed. The dictionaries have been created with the intent of solving the problems of
ambiguity and indistinctness. A shift has been observed from the printed dictionaries to
the electronic dictionaries as they can be more customized according to the needs of the
user and changes can be easily made to it.95
Chapter Three: Methodology of the Study
Introduction:
After studying the findings of the literature review, there is one question that has been
raised and that is to find out the best method that can be used to create a bilingual
dictionary according to the requirements of the users. The traditional methods of
translation have been discussed along with the incapability of the dictionaries to provide
meanings and the various concepts that have been applied to study language from
different perspectives. All this information has been taken into consideration while
conducting this study.
The approach that has been used in this study is the determining of those words that do
not exist in the Al-Mawrid dictionary along with the study of those words whose
translation from the Arabic into the English language is very difficult. This has been
done by taking the views and thoughts of the Arab scholars and lexicographers by
sending out questionnaires.
The strategy that has been used in the research will help in identifying the weaknesses
of the approaches that have been used to create the bilingual dictionaries with a special
reference to the Arabic-English dictionaries. This combined methodology will provide a
deeper understanding of the translation process for developing a new model of translation
and might be useful in terms of dictionary writing.
For certain problems, responses will be recorded with the help of questionnaires from
people belonging to different fields of knowledge. Group discussions will also be used as
a method of identifying the various problems in the process of translation, specifically to
determine those words which are difficult to be translated into another language.
In this research study, one of the most popular dictionaries in the Arab world, the AlMawrid dictionary was used as a source to identify the Arabic terms whose translation is
not given in the dictionary and also to identify those words which have been
mistranslated from the Arabic language into English. For this, a group of translators were96
questioned on how well was the dictionary helpful to them in finding the translations
from Arabic into English language.
3.1 Conceptual Framework:
3.1.1 The Importance of the Theoretical Framework:
The theoretical framework is a feature that is used in almost all the dissertations as it
provides a structured outline to all the probable courses of action that can be used in
the research, and gives directions as to how they should be used in applying an
approach to a concept. There are also some shortcomings of this framework which
become evident during the transition from the objective fields to areas of language and
literature.
The subjective fields of study such as arts and literature are very difficult to study and
have relatively more difficulties than the other areas of study. Therefore, mostly the
researchers try to avoid including these areas in the research. If we consider linguistics,
it lies between both subjectivity and objectivity and deals with the words and their
meanings, and also makes use of the meta-cognitive tools.
One of the important things to be kept in mind while conducting the lexicological study
is that there should be a clear distinction between the conceptual tool and theoretical
framework. The conceptual tools comprise mainly of those concepts which are practically
oriented, whereas the theoretical framework provides a formal and scholarly approach to
be applied in a certain situation.
For example, the development of the research programme is done with the help of the
conceptual tools that help the researcher in coming up with ideas that might be used in
the research to give arguments, investigation and judgement of information that can be
considered in the study. On the other hand, the theoretical framework provides the
researcher with the required data and facts and also generalisations that either confirm or
disprove the hypotheses.97
In spite of the fact that the theoretical framework can provide all the required
information about a particular world, there is a need of a conceptual tool that can be
used for further carrying out the lexical studies with special reference to its applications.
The research should concentrate on developing a conceptual tool that will help in finding
out an improved process of creating dictionaries by studying various factors of language
such as culture and etymology which affect lexicography. However, this approach of
studying language is not new and has been used in the traditional language studies that
refer to the study of culture and history for deriving the meaning of the words.
The various theories and concepts such as “language is learned” imply with reference to
lexicography that the meanings of words are generated within the minds of individuals
which provides a connotative approach rather than the denotative approach that gives
only the particular meanings of words.
Apart from this, the concept of “language is learned” also highlights the importance of
lexicography because it caters the people with dictionaries that not only provide
meanings to the words but also help them to learn different languages. Hence,
lexicography plays an important role in our lives.
Some of the problems that have been studied in the literature review with reference to
translation have to be considered and efforts are to be applied for coming up with
solutions. The framework for the lexical study should be developed by analysing and
also discussing the viewpoint surpasses the limits to get the best results.
3.1.2 Premises:
Various assumptions have been considered in this research to study the difficulties that
are faced in the process of translation. One of the assumptions is that meaning is in the
form of a “stream” such that one meaning or definition leads to other words and their
meanings.98
For example, “love” is considered to be a feeling or an emotion. But a question rises
that what types of feelings does love express. Love can be a feeling of kindness, but it
also raises further questions that in order to decide whether “love” should be considered
as a feeling of kindness, what types of people can act as receivers.
In this way, the various meanings of a given word can be pointed out by considering its
relationship with other words and its use in different contexts. The antonyms also play
an important role for the existence of the language. For example, the term “male” has
“female” as its antonym and they cannot exist in isolation. Also, both these words
together form a dichotomy which represents another word “gender”.
The second assumption is that all the words have been considered to be in one group
and the relationship that exists between the various words of a language is considered to
comprise the knowledge of culture including the interpersonal communication and the
thought process.
The third assumption that has been considered in this study is regarding possibility of
equivalence between two languages, and also between the words belonging to those
languages. Not only has the history and development of words been studied, but also
how they are interpreted in the present scenario.
The languages and cultures are integrated, and the people learn about the cultures with
the help of different languages which also leads to the discovery of new words to
represent new events.
The epistemological categories have a tendency of increasing the characteristics and
qualities that are shared within the members of a particular category, whereas it also
lowers the number of characteristics that are shared with the members of the other
categories.
In the figure 15, the apex is the representation of the word that is being considered for
its meaning. The shaded triangle exhibits the meaning of the word with reference to a99
certain field of knowledge in terms of the source language. The physical aspect,
knowledge and the meanings of the words can be differentiated from each other.
Based on this concept, the “power” of the word can be identified. The “power” of the
word can be defined in terms of the number of meanings that a word can exhibit with
respect to the different fields of knowledge. For example, the English “word” life can
exhibit various meanings with reference to different domains of knowledge such as
biology, philosophy and social sciences.
The meanings of the various words can be identified by studying the different contexts
and the domains of knowledge in which those words are used. For example, the word
An epistemological
category through which
meaning is
contextualized
A particular lexeme
under focus for
meaning attribution
Language A Language B
Intertextual
process
Figure 15. A conceptual model of contextualization of
words into an epistemological category developed by the
author100
“life” in terms of biology is referring to a process to a greater extent than its relation to
a process in philosophy.
The information that is known about a certain category of knowledge and the rules that
define that category of knowledge are the determinants of the depth of a particular word.
This framework can be used to identify the structure of the meaning of a word in the
source language and compare it with the structure of those words of the target language
which are considered to be equivalent to it. The comparison is carried out on the basis
of the concepts and relations with respect to other words. In this case, the two
languages that are compared are English and Arabic.
The basic concepts of the epistemological analysis and the doctrines of the theory of
convention have been used for developing a conceptual tool and for identifying the
meanings of the words in different languages.
3.2 Research Design:
The research has been divided into two stages. Stage I involves the identification of the
Arabic words which are difficult to translate in the English language. Stage II involves
the identification of those Arabic words which have not been included in the Al-Mawrid
dictionary. This will help in determining the weaknesses of the bilingual dictionaries.
The conceptual model can be considered as a conceptual tool which can be used even at
the meta-cognitive level. The best attributes of the various approaches that were reviewed
have been used for developing a tool. Saussure’s work that included the formulation of
meaning and the importance of translation and linguistics in lexicography has been the
main contributor for the development of the tool.
Some of the criticisms that the modern Arabic lexicography had to face have also been
considered. All these efforts are being put to come up with a lexical generation system
that will be helpful in creating the monolingual as well as the bilingual dictionaries. It
will not provide merely the denotative meaning of the words, but will identify the
meaning in various contexts and relationships with other words and concepts.101
A lexical generation system can be defined as a system which has the capability to
generate sentences from the artificial languages that have been proposed for use as an
auxiliary international language. First, the lexical mapping takes place which is followed
by the sentence and lexical generation which finally leads to the formulation of a
morphological generation system.
The lexicographers can identify the equivalents between two languages more accurately
by referring to the lexical generation system. The model will be tested by conducting an
experiment. Some words will be selected from both English and Arabic language whose
translation into the target language by making use of the lexical tool that was developed
in stage I will be tested.
3.3 Data Collection Design:
A bilingual dictionary will be used for comparing the meanings of the words in two
different languages and collecting the data. A list of words which have not been
included in the Al-Mawrid dictionary would be created and enlisted within an excel
sheet. Also, those Arabic words which are difficult to translate into the English language
will be identified by the scholars and lexicographers.
The modern English words will be collected by making use of a questionnaire which
will be assessed for their translation into the Arabic language with regards to the criteria
that will be mentioned later in this chapter. With the development of technology and the
rise of various cultures, many new words have been formulated in the English language
which is one of the major concerns in conducting this study.
3.3.1 Power or Relative Importance and Relevance of an English word:
The relative importance of the English word is used for creating a distinction between
the words which have the capability to generate other words which can lead to the
formation of different classes that will comprise of the words that are related in terms of
their meanings.102
The aim of the research is to formulate a method which can easily identify the critical
words which are present in the form of strings as a result of the relationships with other
words. The assumption here is that there are certain key words which have the
capability of explaining the meanings of other words and such words provide an aid in
understanding those difficult words.
3.3.2 Commonness and Uniqueness:
The number of times a word repeats in the source language is compared with the
frequency of that word in the target language, in case of a parallel presentation. The
analysis of the polysemic divergences on the basis of basic meaning will be carried out.
Recognition of those unique words which cannot be translated into another language or
have no equivalents in the target language is another important factor that needs to be
considered while deciding upon the methodology to be used.
In lexicography, while translating a word from the source language to the target
language, it is essential to take into consideration the frequency of that word. Word
frequency is considered to be one of those criteria which are widely accepted for the
creation of the dictionaries, in its word selection. That word whose frequency is high is
used as a headword in the dictionary.
Selecting the headwords for a dictionary is an easier task in case of languages that are
written or have an established grammar as compared to those languages which are not
written. In case of the unwritten languages, the lexicographer has to play the role of the
linguist and do a complete analysis of the language to select the headwords.
Word frequency plays an important role in deciding the framework of the dictionary,
analysing the lexical patterns that are related to the words in a better way and also
allows the lexicographer to take decisions based on the language in an appropriate
manner.103
One of the things that is given utmost importance while creating a dictionary is the
editorial judgement of the lexicographer. Even if the dictionary is created by compiling
the works of the previous linguists, keeping in mind all the precautions that can be
taken so that the target language is represented in a precise manner, there are chances of
some discrepancies.
The role of the input factors is to make the delivery of the speech in a particular
language to the learners of that language in an easy manner. The word frequency is one
such input factor which is of utmost importance. The learning process for a learner is
majorly based upon the number of encounters which he/she has had with a given word.
Those words which occur more often in books are much easier to learn and recall than
those words which the learners come across only once or twice (Ellis & Fotos, 1999, p.
46).
It means that those words whose frequency of occurrence is more and whose translation
from the source language to the target language is repeated several times is easier to
understand and learn for the learner. It increases the probability of the learning of that
word and also the understanding of the target language.
It has been stated that “high-frequency words are recognized faster than low-frequency
words because the recognition thresholds of the high-frequency words are reached faster
than those of the low-frequency words, and this comes close to saying that highfrequency words are recognized faster because high-frequency words are recognized
faster” (Pearson, Barr, & Kamil, 1984, p. 242).
The “basic-level meaning” is another concept that plays an important role and is very
helpful in lexicography. The order words that are used for representing the basic level
meanings are easy to visualise, and so it becomes easier for the learner to understand
the meanings of those words. For example, out of the three words: furniture, chair and
throne, the word “chair” represents the basic level meaning as it is easy to visualise and
understand the meaning.104
An example was quoted “A vehicle is a super ordinate category that includes such basiclevel categories as car, train, boat, and plane. Indeed, the examples of vehicles are
typically drawn from this range of basic-level categories: car (long bumpy road, spinning
our wheels), train (off the track), boat (on the rocks, foundering), plane (just taking off,
bailing out)” (Overton & Palermo, 1994, p. 51).
The basic level meaning creates images in the minds of the learner and provides the
basic structure of the knowledge. Any word that is represented in the super ordinate
category provides the basic level meanings for the various words falling under its
category by translating the words from the source language to the target language, and
provides rich information to the learners (Overton & Palermo, 1994, p. 51).
If the frequency of the words have an impact on the learning process of the learners
such that those words which are used more commonly in the target language and the
translation of those words into the target language is given more importance, then if the
concept of basic level meaning is used in such a case, it provides an understanding to
the user in an easier manner. Also, it helps the users to increase their vocabulary in the
target language and allows the user to make use of that language at any point of time
(Pearson, Barr, & Kamil, 1984, p. 242; Overton & Palermo, 1994, p. 51).
The basic words are used more helpful in the learning process than the other derived
words or the super ordinates. The relationship between the basic words and the super
ordinate words not only allows the user to understand the meaning of the super ordinate
words but also adds to the knowledge of the user of the target language.
It encourages the user to use the target language practically by understanding the various
concepts and meanings that are implied by the relationship between the basic and super
ordinate words (Pearson, Barr, & Kamil, 1984, p. 242; Overton & Palermo, 1994, p. 51).
3.3.3 Degree of Difficulty:
While translating words from the source language to the target language, the ease or
difficulty with which the translation process takes place can be compared. Also, the105
factors which make the translation of a word or phrase difficult or easy can be
identified.
The main concern of the thesis is the first level translation, in which the word in the
source language or English is evaluated to provide its contextual meaning, which leads
to the identification or formulation of its equivalent words in the target language, i.e.
Arabic. For this, the identification of the English words for their translation into Arabic
is done on the basis of consensus or by considering the views of the experts in this
field.
The English and Arabic words that can prove to be helpful on the basis of the criteria
mentioned will be identified by consulting some professional English-Arabic translators.
The secondary data on the English and Arabic lexicography will be collected to evaluate
the works and findings by the other researchers with the primary data.
Summary of Methods Used in the Study:
A conceptual model will be developed, that will represent the words in the form of
relationships that exist between the words in terms of their grammatical structure, history,
culture, etc. with the intent that it will provide a solution for the problems that exist in
the translation process. A group discussion will be conducted to identify the possible
words that can be included in the dictionary and an evaluation will be done of the
difficulties that are faced in carrying out this process.106
Chapter Four: Results of the Study
Introduction:
The results that have been interpreted after conducting the study have been divided into
three categories. The first category includes the substantiation of the conceptual model
which has been a helpful tool in writing the dictionary.
The second category comprises of the word generation, wherein ten keywords have been
used for testing whether they can provide meaning to an associated string of words.
Thirdly, some of the Arabic words have been selected to test their ability to be
translated into another language.
The conceptual tool has proved to be an effective tool in the identification of the related
words and may be helpful in the addition of a new feature while writing a dictionary,
i.e. the cross referencing, which makes the study of language easier.
As mentioned earlier, the premise of this study was to come up with a certain approach
or a tool that will help in creating the dictionaries that will be able to meet certain set
standards and the lexicography would behave in a more responsible manner.
The study has revealed that one such model known as the translational model can fulfil
the aim of the research. Some Arabic words were selected and an analysis was done on
their translation into another language which helped in coming up with an approach by
studying the relative meanings of the words with reference to other words and concepts
that were associated with it.
In order to study the efficiency and effectiveness of the Arabic dictionaries to translate
the Arabic words into English language, these Arabic dictionaries were compared with
the structure, framework and content of the English dictionaries.107
During this process, certain limitations and shortcomings of the Arabic dictionaries were
discovered which included the inability of these dictionaries to provide the learning of
the target language to the users so that they can make use of it practically. Thus,
various theories and approaches that are currently being applied for creating the
dictionaries were reviewed to come up with an improved concept or approach.
4.1 Validating the Conceptual Model used in the Thesis:
The conceptual model that was used in the thesis was evaluated by a group of Arabic
scholars by carrying out a group discussion that was focussed upon the concepts and
assumptions that were applied for maintaining the relationship between the language and
the words in that language. The description of the model was given to the scholars
mentioning that the circular base stands for the universe of words that exists in any
language.
It was pointed out that a certain criteria should be decided based on which the words
should be included in the dictionary. Also, the extent to which new words can be added
into the dictionary should be pre-decided. One of the issues that were discussed was that
whether any given language can be compared with another language on the basis of
certain set standards.
Finally, they came to a conclusion that it was very important to decide upon certain
standards based on which the languages could be compared, otherwise the process of
translation would become a difficult task.
4.1.1 Avoiding Translation Loss:
Taking an example of the Al-Mawrid, it has been mentioned that the translation of the
words in the source language, i.e. English into the target language, i.e. Arabic would not
be possible if the signified-signifier relationship that was given by Saussure is not
maintained with respect to the context. It was pointed out that the signifier will have to
be considered as a real concept in the culture of the target language as well as the
common language spoken by people belonging to different cultures.108
Taking an example of the word “acanthopterygians”, whose meaning is given in the
dictionaries as “something that belongs to Acanthopterygii, which is a group of spinyfinned fishes”, the root word here is Acanthopterygii, which is based on the classification
system of the species in Science. The Science mentioned here refers to the subject of
study that was provided by the early Greek philosophers such as Aristotle. Another word
that is commonly used in place of Acanthopterygii is bass-like or perch-like.
In carrying out the translation process, it is important to identify the words that are not
just related by meaning but on the basis of the categories into which the words are
divided. It can be said that two logic systems are applied to represent the word here,
i.e. scientific and linguistic. The group could not agree upon the relationship between
different words and concepts and hence the translation process in the Al-Mawrid
dictionary was based on the word-for-a-word approach.
The feasibility of the concept of identifying the string of related words to understand the
meaning of a given word was discussed. The word “bass” can be associated with many
other words such as cooking pans, fishing, stream, etc. however, it is difficult to identify
the correct way of associating words. Different words can be associated by taking into
view a particular field as a whole or a part of it individually.
The group discussion led to an understanding of the language in terms of its meaning
and translation. It was pointed out that the meanings of the words are not always
directly provided, but have to be derived on the basis of the personal experience of the
user and the association of that word with other words or concepts.
With reference to the conceptual model, this word association has to be carried out in
both the source and target language during the translation process. The scholars came to
an agreement that such a model could be helpful in creating the bilingual dictionaries in
an effective manner.
It was also pointed out that with the help of the current technologies, the crossreferencing of the words could be easily carried out along with the knowledge of the
association of the words to help in the creation of improved dictionaries.109
4.1.2 Across Two Languages: Trends in Bilingual (Arabic-English) Dictionaries:
A survey was conducted which collected the views of the different Arabic scholars on
the efficiency and competency level of the English-Arabic dictionaries. A qualitative
analysis of these responses was carried out. Certain issues were also raised by the
respondents.
Those issues were resolved and the questions that were raised were answered on the
basis of the knowledge that was acquired while carrying out the review of the related
literature. The assessment of the responses was carried out by making use of the
nominal scale.
4.1.3 Direction of Arabic lexicography vis-à-vis English or American:
All the respondents were in a disagreement as a whole on the statement that the Arabic
lexicography is structured in a way which is similar to the Western lexicography or is
heading in such a direction. However, many respondents agreed upon the fact that AlMawrid is based on the logic of the Western lexicography and has made use of the
structure and approach used in the Western lexicography to create the bilingual
dictionary.
It was also pointed out that Al-Mawrid is not based on any particular logic and the
selection of words is also done in a random manner. The evaluation of Al-Mawrid as a
dictionary that uses the word-to-word translation approach was done on the basis of the
various thoughts mentioned. The internal logic that has been applied while creating the
bilingual dictionaries is one of the problems of these dictionaries.
The evaluation of the current approach that is being applied to the Arabic lexicography
is necessary in order make it prosper. In order to create a more functional bilingual
dictionary, that would comprise of the thoughts of the changing world and the changes
in the cultures of the Arabic people, the present theories and technologies need to be
considered.110
4.1.4 A Search for a Standard:
There was a difference of opinion amongst the members of the group discussion as to
whether or not there was any set standard for the translation of English words into
Arabic language. It was pointed out that in a given language, there are certain attributes
of a language which ought to be followed in a specific manner, for example grammar,
sequencing of words and sensibility. In this way, all the languages have certain attributes
which need to be followed which make it difficult for the translation of languages.
During the translation process, not only the words, but also the sense in which the
sentence was created in a language should be translated into the other language. Some
of the concepts that are difficult to translate include matters of faith and belief as the
words and sense in which a sentence is created in one language might be difficult to
understand for the people belonging to the other cultures and traditions. For example, the
word “Allah” may have to be translated into the word “God” to be understood in the
same sense in West.
As discussed earlier, Geeraerts gave three non-denotational types of meanings, namely
emotive, grammatical and pragmatic. In order to make the bilingual dictionaries more
functional, the lexicographer must take into consideration these three types of meanings.
In this study, we will consider mainly the grammatical meaning as the emotive and
pragmatic meaning may lead to a difference of opinion amongst the people and lead to
a controversy.
The concept of transformation in the lexical translations in this study is based upon the
reasons and arguments rather than intuition, and the non-denotative meaning plays an
important role in this as this is not just a word-to-word translation. One of the
weaknesses of Al-Mawrid that were pointed out was that it was based on the word-toword translation.111
4.1.5 Difficulties in Translation:
When the question was raised among the respondents that whether the translation of the
English words into the Arabic language or vice-versa was difficult or not, most of them
agreed upon the statement that the translation was difficult. One of the reasons that were
pointed out for this difficulty was the difference in the cultures and values of the people
who use the source and target languages.
The English speaking people have a different culture and history as compared to the
Arabic speaking people. Although the cultural diversity of the people belonging to
different languages brought forth is highly appreciated, but it acts as a big problem for
the lexical translators.
All the problems that have been discussed with relevance to the translation process must
be handled in such a manner that the meaning conveyed by the words in one language
remains the same after the translation.
4.2 Difficulties Identified in the Translation Process:
In case of any language pair, there are many differences that exist between the
semantics, syntax and phonology of these languages which have to be taken into
consideration by the lexicographers during the translation process. Some of the examples
of such differences are described below:
1. Difference in grammatical categories:
The meaning of a term in Arabic in its verb form will be different from the verb form
of that word in English language. The number system in the Arabic language is of three
terms, i.e. singular-dual-plural, whereas in case of the English language, the number
system is of two terms, i.e. singular-plural (Al-Kasimi, 1977, p. 63).
It becomes difficult for the lexicographer to translate the dual Arabic noun forms into
English in an Arabic-English dictionary. For example, if the Arabic word “Kitaban” has
to be translated into its English form “two books”, then the situation would become112
more complex for the lexicographer as the word can be either in its subjective form
“kitaban” or in its objective form “kitabayn”.
However, the bilingual dictionaries try to provide some information of these irregularities
in the two languages to the learners of the target language, and also provide a list of
such irregularities that occur in the noun form of the words in the Arabic language.
2. No equivalent lexical unit:
There are possibilities that during the translation of words from one language to another,
the lexicographer might not be able to identify an equivalent for the given lexical unit
in a particular language. In such a case, the meaning of the given lexical unit in one
language is expressed with the help of the syntactic device in the other language.
For example, the word “hal” in the Arabic language can be translated into the English
language, wherein it refers to “is”. Its lexical equivalent in the Persian language is
“aya”. However, it does not have an equivalent in the English language and its meaning
is determined in the English language by making use of the S-V inversion.
3. Translation of idioms and proverbs:
The translation of the idioms and proverbs from one language to another is a difficult
task for the lexicographer and can be done only by providing a detailed explanation of
the given idiom or proverb. In such a case, the lexicographer provides an explanation of
the given idiom or proverb in the target language rather than translating it from one
language to the other.
4. Phonological differences:
When it comes to the different sound systems that exist in the various languages, it has
been found that there are various sounds in the Arabic language that do not have their
equivalents in the English language, and same is the case the other way round. This
creates a difficulty for the lexicographer in the translation of one language into another.113
5. Semantic range and technical terminology:
There are instances when the lexical items that are related to each other in two different
languages are not covering the same semantic range. For example, the word “isha” in
the Arabic language means both “finger” as well as “toe” (Al-Kasimi, 1977, p. 64). The
same is the case with the Russian word “noga” which stands for both “foot” as well as
“leg”.
Another difficulty that is faced by the lexicographers during the translation process is in
finding the equivalents for the technical terms in a given language. However, this
problem is not so prevalent in cases where both the cultures are undergoing new
inventions, but can be found mostly in those cultures which are less developed.
The procedure that can be used for translating the given technical terms from one
language to another is given as (Bull, 1964, p. 530):
 Word borrowing
 Coinage
 Providing new meaning to the words that already exist
 Providing an extended meaning to the words that exist
 Creating new words from the elements that exist in a particular language
4.3 Some Other Difficulties In Creating Bilingual Dictionaries:
The way in which the words are organised in a dictionary is another problem of the
bilingual dictionaries. In most of the cases, the synonyms are used in place of the
translated words during the translation of the entry word from one language to the other.
This creates a problem for the users to understand the meanings of the words.
For example, in case of an Arabic-English dictionary, it becomes difficult for the Arab
user to understand the meaning of the word in English as a number of synonyms of a
given Arabic word are provided in English. Although many synonyms are provided for
the given Arabic word, but it creates confusion for the Arab users of the dictionary to
identify the situation in which they should be using a particular word out of the given
synonyms.114
However, this can prove to be very helpful in case of an English-Arabic dictionary as
the Arab users are well versed with their native language and can use the various
synonyms provided for appropriate sentences. The discrimination of the sense in which a
word should be used has been one of the biggest problems of the methodology used for
bilingual lexicography (Iannucci, 1962, p. 201).
The various types of sense discriminations have been described below:
1. Punctuation:
The various punctuation marks such as the commas and semicolons are used to
discriminate the words or meanings of the words. Comma is used for separating the
synonyms whereas semicolons are used for separating words that provide different
meanings for a given entry word.
This is known as the negative discrimination. However, if a large number of synonyms
are separated from each other by using commas along with the use of the semicolons to
separate different meanings of a given word, then this type of discrimination is not of
much help.
2. Definition:
In some of the old bilingual dictionaries, the meanings of the words are explained by
using long definitions as in case of the monolingual dictionaries. However, this only
adds up to the space that is being used for providing meanings and does not provide
much help in understanding the meaning of the word.
3. Synonyms:
The use of the synonyms for providing the meanings of the words in a given language
is a very good method in case of a bilingual dictionary. But it also involves a lot of
space consumption in the dictionary. Most of the bilingual dictionaries avoid using many
synonyms for providing meanings to the words.115
4. Illustrative examples:
Some bilingual dictionaries make use of the illustrative examples and phrases for
providing the meanings to the words given in one language to their target language. This
helps the user of the dictionary to understand the way and the context in which a word
can be used and helps them in making sentences of their own involving those words.
5. Parts of speech:
A given word can be defined in the various forms of speech such as an adverb, noun,
verb, preposition, adjective etc. The discrimination of the words is also based upon the
different parts of a speech in which a given word can be used. Nowadays, the bilingual
dictionaries discriminate the words on the basis of the parts of the speech of a given
entry word.
6. Usage labels:
Nowadays, the words can even de discriminated on the basis of the labelling by usage
like colloq., fig., etc. Also the field of knowledge to which a particular word belongs
also acts as a discriminator for the words. For e.g. a word belonging to architecture or
medicine as their field of knowledge will become a discriminator for it.
7. Context words or phrases:
Nowadays the bilingual dictionaries give s description of the context in which the words
can be used. This acts as a discriminator for the words. However, this type of
discrimination consumes a lot of space in the dictionary. The purpose for which the
bilingual dictionary has been created, acts as the determinant for the presence or absence
of the sense discrimination.
4.4 Al-Mawrid (English-Arabic) Dictionary:
The Al-Mawrid dictionary is one of the most popular dictionaries in the Arab world
which provides the Arabic equivalents for the English words. The compiler of the
dictionary has made use of various sources such as the monolingual dictionaries,
bilingual dictionaries, learner’s dictionaries, etc.116
The Al-Mawrid dictionary was created with the aim of providing a bilingual dictionary
to the users of the Arab world which will be able to provide the meanings of the
English words in the Arabic language and be able to meet the expectations of its users.
Not many changes have taken place in the structure of the dictionary ever since it was
created, however new words keep on adding to it.
The dictionary Al-Mawrid was created on the basis of the traditional concept of
providing only meanings to the words and no method of selection or prioritization was
applied while including the words into the dictionary. Hence it is difficult in terms of
usage and does not serve the purpose to the user who wants to learn another language.
It provides only the information of the culture of the source language.
4.4.1 Users and Uses:
The dictionary was not created for any particular group of people and aimed at helping
the people of the Arab world in general; however it was created with the hopes of
attracting the researchers, teachers and general public which was literate. It has been
observed that most of the users of this dictionary are the people belonging to the Arab
world who are trying to learn the English language.
The introduction of the dictionary suggests that the dictionary was created mainly to help
the Arabic people to learn the English language. The writing of the introduction in the
Arabic language supports this view. However, it could also be helpful to the people
belonging to the other countries, who have some knowledge about the Arabic language.
Many translators as well as Arab students, mainly belonging to the technical background
have been of great help in creating this dictionary. The main function of this dictionary
can be said to be that of comprehension. One of the reasons for the immense popularity
of this dictionary can be that it has been able to meet the requirements of those users
who wanted to learn another language.
4.4.2 Guidance in the Introduction:
The introduction of the dictionary suggests that the author of the dictionary is mainly
concerned with providing the description of the organisation of the words in the117
dictionary. It does not provide much information about the use of the dictionary or the
problems that may arise during its usage. The description of the usage of the dictionary
is restricted only to the explanation of the use of certain symbols.
A table has been provided in the introduction that provides the abbreviations for the
words in both English and Arabic language. There are certain cases in which there has
been an overlap in the abbreviations in the Arabic and English language. Although the
English abbreviations are given for the fields of knowledge as well as the grammatical
categories, but the Arabic abbreviations are only for the fields of knowledge (Table 3).
The abbreviations that have been provided in the Al-Mawrid dictionary in the Arabic
language are somewhat difficult and the user has to refer them in the introduction again
and again as it cannot be easily memorised.
Table 3: Pronunciation key in Al-Mawrid.
4.4.3 Translation Equivalents:
The author of the dictionary believes that the dictionary has been created in such a
manner that it provides the Arabic equivalents of the words given in the English
language. The various meanings of the English words have been studied with the help of
monolingual dictionaries so that a precise and accurate translation of the English words
into their Arabic equivalents can be provided to the users.118
There were certain technical terms in the English language that did not have their
counterparts in the Arabic language and were introduced in the Al-Mawrid dictionary. In
certain cases, the Arabic equivalents of the technical terms were given which were
followed by an abbreviation; however there were no details mentioned about that
abbreviation.
For example, for the term “austenite”, an Arabic term was provided which was followed
by an abbreviation which referred to the meaning “minerals”. But there is no explanation
given for this term in the dictionary and the user might have to look up for the
meaning of this term in another dictionary.
In some of the cases, many synonyms are provided for a given word, which might not
be required and only adds up to the consumption of space in the dictionary. The
meanings of certain words that are local to the Arabic people have been provided in the
dictionary by giving their definitions which is not at all required.
The term “jihad” is an example of such a case wherein it is well known to the Arabic
people and does not require a detailed definition to be provided to explain its meaning.
There are certain words that are derived from the Arabic language and have a different
meaning in their derived form. Hence, there is a necessity for the explanation of these
derived terms by giving their definitions.
For example, the term “harem” is used by the Arab people to mean “women”, however
when this term is used in the English context, it means something different. The
colloquial forms of the words are also used in certain cases to provide the translation
equivalents to those users who do not have much knowledge about the classical Arabic
terms.
4.4.4 Sense Discrimination:
As the main purpose of the dictionary is to comprehend the text that is written in the
English language by providing their translation equivalents in Arabic, the sense
discrimination is also used in certain cases. This may be provided in the Arabic
language or the examples or collocations might be provided in the English language.119
The usage labels are also one of the forms of the sense discrimination in the dictionary.
However, it is not really required in the dictionary as the translation of the term in the
target language would give the user an idea about the equivalent of the English word in
the Arabic language in its appropriate form.
4.4.5 Illustrative Examples:
Since the Al-Mawrid dictionary is primarily a comprehension dictionary, its main purpose
is to help the user in using the words in various senses by providing their illustrative
examples. However, the illustrative examples are not provided for all the words and the
degree to which they are helpful to the user also varies.
The illustrative examples that are provided in this dictionary do not aid much help to
the writers. In order to make these examples helpful to the writers, all the words must
be having their illustrative examples in the context in which those words are most
commonly used.
4.4.6 Collocations and Idioms:
The use of the collocations and idioms in the bilingual dictionaries is an important
decision for a lexicographer. The use of these colloquial and idioms might be required
by the users in case they are unable to identify the appropriate translation of the words
from one language into another with the help of the given contextual clues.
The collocations that are given in the dictionary help the user by enlightening the
meanings of the words as well as give examples of the usage of those words in
different contexts. The presentation of these collocations in the dictionary is not
distinguishable as it is also placed within the parentheses as are the sentence examples.
It must be noticed that the true idioms are represented at the bottom of the entry and
are not enclosed within the parentheses, which distinguishes them from the collocations
and illustrative examples. A list of proverbs and idioms has been provided within the
dictionary in the English language along with their Arabic equivalents. But no reference
has been provided for these proverbs and idioms within the dictionary which would
make the presence of them in the dictionary useful for the users.120
4.4.7 Grammatical Information:
The information about the grammatical use of a given word is useful mostly for those
who wish to learn to write in the foreign language. The purpose for which the
dictionary has been created, acts as a deciding factor for the use of such kind of
information provided by the dictionary. In case of the Al-Mawrid dictionary, since it is
mainly used to get information for the reading and translation purpose, there is not much
requirement of the grammatical information.
In the Al-Mawrid dictionary, the words are represented in their various forms, such as
the noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc. The further classification of these forms of the
words might not be necessary in this case as the users can identify the meanings from
the context in which they are used.
The different forms of a given word are represented by making use of the abbreviations
which are placed beside the word in parentheses. However, if the user wants to
understand the meaning of a given term in a certain context, then this type of
grammatical information might be confusing for the user.
Also, the user has to go through all the different forms of a given word until he
reaches the desired grammatical form of the word. The different grammatical forms of a
word are mostly separated with the help of symbols. This trend has now been replaced
by numbering the words which represent the sub senses for a given word.
4.4.8 Pronunciation:
The Al-Mawrid dictionary provides a pronunciation key enlisting some words which help
the user in understanding the way in which the words given in the English language are
pronounced. The pronunciation key can be found at the bottom of each page. The need
of such information within a dictionary can be determined by finding out the importance
of it to the users of the dictionary.121
4.5 Generation of Related Vocabulary for English Words Not Found in
Al-Mawrid:
In this section, the process of translation from one language to another will be defined
along with the details of the problems that are faced during this process. A list of
words has been provided which were contained in the Merriam-Webster dictionary but
have not been included in the Al-Mawrid (Table 4).
Word Definition
Arabic word
(Transliteral)
Arabic word
(Script) Translation
1. annihilator n. (1) a person or
thing that annihilates.
(2) (Mathematics) the
set of all linear
functionals that map to
zero all elements of a
given subset of a
vector space Mub-ti-lon Mubtil
2. annualize v. to calculate for or
as for an entire year. Sa-na-wi-yan ﺳﻨﻮﯾﺎ Sanawiya
3. annual
report
a document reporting to
stockholders on
management and
operations and
containing fiscal
information, published
yearly by a publicly
held corporation as
required by federal law.
Taq-ri-ru as-sana-wi اﻟﺴﻨﻮي اﻟﺘﻘﺮﯾﺮ
Taqrirus
sanawi122
4. bolotie a necktie of thin cord
fastened in front with
an ornamental clasp or
other device Bo-lo-ti-yon ﺑﻮﻟﻮﺗﻲ Bolotiy
5. bolson n.a desert valley, the
level of which has
been raised by
aggradation, usually
draining into a playa. Bol-so-non ﺑﻮﻟﺴﻮن Bolson
6. bolt hole n.(1) a hole in the
ground, protected
opening in bushes, etc.,
into which an animal
can flee when pursued
or frightened. (2) a
place or avenue of
escape or refuge.
Haf-ra-tu assah’-m
Hafratus
sahm
7. bolting
cloth
a sturdy fabric, usually
of fine silk or nylon
mesh, used chiefly in
serigraphy, embroidery,
and as a foundation
fabric for wigs.
In-di-faa-on
qu-maa-shon ﻗﻤﺎش اﻧﺪﻓﺎع
Indifa
qumash
8. cappelletti n. (used with a
singular v.) small
pieces of pasta filled
with meat or cheese.
9. caprylic adj. of or pertaining to Kab-ri-li-kon ﻛﺎﺑﺮﯾﻠﯿﺘﺶ Kabrilik123
an animal odor.
10. carambola n. (1) a tree, Averrhoa
carambola, native to
southeastern Asia,
bearing deeply ridged,
yellow-brown, edible
fruit. (2) also called
star fruit, the fruit
itself. Ka-ram-bo-laa ﻛﺎراﻣﺒﻮﻻ Karambolaa
11. decapitalize to deprive of capital;
discourage capital
formation; withdraw
capital from
De-ka-bi-ta-lizi-yon دﯾﻜﺎﺑﯿﺘﺎﻟﯿﺰي
Dekabitalizi
y
12. decasualize to reduce or eliminate
the employment of
(casual labor).
Da-kas-wa-lizi-yon دﯾﻜﺎﺳﻮاﻟﯿﺰي
Dakaswalizi
y
13. deceivable adj. (1) capable of
being deceived;
gullible. (2) (Archaic)
misleading; deceptive
De-si-fa-bo-liyon دﯾﺴﯿﻔﺎﺑﻠﻲ Desifaboliy
14. decidable adj. (1) capable of
being decided. (2)
(Logic) (of an axiom,
proposition, etc.) having
the property that its
consistency or
inconsistency with the
axioms of a given
Mu-qar-ri-ron ﻣﻘﺮر Muqarrir124
logical system is
determinable.
15. Eagle
scout
a boy scout who has
achieved the highest
rank in U.S. scouting
Al-ki-shaa-ful
اﻟﻨﺴﺮ اﻟﻜﺸﻔﯿﮫ nas-ri
Alkishaful
nasr
16. eared seal any seal of the family
Otariidae, comprising
the sea lions and fur
seals, having external
ears and flexible hind
flippers that are used
when moving about on
land: the front flippers
are used for swimming
Du-u-dhu-nay
nul-al-kha-tam أذﻧﻲ ذو اﻟﺨﺘﻢ
Du’udhunay
nul-khatam
17. easy chair an upholstered arm
chair for lounging Sha-ri sah-lon اﻟﺮﺋﺎﺳﺔ ﺳﮭﻞ Shari sahl
18. easy street a state of wealth,
financial independence,
or ease
Sah-lol-ri-a-sito اﻟﺸﺎرع ﺳﮭﻞ
Sahlul
ri’asah
19. ebracteate adj. (Botany) having no
bracts
20. Ebla n. an ancient city
whose remains are
located near Aleppo in
present-day Syria, the
site of discovery in
1974-75 of cuneiform
tablets (Ebla tablets)
Hi-dha-ra-ton Hidhara125
documenting a thriving
culture of the third
millenium B.C.
21. eccrine adj. (Physiology) (1) of
or pertaining to certain
sweat glands,
distributed over the
entire body, that secrete
a type of sweat
important for regulating
body heat (distinguished
from apocrine). (2) of
or pertaining to
secretions of these
glands, eccrine sweat.
(3) exocrine Yak-re-non ﯾﻜﺮﯾﻦ Yakren
22. ecdemic adj. (Pathology) noting
or pertaining to a
disease that is observed
far from the area in
which it originates Ji-di-me-kon ﺟﺪﻣﯿﻚ Jidimek
23. echelette n. (Spectography) a
diffraction grating
designed to reflect
infrared radiation Yi-ki-le-ton ﯾﻜﯿﻠﯿﺖ Yikilet
24. echo
chamber
n. a room or studio
with resonant walls for
broadcasting, or
recording echoes or
Sa-daa al-qa-ah ﻏﺮﻓﺔ ﺻﺪى
Sadiyul
qaah126
hollow sound effects.
25. eclosion n. (Entomology) (1) the
emergence of an adult
insect from its pupal
case. (2) the hatching
of a larva from its
egg.
Yik-lu-se-yunon ﯾﻜﻠﻮﺳﯿﻮن Yikluseyun
26. ecocide n. the destruction of
large areas of the
natural environment by
such activity as nuclear
warfare,
overexploitation of
resources, or dumping
of harmful chemicals
Al-i-ba-da-to
Al-bay-i-ya-to اﻟﺒﻲءﯾﮫ اﻻﺑﺎده
Al-ibadatul
Bay-iyyah
27. econometri
cs
n. (used with a
singular v.)
(Economics) the
application of statistical
and mathematical
techniques in solving
problems as well as in
testing and
demonstrating theories.
Al-i-ba-da-to
Al-bay-i-ya-to اﻟﻘﯿﺎﺳﻲ اﻻﻗﺘﺼﺎد
Al-ibadatul
Bay-iyyah
28. ecosystem n. (Ecology) a system
formed by the
interaction of a
community of
An-ni-dham albay-iy اﻟﺒﯿﺌﻲ اﻟﻨﻈﺎم
Annidhamul
bay-iy127
organisms with their
environment
29. hangar n. (1) a shed or
shelter. (2) any
relatively wide structure
used for housing
airplanes or airships. Ha-dhi-ra-ton اﻟﺤﻈﯿﺮه Hadhirah
30. hanger n. (1) a shouldershaped frame with a
hook at the top,
usually of wire, wood,
or plastic, for draping
and hanging a garment
when not in use. (2) a
part of something by
which it is hung, as a
loop on a garment. (3)
a contrivance on which
things are hung, as a
hook. (4) (Auto.) a
double-hinged device
linking the chassis with
the leaf springs on
vehicles having solid
axles. (5) a light saber
of the 17th and 18th
centuries, often worn
by sailors. Ash-sha-niq ﻣﻌﻠﻖ Ash-shaniq128
31. hardanger n. an embroidery
openwork having
elaborate symmetrical
designs created by
blocks of satin stitches
within which threads of
the emroidery fabric
are removed. Har-dan-ghir ھﺎرداﻧﻐﺮ Hardanghir
32. hard-bound adj. (of a book) bound
with a stiff cover,
usually of cloth or
leather, casebound.
Al-il-ti-za-mu
al-jaa-du ﻣﺤﺪد اﻻﺷﻐﺎل
Aliltizamul
jad
33. hard copy (1) copy, as computer
output printed on
paper, that can be read
without using a special
device. (2) copy that is
finished and ready for
the printer. Al-mat-bu’o ﻣﻄﺒﻮﻋﺔ Almatbo’
34. judicator n. a person who acts
as judge or sits in
judgment. Mu-ha-ki-mon Muhakim
35. jugal adj. (1) of or
pertaining to the cheek
or the cheekbone. (2)
(Entomology) pertaining
to, involving, or
situated near the129
jugum.
36. jugulate (1) to check or
suppress (disease) by
extreme measures. (2)
to cut the throat of;
kill. Ju-ghu-la-ti-yon ﺟﻮﻏﻮﻻﺗﻲ Jughulatiy
37. knee bend a physical exercise in
which a person starts
from an erect position,
moves to a squatting
position, and returns to
the original position
without using the hands
to support the body.
Ta-niy-ya-ton
ar-ra-ka-ba-to اﻟﺮﻛﺒﮫ أﻧﺤﻦ
Taniyyatur
rakabah
38. knobby adj. (1) full of or
covered with knobs. (2)
shaped like a knob. Uq-di-yon ﻋﻘﺪي Uqdiy
39. oast n. a kiln for drying
hops or malt Wa-si-ton واﺳﺖ Wasit
40. oxacillin n. (Pharmacy) a
semisynthetic penicillin,
used in the treatment
of serious
staphylococcal
infections.
Wak-sa-si-linon وﻛﺴﺎﺳﯿﻠﯿﻦ Waksasilin
Table 4: Sample of English words not found in Al-Mawrid130
One of the assumptions that were made at this point after looking at the responses from
the respondents was that each language has a certain way of connecting all the words in
order to present the sentence to give away a certain meaning and sense. In order to
translate one language into another, and for creating a functional bilingual dictionary,
these words had to be separated from each other.
With the development of the computers and the ease with which people can have access
to the information, in order to create a dictionary on the basis of the new approaches, a
lot of attention needs to be paid on understanding the logic that is held behind the
source language. In order to translate a sentence from one language to the other, the
translator must understand the context in which the words are being used rather than
simply translating word-to-word.
This is done by applying the word association pyramid method, wherein the primary
words are defined with the help of the secondary words, and the secondary words are in
turn explained with the help of the tertiary words. In this way, the pyramid of words
would be generated which will be helpful in understanding the logic that is applied
behind the representation of a given language, the English language in this case.
Ten English words and phrases, namely “decapitalized”, “annual report”, “bolt hole”,
“bolson”, “eccrine”, “echelette”, “ecocide”, “annihilator”, “decidable” and “easy street”
were evaluated to understand the logic system of the English language and come up
with a suitable strategy for writing a bilingual dictionary.
The concept of word association will be helpful to improve the functionality of the
bilingual dictionary in place of the word-to-word translation concept that was used
earlier.
The concept of association of words needs to be understood in order to develop a
correct and logical structure for the language. The language is based upon the collection
of words that are related to each other in a way that adds a certain sense to the
language.131
If this can be done successfully, then the bilingual dictionary will transform from merely
the tool for word-to-word translation to a guide for learning the second language. Its
advantages would be far more than those provided by the traditional dictionaries.
Keeping in view the developments that are taking place in the information technology
and the computers, the researcher has made use of the sites that were concerned with
providing the dictionary meanings to the words belonging to a particular language for
creating the word association pyramid of meaning. The new technology, computers and
search engines have proved to be a great help in generating these pyramids which would
otherwise have been a very difficult task.
One of the reasons behind the choice of online dictionaries apart from the traditional
dictionaries for generating the word association pyramid is that they provide the
researcher with an opportunity to create an online bilingual dictionary which can be
more functional and helpful for the users than the online dictionaries that were created
earlier.
The words that have been chosen are from the English dictionary, which have not been
included in the Al-Mawrid. A study of these words will help in understanding the
problems that are faced in updating an existing dictionary and will also provide an
insight to the challenges that might have to be faced while creating a new dictionary.
This will be helpful in predicting the future of lexicography.
In this study, the element of communication that is hidden within the association of
words has been applied. It is based on the assumption that the meaning of the primary
word is represented in terms of the secondary and tertiary words which could present a
meaning that is shared amongst a group of people.
The meaning however could not have been deduced had the words been taken on a
singular basis. The words have been evaluated with a view that they can lead to an
approach for writing the dictionary and communication can act as a tool which can be
helpful in lexicography.132
Communication can be defined as a process of exchange of information and ideas. It is
carried out in three steps: encoding, transmitting and decoding. The process of
communication is considered to be effective only if the message that is sent by the
sender is understood in the same sense and the same meaning by the receiver as it is
implied by the sender. The communication process must be carefully observed in order
to prevent any failures in the process (Harper, 2002, p. C-41).
There are many ways of communicating the messages. However, speech and language
are considered to be the most common ways of communicating as they can be easily
transmitted and understood by the sender and receiver respectively. These modes of
communication make use of the words to transmit their messages.
Words are used for the speech as well as writing. They are used to express the meaning
of other words or for even creating new words which further need to be explained by
using other words. In this way, the words are engaged in a never ending process of
association. There are cases when the words belonging to a particular language are used
very often by the people but are not included in the dictionary. The association of
words is one way of providing meaning to those words.
The example of ten words that have been used in this study has made use of the
concept of association of words in such a way that has not only helped in bringing out
the meaning of those words but has also added to the richness of the language to which
those words belong.
Summary of Cases for Word Expansion of Meaning:
The examples of words that have been taken in this study have been used to represent
their meanings with the help of the other words which supports the concept of the
association of words. It states that the meaning of words cannot be understood without
understanding the context in which those words are used.133
4.5.1 Case 1: The Word “Decapitalized”:
The word “decapitalized” represents two meanings: one meaning can be termed as
financial in nature while the other refers to the case of the letters in the written
language. The meaning of these words has been explained under the light of the
association of these words with other words.
Most of the dictionaries do not provide the meaning of this word. However, it is not
that difficult to derive its meaning. The most common way of determining the meaning
of the word is by separating the root word from its prefix or suffix, deriving the
meaning of the root word and then combining that meaning with the prefix or suffix to
get the actual meaning of the word.
The term “decapitalized” has been defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “deprive
of capital; discourage capital formation; withdraw capital from” (Merriam-Webster, 2005,
p. 102). The word “decapitalize” is made up of the root word “capitalize” and the prefix
“de-” has been added to it. The root word and the prefix have completely different
meanings, but when both of them are bought together to bring out the meaning of the
combined word, it gives rise to a completely new meaning.
If the meaning of the word “de-” is looked for in terms of Latin or Old French, then it
means “from, away, apart”. But in terms of the English language, its meaning is given
as “reversal, removal or reduction”. Now if we look at the word “capitalize”, it
represents different meanings with reference to the different contexts in which it is being
used. In terms of finance, the term “decapitalize” refers to “obtain the present value of
the stream of cash flows by the process of discounting”. In terms of accounting, it
means “to reflect the costs of the balance sheet”.
Another meaning of the word in terms of language is “to write in capital letters”.
Hence, when we combine the two words to become “decapitalize”, it could represent
various meanings depending upon the context in which it is being used. Some of its134
probable meanings can be “to prevent the stream of cash flows” or “to prevent the
reflection of costs of the balance sheet” or even “to write in small letters”.
Expanding the Word Further:
If the word has to be expanded further, it can be associated with other words to provide
new meanings. Form the definition of the term “decapitalize” as “to prevent the stream
of cash flows”, two groups of words can be identified: “stream” and “cash flows”.
The meaning of the word “stream” differs on the basis of the context in which it is
being used. If the context in which “stream” is being used is in terms of pouring, then
it implies “to move in large amounts”. If it is being used with reference to current, then
it would mean “a steady flow”.
In the same way the term “cash flows” also has different meanings depending upon the
context in which it is being used. If we are referring to the word in terms of finance,
then it would mean “the amounts of cash that is received and paid by a business during
a specific period of time”.
If the two terms are combined together to for the term “stream of cash flows”, then it
would mean “the huge amount of cash that is received and paid by the business in a
certain time period”. Therefore the term “decapitalize” would refer to “a reduction in the
huge amount of cash that is received and paid by the business” (Merriam-Webster, 2005,
p. 102).
The second definition that is given to the term “decapitalize” is “to prevent the
reflection of costs of the balance sheet”. Form this definition, the group of words
“reflection”, “cost” and “balance sheet” can be identified. The meaning of the term
“reflection” depends upon the context in which it is being used. In terms of Physics, it
refers to “reverberating the waves in case of mirrors” or “a corresponding change in the
voltage of an electric signal caused due to the impedance change”.135
If we refer to the word in terms of Mathematics, it means “a change in the space” and
in terms of Computer Science, it means “a feature of programming language for
metaprogramming”. The term “cost” means “negative implications of any change in terms
of finance or in general”. The term “balance sheet” is defined as “a financial report that
represents the financial position of a company in terms of its assets, liabilities and equity
on a particular date”.
When all the terms are combined together, the sentence “reflection of costs of balance
sheet” would mean “to refer to the negative implications of the financial report”.
Another meaning that can be implied from the term “decapitalize” on the basis of the
meanings of the terms given earlier can be “to prevent the observation of the negative
implications of a financial report”.
Another definition that was given for the term “decapitalize” was “to write in small
letters”. This definition can be used to arrive at new definitions of the term. The groups
of words that can be used for doing this are “write”, “small” and “letters”.
The term “write” can be defined as “the complement of read” or in terms of Insurance,
it means “to insure or underwrite”. Another meaning of write can be “to save
information in a disk by replacing the old data with the new one so that it can be
referred to at a later stage”.
The term “small” can be defined as “something limited in size or quantity or scope” or
“low in quality” or in terms of the letters it can be defined as “lowercase”. On the
other hand, the term “letters” can be defined as “the letters of the alphabet” or “the text
that is either handwritten or typed by one or more person or corporate body and is
meant for some other person or corporate body”.
When the meanings of all these terms are combined together, the term “decapitalize” can
be defined as “to save information by using the letters of the alphabet in lowercase”.
The word association process is very complex unless it is used with reference to the
context in which the word is being used.136
If we go further in defining the terms that have been used to define “decapitalize” as
“reduction of the vast amounts of cash being received and spent by a business”, a new
meaning can be can be arrived at by defining the groups of words “cash”, “received”,
“spent” and “business”.
Cash can be defined as “the mode of payment of the goods or services received in
terms of currency”. The term “received” refers to “get from some other person or
agency”, whereas “spent” refers to “given away or used”. The term “business” refers to
“a commercial or industrial enterprise along with the people who comprise it”.
Combining the definitions of all the terms, the term “decapitalize” can be defined as
“reduction in the huge sums of payment and spending done by a commercial or
industrial enterprise”.
Considering the second definition of “decapitalize” that was implied as “to prevent the
observation of negative implications of a financial report”, a new definition can be
arrived at by defining the groups of words “observation”, “negative impact” and
“financial report”. The term “observation” means “the act of making and recording a
measurement” whereas the term “negative impacts” refers to “the bad results of certain
actions”.
The term “financial report” is defined as “an accounting statement which represents the
financial position of a business in terms of its incomes, expenses, assets and liabilities”.
Combining all these definitions, the term “decapitalize” can be defined as “to prevent the
recording of bad results of the statement of financial data”.
The third definition of “decapitalize” that was arrived at was given as “to save
information using the alphabets in the lower case”. The definition can be divided into
groups of words “save”, “information” and “alphabets in lower case”.
Now the definitions for these groups of words can be given as “to record”, “message
that is received or sent and can be interpreted correctly” and “opposite of upper case of137
alphabets” respectively. In this way, the term “decapitalize” can be defined as “to record
a message using the letters of the alphabet in lower case”.
Summary:
The meanings of several words in the English language as well as the other languages
are not available in the dictionary. The reason behind this is that these words are
created by adding certain prefixes or suffices which change the meanings of the terms
from the root words out of which they have originated.
An example of the term “decapitalize” has been taken which is not contained in most of
the dictionaries. It is made up of the root word “capitalize” and the prefix “de-”. The
various meanings of these two terms can be combined to reach the various definitions of
the term “decapitalize”.
By defining the various groups of words within the definitions of the terms, the term
“decapitalize” has been defined with reference to finance, accounting and alphabets. The
definitions that have been derived in such a way indicate that the words are related to
each other. New definitions can be given for any given term by identifying the groups
of words from within the definition and providing new definitions for those words.
In terms of finance, the term “decapitalize” has been defined as “to prevent the stream
of cash flows” or “a reduction in the huge amount of cash that is received and paid by
the business” or “reduction in the huge sums of payment and spending done by a
commercial or industrial enterprise”.
On the other hand, in terms of accounting, it has been defined as “to prevent the
reflection of costs of the balance sheet” or “to prevent the observation of the negative
implications of a financial report” or “to prevent the recording of bad results of the
statement of financial data”.138
Finally, in terms of the letters, the term “decapitalize” can be defined as “to write in
small letters” or “to save information by using the letters of the alphabet in lowercase”
or “to record a message using the letters of the alphabet in lower case”.
The word “decapitalize” in this case has been associated with a various number of other
words such as: “balance sheet”, “business”, “capitalize”, “cash”, “cash flows”,
“communication”, “costs”, “financial report”, “information”, “letters”, “observation”,
“received”, “reflection”, “small”, “spent”, “streams”, “words” and “write”.139
4.5.2 Case 2: The Phrase “Annual Report”:
In the common use, the term “annual report” refers to “a document that provides
information to the stockholders about the management and the operations, and also the
fiscal information about the publicly held corporation that is published every year as
stated by the federal law”. The term “annual report” is made up of the two words
“annual” and “report” and its meaning is also derived from the meanings of these two
words.
The Word “Annual”:
The word “annual” has been derived from the Latin word “annalis” which refers to the
meaning “year”. It is also said that this term has been derived from the Middle English
word “annuel”, the term from the Old French “annualis” and the Latin word “annus”, all
of which refer to “year”. Earlier it was used to describe the yearly cycle of the plants
or the yearly allowance.
In contemporary language, the term “annual” can be defined in the various forms.
1. As an adjective:
a) Something that occurs or is done every year or is recurring (e.g. in order to
ensure the physical eligibility of the employees, an annual medical examination is
conducted).
b) Something that relates to or is determined by a year (e.g. the annual income is
one of the determinants of the poverty threshold level of the country).
c) In terms of Botany it is referred to as something that grows only once in a year
(e.g. marigold is an example of the annual plants).
2. As a noun:
a) A document that is published on a yearly basis (e.g. the annual report of the
public company has to be compulsorily disclosed every year).140
The words “year” or “yearly” are associated with the primary word “annual”. The term
“year” when defined in terms of a noun is referred to as the time that is taken by the
Earth to complete one revolution around the Sun. It comes out to be around 365 days, 5
hours, 49 minutes and 12 seconds. Talking in terms of the calendar year, it starts with
January 1 and ends at December 31. E.g. She left the neighbourhood about a year ago.
On the other hand, the term “yearly” can be used in different forms:
1. As a noun it is used to represent a document that is published every year (e.g. the
publication of the magazine is done on a yearly basis).
2. As an adjective the term “yearly” is used to represent something that occurs every
year (e.g. the yearly shows are conducted by the company).
3. As an adverb it refers to once in a year (e.g. the program is conducted yearly).
The terms “year” and “yearly” have further given rise to the words “time” and
“chronicle”. The term “time” has been derived from the English word “getimian”, which
is defined as “to happen or befall”. As a noun, it refers to something that appoints a
time. It has also been used in terms of recording the time for a race or an event.
Different meanings have been given for the term “time” on the basis of the form in
which it is being used. It can be defined as an “indefinite course of duration”. The term
“timeless” refers to something that has become eternal whereas the term “to do time”
refers to being imprisoned for a given period. Another form of the word is “timely”,
which indicates the occurrence of something at a suitable time.
The word “time” can be represented in the form of a noun as:
a. An interval or time duration that separates two points (e.g. they have been living in
that house since a long time).
b. To represent the time interval in terms of years, days, hours, etc. (e.g. it was an
auspicious time for the marriages).
c. The present with reference to the prevailing conditions or trends (e.g. a person should
know how to keep up with time).141
The term “chronicle” has been derived from the word “chronique” in Old French and
“chronic” in Latin or Greek which refers to “books of annals”. The word “chronicle” in
terms of a noun can be defined as “a detailed record or report of the events that are
held during a period in a chronological order”. E.g. the chronicles are the best way to
learn about the history of any country.
The Word “Report”:
The word “report” has been derived from the Old French word “rapport” which is
referred to as “a rumour or something that is told by one person to another”. The
adjective form of the word is known as “reporter”, which has been derived from the
Latin word “reportare”. The prefix “re-” means “back” and “portare” refers to the
meaning “to carry”. Hence, the term “reportare” means “to carry back or tell”.
In 1661, the term “report” was defined as “a formal statement of the findings of an
investigation”. Some of the derivatives of the word were given such as “report card”
which refers to “the official statement given by the teacher on the student’s work,
behaviour and performance”. The term “reportage” came into existence which means “to
describe the events”.
The word “report” can be defined in the different forms:
1. As a noun:
a) A structured account presented in detail (e.g. the news report was delivered by
the reporter).
b) A formal account of the happenings or transactions taking place within a group
(e.g. he presented the written report of the agenda of meeting to the manager).
c) Rumour or gossip (e.g. according to reports, a famous celebrity will be endorsing
the event).
2. As a verb:142
a) To make or present a formal and official account of something (e.g. the report on
the ongoing war has to be submitted by the next week).
b) To relate or tell about something (e.g. some people reported the details of how
the accident occurred to the policeman).
c) To provide a written account or summation of an event to be published or
broadcast (e.g. the news anchor will report about the ongoing event in a while).
Certain other words such as “account”, “narration” and “chronicle” are associated with
the term “report”. The term “chronicle” has already been defined. The term “account”
has been derived from the Old French word “acont”, which is made up of the two
terms “a” and “cont” wherein “a” means “to”, while “cont” refers to “counting”. The
term came into being from the Latin words “computus” and “computer”, which means
“to calculate”.
The term “narration” in its verbal form refers to the meaning “to reckon for money
given or received”. Another context in which the word “narration” can be used defines
the word as “to explain”. The term “account” can be used in different forms. The
definitions of the term in its various forms are given below:
1. As a noun:
a) A narration or written record of events (e.g. an account of the company’s
financial status was submitted by the accountant).
b) A reason given for the happening of a particular act or event (e.g. he assured the
manager that he will account for the loss that was incurred).
c) A report providing details of one’s conduct (e.g. there is no reason to be worried
on that account).
d) A customer having a relationship with the firm in terms of business or credit
(e.g. I have opened an account at the bank yesterday).
The term “narration” has been derived from the Latin word “narrare” which means “to
tell or explain”. In terms of literature, the meaning of the word is taken to be “to make
acquainted with”, and it is also a derivative of the word “gnarus” which means143
“knowing”. The word “narrate” came to be known in 1656 but was not used much until
the 19
th
century.
It is also used in its adjective form as “narrative” which has been derived from the
Latin word “narratives” which refers to “suited to narration”. One of the derivatives of
the word “narration” is “narrator” which was used in the year 1941 with reference to
the broadcasting media. The term “narration” can be defined as:
1. An act or process of narrating or telling something (e.g. the old lady narrated the
accident in detail).
2. Narrated material (e.g. the first book published by the writer was the narration of his
own life experiences).
The terms “statement” and “relate” are associated with the words mentioned earlier:
“account” and “narration”. The term “statement” is associated with the word “state”
which refers to “set in a position”. In another context, the term “state” can be used to
mean “declare in words” or “placing something on the record”. The term “statement” is
used in its noun form and can be defined as:
1. The act of stating or declaring (e.g. the criminal has given his formal statement to
the police).
2. Stating something or making a declaration (e.g. a statement was delivered by the
President on the increasing crime level in the country).
3. An abstract of a commercial or financial account representing certain amount (e.g. the
employees received their statement of account in the first week of the month).
4. An overall impression or mood intended to be communicated without the use of the
words (e.g. the big fashion brands of the world have their own style statement).
The term “relate” has been derived from the Latin word “relatus” which means “to
recount or tell”. It is made up of the two words “re-” which means “back or again” and
“latus” which means “carried or borne”. It is used in its derivative form “related” which
means “to establish a relationship with someone or something”. With reference to
psychology, it means “to feel connected or sympathetic to”. In another context, the term144
“related” means “being connected by blood or marriage”. The term “relate” is used as a
verb and is defined as:
1. To narrate or tell (e.g. the author relates that the story is based on science fiction).
2. To provide a logical or natural association with something (e.g. the lady was related
to the prestige sorority in campus).
3. To build a connection or reference (e.g. the symbols drawn on the painting relate to
the painting that was made by Leonardo da Vinci).
4. To interact or establish a reciprocal relationship (e.g. I could not relate with the
play).145
4.5.3 Case 3: The Phrase “Bolt Hole”:
The term “bolt hole” has originated from the combination of two words, one of which
is “bolt”, which has been derived from the Proto-Germanic word “bultas”. But the credit
for its origin in most of the times is given to the Proto-Indo-European word “bhelda”,
whose meaning is given as “to knock or strike”.
The other word that combines with “bolt” to form the term “bolt hole” is “hole”. The
term “hole” has been derived from the Old English word “hol” whose meaning is given
as “orifice or hollow space”. Some other scholars consider that the term has been
derived from the Proto- Germanic word “khulaz” or the Proto-Indo-European word “kel”.
The term “bolt hole” is a noun which is referred to as a hole in the ground or an
opening in the bushes where someone can flee and hide and stay protected. Whenever
the animals are frightened or chased or pursued by the other animals, they hide in that
hollow space within the bushes and protect themselves from being attacked.
In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the meaning of the term “hole” is given as a place
for hiding or escape or to take refuge. Now that we have defined the primary words,
the definition of the secondary words can be arrived at by making use of these
definitions.
The term “hole” has been defined as an opening in an object or a hollow space
contained within a solid mass or object. When it is used for defining the term “bolt
hole”, the noun form of the word is used in the context. The term “ground” is referred
to as the upper crust of the Earth or the solid surface on which everything stands. It
can alternatively be referred either as the earth, land or soil. The term “ground” is also
used in its noun form while explaining the meaning of the term “bolt hole”.
If we consider the term “protected” it is the adjective form of the grammar whose
meaning is given as “to protect from being damaged, attacked, stolen or injured”. On the146
other hand, the term “opening” can be defined as a space that has been unoccupied or
unobstructed or a hollow space contained within a solid matter or object.
The term “bushes” can be defined as the growth of the small shrubs on the land which
have many branches or a land that has been covered by growth of small plants or
vegetation, wherein the animals other than the human beings can find a hiding place.
While we are defining the primary words, the terms “opening”, “bushes” and “animal”
are used in their noun forms.
We have also come across the terms “flee” and “pursued” which have been used in
their verbal forms. The definition of the term “flee” is given as “to run away from
danger, pursuers or attackers”. Meanwhile the meaning of the term “pursued” is given to
be followed in order to overtake, capture or kill someone.
The term “frightened” is an adjective form of grammar which means to be afraid of
something or being thrown into a fright. The term “place” is the noun form of the
grammar which is referred to as a location or portion in space. It has also been
considered to be a part or spot on the body or any other surface.
The term “avenue” whose meaning is given as a wide street or a means of access or
achieving, is used in its noun form of grammar. The term “escape” when used to define
the primary words is used in its verbal form and is referred to as “to slip away from
pursuit or peril to avoid being captured or punished or any other evil that might be
threatening, or even to succeed in avoiding something.
The term “refuge” has been used in its noun form and its meaning is given as a shelter
or protection from danger or some kind of trouble. It can also be defined as a place of
shelter, protection or safety. Another definition given to the term “refuge” is something
that one can recourse to for getting help, relief or to escape.
All the words that have been defined above are the secondary words which might seem
to be slightly vague for providing the accurate definition for the primary word. For this147
reason, those words which have been used for defining the secondary words will now be
explained so that they can give an accurate and precise definition for the primary words.
We can derive some of the tertiary words from the definition of the secondary word
“hole”. One such word which was used in its definition was “something” which is
referred to as certain undetermined or unspecified thing, and is used in the pronoun form
of the grammar. Another word “hollow” can be used whose meaning is given as an
empty space with anything and is used in its noun form.
When defining the secondary words, the term “hollow” has been used in its adjective
form, with reference to the word “place”, whereas in this case it is being used in its
noun form. The term “solid” who’s meaning is given to be a body or an object whose
interior is completely filled up and does not contain any cavities, or something which is
not hollow and does not have any openings.
The term “body” can be defined as the physical structure and material substance of any
plant or animal, either living or dead, and in this context is used in its noun form.
Whereas the term “mass” can be defined as a body of coherent matter that usually does
not have any definite shape and has a considerable size. The terms “body” and “mass”
have been used in the context of noun while defining the term “hole”.
The tertiary words can also be extracted from the definition of the term “ground”. The
term “surface”, who’s meaning is referred to as the outer surface, outside or exterior
boundary of a thing has been used in this context in its noun form. It can also be
defined as the outermost or uppermost layer or area.
The term “Earth” has been used in its noun form and can be defined as the outer
surface or the outer layer of the planet. The soil and dirt can be differentiated from the
rock and sand, and form the softer part of the land.
When we consider the term “soil”, it can be referred to as the surface layer of the earth
which is made up of the rocks which have been disintegrated into very small and fine148
particles due to the various natural geological processes taking place in due course. It is
used in its noun form.
On the other hand, the definition of the term “land” can be given as a part of the
earth’s surface that is not covered by any of the water bodies. It can also be defined as
the area of ground on the basis of its nature or composition. While defining the term
“ground”, all the terms “surface”, “earth”, “soil” and “land” are used in their noun forms
of grammar.
The tertiary words can also be extracted from the words used in the definition of the
term “protected”. The word “protect” whose meaning is given as to defend or guard
oneself or the other person from being attacked or protecting oneself from any kind of
loss, invasion, annoyance or insult. It is used in its verbal form.
Similarly, the term “damaged”, in its verbal form is defined as to suffer or be
susceptible to damage. However, in the context of providing a definition for the term
“protect”, the noun of the word is used whose meaning is given as an injury or harm
that has resulted in the reduction of value or usefulness.
The term “attacked” can also be used in its verbal form to define the term “protected”.
In this case, the meaning of the term can be given as to set upon with violent force or
criticise someone in a harsh manner or with hostility. It can also be referred to as the
beginning of the harmful effects of any given disease on the central nervous system.
The term “stolen”, when used in its verbal form refers to being taken, when used in
context of an object. It can also be defined as to get or win something subtly or just
by matter of chance. The term “injured” can be defined as to do or cause harm of
some kind, to damage, hurt or injure someone by some means. The term is used in its
verbal form.
The tertiary words can also be used to define the secondary word “opening”. The
meaning of the term “unobstructed” is given as being free from any kind of obstruction
or hindrance and being completely clear. The meaning of the term “unoccupied” is also149
given as being clear. Therefore the term “unoccupied” can be referred to as the adjective
form of the word “unobstructed” which means not having any occupants, or being empty
or vacant.
The term “space” in its noun form can be referred to as a place or location that is
available for a specific purpose. The word “void”, when used in its adjective form,
refers to being empty or without any contents or an empty space.
On the other hand, the meaning of the term “matter” in its noun form is given as the
substance or substances which are the components or constituents of a physical object. It
can also be referred to as something that occupies space.
The terms that have been used to define the word “bushes” can also be used for
providing the definition of the primary words and can be called as tertiary words. The
term “low” can be defined as something located or placed near the level of the ground
and is not far from the base or floor. It can also be referred to as something that is not
very tall or high and has been raised above the ground level to only a small extent.
On the other hand, the meaning of the term “shrub” can be given as a variety of the
woody plant that is short in height and is smaller than a tree. It has many branches
arising from its stem that help in its growth laterally and close to the ground level. The
term “branches” can be defined as the secondary stems or limbs that grow out from the
trunk of a plant or tree and can again give rise to other secondary stems from within
itself.
The term “covered” is used in its adjective form to give away the meaning of being
spread, topped or enclosed within something. Similarly, the term “dense” is also used in
its adjective form and can be defined as having the component parts that are compacted
or crowded together in a closed fashion.
The terms “vegetation” and “undergrowth” can also be used in their noun forms to
define the primary words wherein the meaning of the term “vegetation” is given as all
the plants or plant life of a particular location when taken as a single unit. On the other150
hand, the term “undergrowth” can be defined as the low lying vegetation or the small
trees that grow underneath the larger trees or the underbush.
The term “living” has been used in the context in its adjective form to give the
meaning having life or being alive and not being dead. This is with reference to a
“thing”. Consequently, the term “thing” can be defined as a material object that does not
contain life within itself or is unconscious and can be referred to as an inanimate object.
When the term “living” in its adjective form is added to the word “thing”, then it
negates its characteristic of not having a life. The word “human being” can be referred
to as a person, which is a representative of the human species and can be easily
differentiated from the other animals that exist on the earth. Both the terms “thing” and
“human being” are used in their noun forms.
The term “flee” can also be used to extract the tertiary words to provide definition for
the primary words. The term “ran” whose meaning is given as the quick movement of
the legs wherein they move at a pace that is faster than that while walking. Also, the
legs move in such a manner, that at any point of time both the feet are off the ground
level. It is the past tense of the word “run”.
The meaning of the term “away” is given as aside or moving to another place or in a
different direction. It is an adverb form of the grammar. The term “danger” can be
referred to as a liability or being exposed to some kind of a harm, injury or risk and is
the noun form of the grammar. Similarly, the term “pursuers” is also a noun whose
meaning is given as someone or something that pursues.
“Follow” is a verbal form of grammar which pertains to being after someone or
something in a sequence or with reference to time or to come or go after someone. It
can also be referred to as moving behind something in a particular direction or to go
after something in lieu of its pursuit. Another word that can be used to define the
primary words is “order” whose meaning can be given as being in a proper satisfactory
or working condition.151
On the other hand, the term “overtake” is a verbal form of grammar which can be
defined as catching up while travelling or pursuing someone while driving or to draw
even with someone. The word “capture” is also used in its verbal form to give away
the meaning to take by force or to seize or make someone a prisoner against their will.
Another tertiary word can be “killing” whose meaning can be given as depriving
someone of their life by any means or destroying someone’s life or causing the death of
a person. Another meaning of the term can be to extinguish or do away with.
Subsequently, the meaning of the term “close” can be given as joining, uniting or
bringing together the parts of something. Another meaning that is contained within the
word is to put something in such a position so that it becomes an obstruction to an
opening or an entrance.
If we look at the secondary word “frightened”, then we will realise that the tertiary
words can be extracted from this word also. The term “fright” is a noun, whose
meaning is given as a sudden fear that is of a very high extent or a sudden terror. The
term “afraid” can also be included in this stream which pertains to the feeling of being
filled with fear or becoming apprehensive.
The secondary word “place” can also be used for extracting the tertiary words such as
“portion” and “part”. The term “portion” has been used in its noun form to give away
the meaning as being a part of something that is unified as a whole, which can either
be attached to it as its part or separated from it.
The meaning of the term “part” in its noun form can be given as a portion or division
of something that is contained as a whole, and which may be either integrated or
separated from it. Some other synonyms of the term “part” are “piece”, “fragment”,
“fraction”, “section”, “constituent”, etc. “Spot” is the noun form of grammar which
pertains to a place that has relatively small and definite limits.
Some tertiary words can also be extracted for the secondary word “avenue”. One such
term is “wide”, whose meaning is given as having considerable or large extent from one152
side to the other. Another meaning that can be derived from the term can be a great
range or embracing many varieties of subjects, cases and other fields.
Another tertiary word that can be derived from it is “street”, which pertains to a
pathway or a path that is usually constructed in a village, town or city which will
include the sidewalks under its category. The term “main” is also a tertiary word whose
meaning is given as being the important or chief part of something with reference to the
size and extent. It can also be referred to as being the lead or principal in a given field
or area.
Some of the other words that can be included in the list of tertiary words are
“thoroughfare”, “means”, “access”, “attainment”, “slip”, “pursuit”, “avoid”, “punishment”,
“threatened”, “evil”, “succeed”, “shelter”, “protection”, “safety”, “recourse”, “aid” and
“relief”.
The meaning of the word “thoroughfare” can be given as a road or street or something
similar to that which leads at each end into some other street. It can also pertain to an
important road such as a highway or even a passage. The definition of the term
“means” is given as an agency, method or an instrument that is used to reach to the
end of something.
“Access” can be defined as the ability, right or permission that is held by a person to
approach something, speak, enter a particular place or even use something. It also refers
to the way or means of approach and the ability of being approached by the others. The
term “attainment” can be referred to as something that has been accomplished or
achieving something. It is used in its noun form of grammar.
The word “slip” that has been extracted from the term “refuge” can be defined as the
movement or gliding from one place to another gradually, or becoming free from a
grasp or something that has been fastened. “Pursuit” can be defined as the act of
pursuing or following something. It can also be referred to as making an effort to attain
something such as a quest.153
The meaning of the term “avoid” can be given as keeping away from something or
someone such as avoiding a person, danger, tax, etc. “Threatened” is another tertiary
word whose definition can be given as being the source of danger or showing a threat
against something. “Evil” can be defined as something harmful or injurious. “Succeed”
refers to accomplishing or attaining the goals that have been set by a person.
“Shelter” refers to being provided a refuge or protection. “Safety” can be defined as the
state of being free from any kind of risk or danger, and being absolutely safe.
“Recourse” is to go back to a person in search of help.
“Aid” can be defined as providing support or relief to someone. “Relief” pertains to the
condition that is reached after all the pain, distress and anxiety has been removed from
one’s life. It refers to living a life at ease.154
4.5.4 Case 4: The Word “Bolson”:
The meaning of the term “bolson” can be given as a desert valley, whose level has
been raised above the ground level as a result of the process of aggradations, which
usually drain into a playa. These bolsons can be located mainly in the South Western
United States and Northern Mexico. It can be referred to as a flat, arid valley that is
surrounded by mountains leading to the formation of a shallow lake in the centre.
There is another Amercan Spanish word “bolson” which has been derived from the
Spanish word “bolsa”, who’s meaning is given to be pouch. It has also been stated that
it is the derivative of the Latin term “bursa” which can be referred to as a sac or a
cavity that is similar to a sac, with special reference to the one which contains a
viscous vibrating liquid and is placed within the gap between a tendon and a bone, and
is used to maintain the friction between the moving parts of the body.
It can be said that the probable reason for acquiring of the term “bolson” can be the
shape of the structure. As mentioned earlier, it is a valley which is formed in such a
manner that it contains land at a low level and is surrounded by the mountains. This
would somewhat look like the shape of a sac. The bolson has a tendency of containing
a shallow lake in the centre, which is surrounded by the mountains, which is similar to
the secretion of the lubricating liquid from the saclike cavity.
The process of aggradation refers to the weathering of the soil and as the weathering is
a continuous process, it moves the rock mass of the highland which consists of the
gravel and sand that has been deposited by the movement of the streams and deposits
them at the base of the surrounding mountains.
Along with this, the simultaneous movement of the rock base present on the sides of the
desert basin move towards the centre of the valley. A certain point comes when the two
types of rock masses interact with each other. In such a situation, the whole of the155
valley gets filled with the debris that has come from the highlands as well as the
surrounding desert basin, leading to the formation of a bolson.
The great mountain ranges which would have been reaching huge heights in the past
would be reduced to low hills and remains of the rocks. The mountains would turn into
a rock surface which can be termed as pediment which is the adjoining point of the
deposits of the bolson, i.e. the debris that has been collected at the centre of the valley,
and it can be said in the literal terms that the huge ranges of mountains have been
buried under the debris that was formed by themselves.
If we move towards the desert areas of the Southern California and some parts of
Nevada, then we will find that the whole of the area has been covered by the fine
alluvial gravels, which have been accumulated in the shape of a fan by the deposition of
the alluvium at the mouth of the river, or when a tributary comes in contact with the
main stream of the river. The playa sediments that can be found are approximately
covering double the area than that which has been eroded away.
Furthermore, if we move closer towards the Death Valley which comes under the
category of the larger basins, we will find that the area of deposition is equal to only
about half of the area of erosion. This indicates that the movements of the Earth’s crust
are more in the areas that have an active tectonic environment, which subsequently
suggests that the movement of the rocks and rock mass is higher in the bolsons.
The sediments that are deposited by the movement of the streams of the river keep on
moving and at any particular time, in the bolson or the shallow lake in the centre, about
two to six percent of the area is covered by these freshly deposited sediments. Playa
lakes can be defined as the seasonal lakes which can hold water only during the rainy
season.
After the rainy season, the water contained in the lakes seeps through the ground and
the various layer’s of the Earth to become a part of the groundwater. This happens
during the drought period that occurs between the rainy seasons, and during that period,
layers of crystalline salt can be seen in the lakes instead of the water.156
Smaller versions of these playa lakes can be seen in the Mojave region and are linked
with the formation of the sedimentary rocks. On the contrary, the formation of the
igneous rocks leads to the formation of larger playa lakes. The sedimentary rocks can be
defined as those rocks which have been formed by the consolidation of the sediments
that have been deposited by the various body layers time and over, leading to the
formation of the layers.
The sedimentary rocks, when kept within the limits of the room temperature, settle down
at the surface of the earth. O the other hand, the formation of the igneous rocks takes
place by the crystallisation of the lava or magma. The igneous rocks are formed by the
solidification of the material that was molten or partly molten.
The reason behind the formation of the larger playas in the areas where the formation of
the igneous rocks takes place is that the bolson boundaries are identified incorrectly.
When it comes to the sedimentary rocks, its fine sediments can easily flow through the
bolson towards the downstream and is being replaced by the sediments that come from
the areas that are upstream.
The Death Valley is the example of the playa which was unusually large in area. The
reason behind the extreme largeness of the playa is that it is undergoing the deformation
process tectonically such that the parts of it are being eroded. Apart from this, another
reason behind such as case is the geological cut down of the outlet of the Lake Tecopa
in California in the recent past which lead to the movement of the trapped sediments in
that area towards the Death Valley.
The definition of the term “bolson” that was given earlier defined it as a desert valley
whose level has risen a little owing to the aggradation process. Aggradation can be
defined as the process of process of accumulation and deposit of the sediments that are
carried by the rivers and from the nearby sources of land forms. This accumulation
process starts to occur when the ability of the rivers to carry the sediments is
superseded by the supply of sediments in the streams of water.157
To make the definition more clear, an example is taken of the accumulation of
sediments during the dry season. As the climate of a given geographical region becomes
dry, the quantity of the sediment that flows into the streams of water increases. Since
during the dry season the flow of the rivers is at a slow pace and the quantity of
sediments contained within them is very high, so it leads to accumulation of the
sediments.
This accumulation of the sediments leads to an increase in the level of the desert valley
along with the bolson. This has lead to one of the characteristics of bolson, i.e. a raised
level from the ground apart from its other characteristic of containing a shallow lake at
the centre, known as the playa.
The increase or decrease in the process of aggradation depends upon the changes that
take place in the climate, land as well as geological activities. This can be explained by
giving the example of the volcanic eruptions, wherein the sediments are carried by the
rivers in huge amounts which lead to their accumulation in the form of a channel and
may bury the channel that was present earlier.
The meaning of the term “bolson” was also given as a wide desert valley which is
surrounded by a flank of mountains and the centre of the valley consists of the viscous
liquid which does not have any surface outlet. It can be referred to as a huge
depression in the shape of a bowl contained within the surface of the land or the ocean
floor, which contains a water body in the centre without any drainage linking to outside
the valley.
Another example can be given of the Hudson Bay, which is located in North Eastern
Canada, which was formed 18,000 years ago by the formation of a depression
underneath the middle portion of the continental ice sheet. The Qattara Depression is
another example of the bolson, which is one of the largest wind excavated basins
located in the Northern Egypt And is 150 miles long.
Not only are these depressions restricted to the surface of the earth, but they can also
be found in the ocean floors and are known as basins. Some of the examples of the158
depressions on the ocean floor are Canary basin located in the West of Northern Africa
and the Argentina basin located in the East of Argentina.
These basins are located in the areas where there is cold and dense oceanic crust which
lie amongst the elevations that are created topographically by the ocean ridges and the
continental margins. In terms of geology, a basin can be defined as an area where in
the rock mass contained on the surface has been moved and the sediments have
accumulated in the depression.
It has been observed that a major portion of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves are
present in the basins and the thermal and mechanical processes that are carried out deep
within the interior portion of the earth can be understood with the help of these basins
as they are considered to be the best natural laboratories. They can also be used to
understand these processes that are responsible for shaping the earth’s surface.
In the present scenario, the bolsons play an important role in the production of water.
With the increase in the price of the water and the cost of the projects carrying out
desalination or removing the salt dissolved in the water or separating the minerals that
are contained within the seawater to generate fresh water, the bolsons have been used as
an effective method of generating water.
Some of the regions such as El Paso and Dell City are making use of the desalination
plants to make the salty water portable so that it can be used for various purposes.
Since the El Paso water contains a mixture of the sea water as well as the fresh water,
the desalination plants are being established to remove the saltiness from the water.
The research institutions have also laid their eyes upon the bolsons. The Pan American
Center for Earth and Environmental Studies (PACES), which is located in the campus of
the University of Texas situated in El Paso, was founded in the year 1995 as a NASA
University Research Centre.
The goal of this institution is to do research work that will help the NASA’s Earth
Science Enterprise and also give their contribution toward the education of the scientists159
and researchers of the next generation, since most of them belong to the minorities or
under represented sections of the society.
The researchers belonging to PACES have been carrying out various investigations on
the Rio Grande rift along with the other studies that can be carried out with reference
to the rift zones to understand the problems with a more practical approach. Rifting is
considered as an important field of study as it has played a significant role during the
evolution of the continents and the planets.
The rifting has helped in understanding the process of evolution and the structuring of
the continents and planets. One of the main issues for NASA is to understand the
dynamic processes that lead to the evolution of the continents and planets. As the upper
layer or outer surface of the earth is extended with the help of rifts, these movements
along the faults cause large areas to subside.
This movement of the earth’s crust has resulted in the creation of a large number of
basins containing the sedimentary rocks in the Rio Grande rift zone, which contains
within itself a large portion of the resources of water that are very scarce in that region.
The researchers and investigators of PACES are conducting studies on these basins so
that they can identify the potential of the water resources present in that region by
understanding the framework within which theses basins have been structured. They are
also looking for the opportunity to control the groundwater pollution that has spread
across the borders of Mexico as there is rapid increase in the pollution in these areas.
The studies that have been carried out to understand the framework of the Rio Grande
rift zone can be used to analyse the rifts that are found in the local areas such as the
Hueco Bolson, the Mesilla Bolson, the NASA test facility near Las Cruces, and the
Valles Caldera.
The constituents of the Hueco Bolson, whose width is about 9000 feet are silt and
gravel in the upper portions whereas the lower portions are made up of clay and silt.160
The water contained in the upper portions of the playa within the valley of the Hueco
Bolson varies from fresh to slightly saline water.
The width of Mesilla Bolson is given as 2000 feet and is made up of clay, silt, sand
and gravel. With reference to the water resource issues, the researchers and investigators
of PACES are conducting studies in the Southern region of El Paso which has been
extended up to the Chihuahua city.
The studies conducted by PACES include information about the effects of the water that
has been used for the irrigation of the crops without being treated in the plants to
remove their salinity in the Chihuahua city. It also provides details about the structure
and framework of the basins that act as the source of ground water for various regions.161
4.5.5 Case 5: “Easy Street”:
The term “easy street” can be defined as “a state of wealth or financial independence”.
The meaning of the term can be identified by making use of the words that have been
used to define the primary words “easy street”. These words will be called as the
secondary words and their meaning s will be extracted. Furthermore, those words used to
define the secondary words will be identified as the tertiary words and their meaning
swill be extracted to reach the meaning of the primary words.
The term “state” can be defined as a political association with someone or a political
party whose rule is very effective in a particular region. From this definition of the
secondary word, various tertiary words such as “political”, “association” and “effective”
can be extracted whose meanings will now be discussed.
The term “politics” refers to an organisation, with reference to the government. It has
been derived from the Latin word “politicus”. On the other hand, the word “association”
can be defined as the coming together or uniting of a group of people having the same
interest or purpose in order to build a relationship.
“Effective” is a word that pertains to an expected effect. It has been derived from the
Latin word “effectus”, which is a past participle of the term “efficere”, and pertains to
the meaning to achieve or attain something. The term “over” is used to express the
meaning to a particular point that is located at a certain distance with respect to the
intervening space.
The term “geographic” has been derived from the word “geography” and its meaning is
given as the details of a particular area or location. “Area” can be defined as a
particular extent of the earth that is bounded by various factors.
“Wealth” can be defined as something that has a monetary value and can be exchanged
in return for some value. It provides its owner with the economic utility to some extent.
It has been derived from the Old English term “welthe”, “wele” or “wela”.162
“Property” can be defined as something which is tangible, real and has the characteristic
of being owned by someone. A person can have the exclusive rights of owning a given
property and has the choice of either enjoying it or disposing it off.
Real property is the land or something that can be built upon the land. In most of the
cases, the term real property is used for everything that is built or grown on that
particular piece of land. It includes within its category everything that cannot be moved.
There is another term known as the personal property, which refers to all the things that
can move.
The term “property” is considered to have been derived from the Old French word
“propriete” or the Latin term “proprietas”. The word “economic” can be defined as some
action that has been taken by a person in order to satisfy his /her condition and is with
reference to the development of goods and services.
It has been derived from the Middle English term “yconomye”, who’s meaning is given
as managing the household. Some people consider that it has been derived from the
Latin word “oeconomia” or the Greek term “oikonomia”, and their meanings are given
as “manager of a household”.
The word “utility” can be considered to be an umbrella term as it covers within itself a
lot of meanings which keep on changing according to the changing needs of the people
living in the society as well as the purchasing power of the users. It has been derived
from the Middle English term “utilite” or the Latin term “utilitas”.
The meaning of the term “utility” covers within itself various things such as water
supply, sanitary sewage, gas or oil pipeline, electricity, hot and cold water, electricity
and telephone towers, telegraph, telephone lines along with the other cabled services,
waste disposal or management, a proper public transportation system, licensed facilities
which can be used for both receiving and transmitting information, or any other similar
works or systems that are required by the people and become their necessity for the
time being.163
The term “monetary” has been derived from the root word “money”. Money can be
defined as any token that has some value associated with it so that it can act as a
medium for exchange of things with the money. It also pertains to the currency or the
unit of account that is specific for a specific country.
It has been derived from the Latin term “monetarius” or “moneta”. The value that is
attached to the unit of account depends upon various factors. Different parts of the
world have different values attached to the monetary units. Not all the needs can be met
by making use of the monetary units or money. The central authority of the region is
responsible for creating the monetary unit and for attaching the value to it.164
4.6 Arabic Words Evaluated:
In this, the degree of difficulty that has been faced for translating the words from one
language to another has been discussed.
4.6.1 Samples Of Arabic Words Difficult To Translate:
One of the words in the Arabic language that is difficult to translate into English is
“Akh” – “أخ”. For most of the translators, the meaning of this word is “brother”. But
there is another word in the Arabic language known as “Shaqeeq” – “ﺷﻘﯿﻖ”, whose
meaning is given as “a brother who shares both parents as opposed to a brother who
shares one or both parents”.
The translation of the Arabic words into the English language becomes difficult as there
are many words in the Arabic language which are “too specific” and hence their
translation becomes difficult. In order to avoid any confusion and to provide the exact
meaning of the word, the words in the Arabic language are very specific in nature.
For example, if we look at the English language, the term “uncle” can be easily
understood by the English speaking people. However, this is not the case when it comes
to the Arabic language. In Arabic, the term “uncle” can have two different meaning, one
being the mother’s brother and the other being the father’s brother.
The mother’s brother is referred to as “Khal” – “ﺧﺎل”, whereas the father’s brother is
termed as “’am” – “ﻋﻢ”. This example states that it is difficult to provide the exact
translations for such words. The specificity of the terms is an important factor in case of
the Arabic language. A given term in the English language can have various meanings
when it is translated into Arabic, thus making the translation process difficult.
The Arabic language contains certain specific words for different kinds of people, the
relations between the people and even for the actions that are done by the human beings
and animals, which do not have any scope of translation in the English language. The165
richness that is contained within the Arabic language describes the richness of the culture
of the Arabs.
The translators have been given a word of caution by the Muslim scholars to be very
careful while translating the Arabic language into some other language as not all the
words in Arabic can be translated and some of them might even act as a blasphemy to
the Arabic culture.
It must be added that there are certain words in the English language, such as “cousin”,
which do not have any translation for it in the Arabic language. Its meaning is given as
“mother’s brother’s son”. It indicates that there are certain words in other languages
which cannot be translated into the Arabic language.
Similarly, if we take the example of the word “compromise” in English whose meaning
is given as “to reach an agreement between two opposing parties which is in favour of
both the parties and is reached on the basis of mutual consensus”, there is no exact
translation for this word in the Arabic language.
However, the term “taarradhin” – “ضٍ
ﺗﺮا” is considered to be its equivalent in the Arabic
language whose meaning is given as “a favourable solution that makes everyone happy”.
Another meaning that has been given to the term is “I win, You win”, wherein none of
the parties in the agreement is at a loss.
This inability of the words to be translated from one language to the other exists
because of the difference that lies between the two cultures. The word “Qur’an”, which
is of utmost importance to the Muslims and Arabs is said to have no direct translation
in the English language.
However, for the non-Muslims the term “Qur’an” would be equivalent to the term
“Bible”, but those who are Muslims or belong to the Arabic culture believe that the
term “Qur’an” was coined by their God and any other word cannot be considered as its
equivalent. This term is of very high importance for them and its translation into some
other language would not be acceptable for them and be considered as disrespect to their
society.166
It clearly shows the vast difference that lies between the two cultures as each of them
has their own unique characteristics. Since the people who belong to these cultures are
poles apart and cannot be compared, similarly the terms “Qur’an” and “Bible” cannot be
considered as equivalents or synonyms.
In order to understand the complex nature of the Arabic language, one must understand
the three most important words which are taught in the school of reading and are
considered to be the primary roots of the Arabic language out of which the Arabic
words have been derived. Those three words are “K-T-B”.
These terms are primarily concerned with writing and are collectively known as “bunch
load”. Kataba “ﺐَ ﻛﺘَ ” means to write; Kitab “ﻛﺘﺎب” means a book; and Istiktab “اﺳﺘﯿﻜﺘﺎب”
means typewriter. In order to under the Arabic language, or for that matter any other
language, one must not only learn about the sources of the words for that language, but
must also have a deep understanding of the meanings of the terms.
When it comes to communicating between the different cultures, in most of the cases,
the attempts have ended in failure. One of the main reasons behind this is that we
forget to consider the most important factors that relate to the culture, namely orientation
towards time and orientation towards “high or low context.”
The countries whose native language is English, the Germans and Scandinavians are
considered to be cultures with low context. They have the ability to communicate easily
with other cultures as most of the important information is contained within their
language and culture. Their culture has the ability to contain within itself the meanings
of the words and the projections of those meanings.
Such types of cultures provide less chances of mistranslation into another language.
However, the fact cannot be denied that there are still certain words left even in these
cultures which do not have their equivalents in other languages and hence cannot be
translated.
On the other hand, there are certain other cultures which are difficult to communicate as
their words are not only conjugated with the meanings, but also need to consider various167
other considerations such as emotions, relationships and symbols. The Arabic culture is
an example of such a culture, and hence the translation of the Arabic language into
some other language is an extremely difficult task bearing in mind that not all words in
the Arabic language can be translated.
The Arabic culture is considered to be long term, which does not change much with
reference to the time and has been referred to as “traditional” and belonging to the old
culture. It can be referred to as a complete opposite of the culture of the people who
speak English, which is considered to be fast paced and synchronous with time. This is
one of the main reasons of the inability of the Arabic words to be translated into the
English language.
One such example of the inability of certain terms in the Arabic language to be
translated into English language can be given by the term “shahādah” – “اﻟﺸﮭﺎده”, whose
translation is given as “There is no god but God”. However, in this case, a person
might prefer using the term “Allah” – “ﷲ” instead of God, as according to the Arabic
culture, the term “Allah” is of extreme significance to them and cannot be translated
into any language, also the term God cannot be considered as its equivalent.
However, it must be noticed that the holy book Qur’an itself has been translated into
many different languages, but the level of accuracy of its translated versions cannot be
guaranteed because as mentioned earlier, some of the words in Arabic language cannot
be translated into other languages.
It has also been universally accepted that even though certain words in the Arabic
language cannot be translated, their equivalents have been assigned just so as to convey
their meanings to the users keeping in mind that those words are not the exact
translations of their Arabic counterparts.
It must also be known that such translated versions of Qur’an are never used in the
religious sessions as it holds a very important place for the Muslims and people
belonging to the Arabic culture.168
4.7 The Challenge Ahead:
The process of translation is not merely finding an equivalent for a given word in one
language to be translated into another language. There are very high chances that even if
the translator is very careful in his choice of words during the translation, that the
words chosen by him might be slightly deviated from the original context in which the
word was used before translation.
This was one of the main reasons behind the non-participation of the Muslim scholars in
the translation of Qur’an into other languages and they were also not in the favour of
its translation by other translators. On the basis of the mutual consensus of all the
Muslim scholars, it was decided that the translated version of Qur’an will not be used in
any of the religious sessions.
It was also stated by them that the process of translation will cause the sequence of the
words and the phrases to be changed which will be considered as disrespect to the holy
book as even these are considered to be as sacred as the book itself. The translation of
Qur’an into other languages would bring about a change in the meaning s of the words
contained in it.
Another example of the inability of the Arabic words to be translated into English can
be given by quoting the term “al-falaq” – “اﻟﻔﻠﻖ” which is referred to as in the Arabic
language as the process of splitting. Its translation into the English language becomes
difficult as the term “splitting” in the English language can be referred to as either
“dawn” or “daybreak”. Hence it is difficult to decide the exact equivalent for the Arabic
term into English.
Even if the two meanings of the term in English are considered being nearly same as
“daybreak” can also be referred to as “the break of the dawn”, the solution still cannot
be reached as the term “al-falaq” in Arabic also refers to another meaning of splitting,
i.e. cracking of seeds and fruits. Therefore, there cannot be an absolute translation
between the two languages. The translation cannot be done on a word to word basis as
not all words in the Arabic language can be translated into their English equivalents.169
Another example of the inability of the Arabic words to be translated into English can
be given by the term “ghasiqin” “ﻖٍ ﻏﺎﺳ”, whose meaning is given as rains, floods or
tears. Its accurate translation into the English language cannot be carried out because of
its varied meanings.
If we try to find the equivalent words for the Arabic terms in English, then it would be
impossible to find the equivalents for all of them as the words contained in the Arabic
dictionaries are much more in number than the English words. This indicates that the
Arabic language has more specific terms for everything as compared to the English
language.
Considering the above example, the given term can also be referred to as “night” or
“sun”, and hence its translation might cause a change in the meaning. In order to
determine the correct word to be corresponding with the meaning that needs to be
explained, the colloquial factors come into the light.
Since the Arabic language contains very specific words, any given word in the English
language can have many different meanings for it when it is considered in the Arabic
context. An example for this can be given by considering the terms “waswasa” “وﺳﻮﺳﺔ”
and “al-waswas” “اﻟﻮﺳﻮاس” which can be found within the same headword in a
monolingual dictionary.
However, if we look closely into their meanings, the former term can be referred to as
whispering sounds of hunting dogs, the clank of jewellery or of light metal, or even an
evil thought that comes to one’s heart while the meaning of the latter term is given to
be the name for the devil. Even though they have different meanings, they are given
under the same headword because of the confusion that is created during the translation
process.
All this brings us to a conclusion that the origin of this word can be referred to as
mimetic, which is similar to the origin of the two words in the English dictionary:
“choo-choo” and “tick-tack”. Both these words are with reference to the varieties of
sounds. Similarly, the word “waswasa” can be considered to be structured as a result of170
the direct transcription of the repetitive voice which in most cases is referred to as
related to Satan.
The semantic intensity that is represented by the word can be considered a resultant of
the repetitiveness contained within it. Some of the equivalents of the term “waswasa”
that have been mentioned in the various bilingual dictionaries are to suggest, to whisper,
and to promote evil thoughts. The term has also been related to Satan which would
extend its meaning to be related to “evil” and “sin”.
It must be noted that whenever the term “waswasa” is used in the Arabic context, it has
never given out a positive meaning. On the contrary, it has been referred to as
something to do with evil or Satan. However its English meaning “to whisper”, when
considered in context of the English language can be referred to as “rustle of the leaves
or to some soft pleasant sounds” which can be regarded as a positive meaning.
This shows the vast difference that exists between the interpretations of the same word
in two different languages leading to two completely different meanings. It also validates
the fact that the difference in the two cultures also creates a big difference in the
meanings of the words as well as their translation from one language to the other.
This also supports the failure of the “one to one translation” theory which states that for
each and every word given in a particular language, there exists an equivalent in another
language. This can be validated by the translation of the English word “whisper” which
is considered to be “wasawasa” but is actually “washawasha”.
Another point that should be noted in relation to the word “whisper” is that it is related
to the sound which has soft frequency, and hence cannot be compared with the term
“waswasa” whose meaning is referred to as “mute internal speech”. The reason behind
the failure of the translators to give the correct translation of the word is that although
the two words “waswasa” and “washawasha” are similar in terms of their meaning and
phonology, but they are not the exact copies of each other.
Some other examples of the terms that do not find their accurate translations into the
English language are “fatwa” “ﻓﺘﻮى” and “ansar” “أﻧﺼﺎر”. The term “fatwa” is usually171
referred to as a “death threat” that is given by the media, but when we look at its
actual meaning, it is a legal opinion.
The former translation of the term is known to most of the people and is considered by
most of the people as its translation in English because of the continuous use of it in
such a context by the media in most of the instances.
This meaning has been considered true by people to such an extent that some of the
English writers have even used it in that context in their writings. However, its actual
meaning is related to a legal interpretation or judgement that is given by a jurist with
reference to a particular issue. Such a mistranslation can only be neglected if it is done
once in a while.
One of the probable reasons for this translation of the word could be that some fatwas
have declared death sentences and hence the term “fatwa” itself came to be related to
that meaning. One such example of the declaration of the fatwa was against Salman
Rushdie issued by Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989. Another important example of the use of
the term fatwa in this context can be of that given out by Osama Bin Laden in 1998
which called out for a war against the United States of America.
Even though most of the people have now become aware of the way the term has been
mistranslated and are also acquainted with its actual meaning, but due to its wide
acceptance by the people, the media practitioners mostly use it in the context of death
sentence. There are many other examples apart from these whose meanings have been
incorrectly adapted because of their inaccurate translations from one culture to the other.
Also, the incorrect translations have been used time and again and people have come to
believe of these translations to be the actual ones. The translators have spent a lot of
time and energy in look for the closest if not exact translations for the Arabic words
into English, but have been unsuccessful in doing so as it has already been mentioned
that not all the words in the Arabic language have their equivalents in the English
language.172
This inability of the translators to provide the users with the exact translations of the
Arabic words into English has led to various instances of mistranslation wherein they
consider the terms which are similar in meaning to be the equivalents for the Arabic
terms, which turn out to be inaccurate in some cases.
Another case of mistranslation can be given by taking the example of the term “ansar” –
“أﻧﺼﺎر”, who’s meaning in the English language is considered to be “supporters”.
However, if we look back at the history of the Arabic culture, the term “ansar” is used
to refer to those people who supported Mohamed while he lived in Mecca.
It must be noted that however the two meanings are close to each other but are not the
equivalents and cannot be considered as the accurate translation. In most of the cases,
wherever the translators find the terms to be similar semantically and phonologically,
they identify those terms to be identical. Due to this, there has been a lot of
miscommunication between the cultures when it comes to defining the terms with
reference to context as well as their literal definitions.
Looking back at the origin of the words and studying their history can be of great help
in interpreting the true meanings of the words and finding their accurate translations. The
huge difference that exists between the various cultures is one of the topmost factors
behind the inability of one to one correspondence of the terms in different languages.
Summary of Findings:
1. There are many words in the English language that have not
been included in the edition of Al-Mawrid that was evaluated.
2. Because of the presence of a huge difference between the Arabic
and English culture and the specificity of terms in the Arabic culture, there are
certain words in the Arabic language which cannot be translated into English.
3. There is a need for a metalanguage or a standard to be set
which would help in the process of translation.
4. The translators give rise to inaccurate translations to some of the
Arabic words by considering the similar words to be identical.173
Chapter Five: Discussion
5.1 Introduction:
In this research study, one of the most popular dictionaries in the Arab world, the AlMawrid dictionary was used as a source to identify the Arabic terms whose translation is
not given in the dictionary and also to identify those words which have been
mistranslated from the Arabic language into English. For this, a group of translators were
questioned on how well was the dictionary helpful to them in finding the translations
from Arabic into English language.
The Al-Mawrid dictionary was created with the aim of providing a bilingual dictionary
to the users of the Arab world which will be able to provide the meanings of the
English words in the Arabic language and be able to meet the expectations of its users.
Not many changes have taken place in the structure of the dictionary ever since it was
created, however new words keep on adding to it.
For this, the structure of the Al-Mawrid dictionary was studied to understand the format
that it has used for explaining the meanings of the terms given in one language and
translated into another language. Based on this, the weaknesses of the dictionary were
identified so that they can be corrected and an improved version of the bilingual
dictionary be created which would provide the correct translations in an easier way to its
users.
The research conducted on the use of monolingual and bilingual dictionaries shows that
about 75% of the people prefer using bilingual dictionaries. However, it is said that the
use of bilingual dictionaries can at times be misguiding as there might be chances of
having some language barriers between the two languages that have been used in the
dictionary.174
5.2 The Need for Better Bilingual Dictionaries:
Although the bilingual dictionaries have proved to be very helpful for those who want to
learn a foreign language or for referring to the equivalents of a word in a given
language in another language, but there are still certain factors that result in a need for
better bilingual dictionaries. Some of the factors that lead to a dissatisfaction amongst
the users of the current version of bilingual dictionaries are (Tomaszczyk, 1981, p. 285-
286):
1. Most of the bilingual dictionaries that are created today are based on the
developments that are taking place in the monolingual dictionaries.
2. The author of the dictionary is unable to identify the needs of the user based on
which the bilingual dictionary should be ideally created. They rather depend on the
easy availability of sources of creation of dictionary such as the monolingual and
bilingual dictionaries and simply compile and add new words to the dictionary
without making many changes to the structure of the dictionary according to the
needs of the user.
3. The third reason which leads to a need for better bilingual dictionaries is that the
authors of most of the bilingual dictionaries fail to identify the mode of usage of
these dictionaries which is extremely important for any user to make efficient use of
that dictionary.
All the above reasons indicate that there is an urgent need for the authors to compile
improved bilingual dictionaries for the translation of the Arabic words into English
language and vice-versa. For this, firstly some changes have to be brought about in the
bilingual dictionaries that currently exist in the Arab world so that they can be updated
with the innovations that have taken place in the world of lexicography.
The second most important thing that needs to be done is that the compilers of the
bilingual dictionaries have to identify the needs and requirements of the users and
accordingly maintain a balance between the various types of dictionaries created for
different purposes.175
Also the content that is contained within the dictionary should be in accordance with the
needs of the users. The language that is used for the translation should be such that it
can be easily understood by the users.
Another important thing that should be taken into consideration while compiling a
bilingual dictionary is that the Arab lexicographers should co-ordinate with the people
who belong to the English speaking countries so that the translation process can be
carried out in an effective manner.
As quoted “The specific language or culture bound versions of the foreign language
learners’ dictionaries could best be prepared through close collaboration between native
speaker lexicographers and qualified competent non-native foreign language teachers and
scholars who have extensive knowledge of the linguistic or cultural trouble spots of the
learners, and who are familiar with the contrasts between the two languages and
cultures” (Ogasawara, 1984, p. 256).
5.3 Possible Areas of Improvement in English-Arabic Dictionaries:
It has been observed that most of the bilingual English-Arabic dictionaries contain a
description of the dictionary in the introduction, which is aimed at the users who are
belonging to the Arab world and contains no information related to the people and
culture of the English speaking countries. As the purpose of the dictionary is to translate
the words from one language into another, so the introduction must contain some details
about both the cultures, especially when English is considered to be an international
language.
The introductory part of the dictionary must also explain the purpose for which it has
been created along with the proficiency level of the English language that has been used
for its efficient use by its users. Also, the conventions that have been used in the
dictionary must be explained in an explicit manner (Osselton, 1979, p. 120-126).
The English-Arabic dictionaries should also contain a list of abbreviations of the Arabic
words which can be easily memorised by its users along with the symbols which are
used in the Arabic words. The structure of the dictionary should also be explained so176
that the user can understand the format that is used for arranging the entries and their
translation equivalents.
A brief description of the appropriate method of using the dictionary to benefit out of it
in the best possible manner should be given which can be easily understood by the
users. Some of the important details that should be covered within those instructions are:
 The appropriate method of looking up the simple as well as irregular words along
with the different forms of the words such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc., and also
the derivative forms of those words.
 The appropriate method to identify the particular sense which the user is looking for
in case of a polysemous word.
 It should also provide details of not just the looking up of words, but even idioms,
antonyms and phrases.
Some of the other things that should be included in the introductory part must also
contain a pronunciation key which would be in accordance with the modified IPA
system in transcription (Wells, 1985, p. 45-51). Detailed information should be provided
about the way in which the grammatical information has been arranged which should
define the rules of grammar that have been applied in the word formation process
(Swanson, 1962, p. 63-77).
The guide should not only give the details of the words contained within the dictionary,
but should lay more stress upon the parts of the speech used in the dictionary along
with the irregular verbs and noun classes. Some examples of the sentences made out of
the words should be given in the introduction to illustrate certain important points of
grammar such as the proper use of parts of the speech such as nouns, verbs and
adjectives.
The details about the usage labels should also be given in the introduction which can
explain to the user to identify whether the style of the word is formal, informal, British
slang, etc., and to know the field of knowledge to which the word belongs, such as law,
art, computing etc. all this information should be given in the language that can be
easily understood by the Arab users of the dictionary.177
However, it must be noted that not all the words contain the field labels and it is
restricted to only those specific words which are specialised in a particular subject or
which cannot be identified from their Arabic translation. The list of the headwords
contained within the English-Arabic dictionary should be in accordance with the lexical
needs of the Arab users who want to learn the English language and also with reference
to their university course textbooks.
The cross referencing should be used in case of the irregular verbs which would direct
the user to the full entries in case of irregular verbs, plurals or adjectives. The affixes in
a given language should be entered in the dictionary as separate headwords along with
their appropriate translations and examples of their usage in various ways as they play
an important role in building up a student’s vocabulary as well as is of great
significance in the comprehension (Nattinger, 1988, p. 62-82).
Some of the technical terms should also be included in the dictionary whose selection
should be based on the frequency with which they are used by the people belonging to
the mass media as well as the native speakers of the language (Kharma, 1984, p. 124).
The derivatives of the various words should also be included as the headwords and their
translations must be provided as they play an important role in the comprehension as
well as the production of new words (Folomkina, 1986, p. 65; Stein, 1984, p. 124-130).
On the basis of the research that was conducted, it was identified that many people find
it difficult to translate the derivative forms of the words in the English language. The
reason behind this is that according to the current policy that is applied in creating the
dictionary, these words are only listed, without giving their Arabic translations.
The idioms should be represented by making use of the bold letters so that they can be
easily distinguished for the other headwords and a new policy should be devised for
placing the idioms in the dictionary as an important part of the language.
While translating the idioms from the English to Arabic language, the lexicographer must
try to make use of the corresponding idiom in the Arabic language or look for an
equivalent that represents the meaning in the same style and functions of the socioculture (Kachru, 1987, p. 367-378).178
Considering the case of collocations, there is a need for including them in the dictionary
with reference to the areas which are difficult to understand for the learners which
includes the identification of a particular sense out of the various senses of a
polysemous word.
Hence their translation in the dictionary is a must. The entries that have been made for
the polysemous words have proved to be of great help in providing an understanding
within the users for the correct identification of a particular sense within the word.
While labelling the headwords, the lexicographer should make use of those labels which
can help the users in distinguishing between the various social styles of English language
(Delbridge, 1987, p. 65-69). The labelling of the words will help the learners of the
English language to look for the translations which have similar stylistic values.
It must be noted that the labels belonging to the field of knowledge are not used that
often as in most of the cases, the field or context to which a particular word belongs
can be easily identified for the explanation that is given or the provided translation
equivalent (Kirkpatrick, 1985, p. 7-13).
The transcription of the headwords should be in accordance with the IPA system since it
is very simple and easy to understand, and is also very close to the English spelling
system. The pronunciation of the words should be based upon one national type and one
accent, i.e. RP, and the accent that is chosen by the lexicographer should be with
reference to the geographic and cultural factors. It should also consider the practice of
English teaching that takes place in the Arab world wherein the British textbooks are
widely circulated (Gimson, 1981, p. 250-262).
The translation equivalents that are used within an English-Arabic dictionary should give
out the meanings of the words in a precise manner and must be free from archaisms.
They should be written in such a language that can be easily understood by the learner’s
of the English language in the Arab world.
The current state of the Arabic language indicates that there is a requirement for the
translations of the technical terms to be represented in the dictionaries in such a manner179
so that it can be easily understood by the users in the Arab world and should also
contain its explanatory equivalent (Abboud, 1971, p. 439-466).
The translation of the words that are mainly peculiar to the British, American and
Australian cultures should be done in such a manner that they reflect the meanings of
the words in context with the cultural implications of these terms (Snell-Hornby, 1987, p.
159-170). The detailed information about the grammar needs to be included by making
use of the part of the speech labels so that it becomes easy for the user to locate the
specific homograph.
For those words which are not familiar to the users with reference to their culture, their
explanation should be given by making use of the pictorial representation. The cross
referencing can also be used along with the group pictures so that some of the lexical
fields such as verbs of motion and kinship networks can be explained in a better way
(Cowie, 1989, p. 42-50).
At the end part of the English-Arabic dictionary, some information should be given apart
from the details of the language such as the currencies used in the English speaking
countries, weights and measures, names of the places, common names of the males and
females in those countries, famous architectural buildings and mythological names, the
maps of the countries, spelling tables, etc (Berkov, 1990, p. 93; Steiner, 1984, p. 16-181).
5.4 Possible Areas of Improvement in Arabic-English Dictionaries:
The research that was conducted indicates that there is a need for the creation of the
Arabic-English dictionaries that will be aimed mainly at the Arab writers. Similar to the
English-Arabic dictionaries, these dictionaries should also contain an introduction section
which would contain the details such as the prospective users of the dictionary and the
purpose for which the dictionary has been created.
Since the Arabic-English dictionary comes under the category of the productive
dictionaries, it would keep the Arab users updated with the details of the irregularities
that are taking place in the English spelling system, verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc. the
introduction would also contain the structure of the dictionary which would give180
information about the arrangement of the headwords, the abbreviations and different types
of labels used, along with a pronunciation key.
Some examples of the words should also be included in the introduction whose meanings
should be explained in the Arabic language. The list of words should be kept to the
minimum number possible so that the importance can be given to those words which are
considered significant (Cowie, 1989, p. 671-700).
The headwords in the Arabic language, their derivative and compound forms and subentries should be written in the bold letters so that they can be easily recognised.
During the English translations, the raised dots must be used so that the Arab writer can
become aware of the position where the English word can be cut at the end of a line.
The head words should be written in the standardised form of modern Arabic language
as the Arab writer will make use of these words as the starting point for looking up the
meanings of the words in the dictionary translated in English language which may be
primarily in a formal context such as translating the works that have been written in the
Arabic language and writing research papers and other forms of texts.
The entries of the Arabic words should be arranged in such a manner that is in
accordance with the structure used for entering words in the monolingual dictionaries in
Arabic language since most of the people have knowledge about using these monolingual
dictionaries. The words should be arranged in order of their verbal stems which should
be followed by the derived forms of the Arabic words such as adjectives, nouns and
adverbs.
But in case the headword in the Arabic language does not have a verbal stem as in the
case of the technical terms such as “ballet”, then the words should be arranged in an
alphabetical order and a cross reference should be given for such words so that the
users who do not have much knowledge on how to use the dictionary can come to
know that the particular word should be looked up in an alphabetical manner.
The phonological and syntactic information is not required to be mentioned in case of
the Arabic words. However, the examples should be given on the English equivalents181
and the stress shifts. The collocations, mainly the restricted ones should be included in
the dictionary (Benson, 1985, p. 61-68). The illustrative examples should also be included
in the Arabic-English dictionaries as they are of significant value when it comes to the
encoding (Creamer, 1987, p. 238-245; Drysdale, 1987, p. 213-223). The Arabic-English
dictionaries should be able to perform the following functions:
 Give information about the structure of the dictionary to know about the arrangement
of the words and the various senses in which they have been arranged.
 It should be able to explain the meanings of the words, specifically for those words
whose meanings cannot be understood by using the other sources.
 It should enable the learner to become capable of making the sentences by making
use of these words which will be correct lexically as well as syntactically.
While explaining the meanings of those terms which are bound by culture, the most
important thing that should be kept in mind is to explain those concepts to the Arab
user in the English language so that he/she can apply those concepts on his own. The
names of the Arab organisations, institutions and authorities should be standardised
during the translation process (Wesseloh, 1981, p. 320-321).
Another additional feature that can be added to the Arabic-English dictionaries are the
pictorial representations of the artefacts, animals, plants and buildings that belong to the
Arab world which will act as an add-on to the translation of the Arabic words into
English language and will help the user to understand the concepts of the cultures in a
better way.
Furthermore, the Arabic-English dictionary should contain a list of the Arab proper
names and their translations into the English language which will act as an aid to the
Arab writers as in most of the cases; these words are given different spellings by the
writers of the Arab world (Stirling, 1964, p. 437-444).
5.5 The Need for Structured Instruction in Dictionary Use:
On the basis of the research that has been conducted, it has been observed that the
introductory part that is given at the beginning of the dictionaries plays an important182
role in the effective use of the dictionary by the users. It also helps in the development
of the vocabulary of the users.
In order to understand the structuring of the dictionary, the arrangement of the
headwords, the method of explaining the meanings of the terms, examples of certain
words etc., it is very important that the introduction be designed in a structured manner.
There have been many instances when the lexicographers have been invited to various
institutions and organisations to explain the effective methods of using their dictionaries
(Battenburg, 1989, p. 137; Underhill, 1985, p. 103-114). Those scholars who are teaching
the English language to the people living in the Arab world need to understand the
importance of the dictionary as a tool for learning, and hence should include it as a part
of the curriculum in the educational institutions.
It has been identified that in most of the cases, the users of the dictionary are not fully
aware of the methods that are to be used while looking up a word in the dictionary,
such as understanding the role of the parts of the speech in differentiating between the
meanings of the various forms of the word. Another example can be that of identifying
the correct sense of a polysemous word.
These are some of the severe problems that occur while using the Arabic-English
dictionaries and special attention should be given for solving these problems. In order to
make the people more aware of the total benefits that can be provided by using a
dictionary, they should be encouraged to take up certain linguistic courses which will not
only help them in gaining the information from the dictionaries, but will also help them
in learning a new language and also get to know some details about its culture.
Some of the initiatives that can be taken in this direction are that the students in the
educational institutions can be made to attend the grammar classes which will allow
them to look up not only the meanings of the words in the dictionaries, but also to
check for its grammatical information such as the various forms of a given word: noun,
verb, adjective etc. They can learn the examples for each of these grammatical forms by
using their dictionaries.183
The students must be encouraged to make their own sentences by making use of the
words that they have learnt by using the dictionary and also derive other words from it.
Certain word formation exercises conducted in the classes can be of great help in this
regard. The students should be encouraged to take up new linguistic courses which can
help them in learning a foreign language. The bilingual dictionaries will play an
important role in helping these students to learn a new language in an effective manner.184
Chapter Six: Conclusions and Recommendations
There are a large number of dictionaries that are present in the market which vary on
the basis of purpose, users, functions, etc. But in most of the cases, the new editions of
the dictionaries that are compiled by the lexicographers contain only the words that have
been taken from various other dictionaries with the addition of few new words.
A dictionary is created in such a way that it makes the concepts of knowledge and
meaning entwined with each other. In this way, dictionary is known to manage both
knowledge and meaning. A word can be viewed as something which stores knowledge
and meaning which has to be extracted from it.
However, the need of the hour is that the lexicographers need to study the needs of the
users and design the dictionaries accordingly. Not only this, they should also look into
the origin of the words to understand the correct meanings of the words. Research
should be conducted to identify the weaknesses that exist in the currently available
dictionaries and the necessary steps should be taken to overcome those weaknesses.
The representation of the meaning of the word is an important characteristic of the
dictionary, and the lexicographer must ensure that the words exhibit their meanings in
such a way that they can be easily conceived by the users with reference to the
language and culture embodied in that dictionary.
There has been a debate between the users on the effectiveness of the online dictionaries
over the paper dictionaries. But it must be noted that different types of dictionaries are
considered suitable for different types of users according to their needs and expectations.
There cannot be just a single dictionary that can satisfy all the different needs of its
users.
The bilingual dictionaries play an important role in not only translating the words in a
given language to another language, but also helping the learners to learn a new
language. Therefore the lexicographers of the bilingual dictionaries should pay extra
attention while compiling theses dictionaries so that they do not give away any incorrect185
translations and the language used in it should also be such that the meanings of the
words can be easily understood.
It can be said that the work to be done in improving the dictionaries and making them
more user friendly is never ending. Especially in the case of the bilingual dictionaries, a
lot of improvement has to be made for which an error analysis has to be done by
conducting various studies to understand the weaknesses that exist in the present structure
of the bilingual dictionaries.
In the present scenario, the requirements of the translators are not completely fulfilled by
the lexicography. The lexicographers should make note of this fact so that they can
come up with better ideas that can be according to the needs of the translators. The
dictionaries should be created in such a way that they also provide brief information on
the usage of dictionaries.
In order to make the studies conducted on the bilingual dictionaries more fruitful, the
specific areas of information should be picked up individually and analysed for their
contribution towards making the use of the dictionaries by the users effective. Some of
these areas can be the illustrative example, use of parts of the speech, pictorial
representation of words to make the users aware of the cultural items that they have
never come across, etc.
Apart from this certain other important information that contributes towards the
effectiveness of the dictionary include grammatical information, usage labels, collocations
and idioms, study of the introduction part of the dictionary. Studies should be conducted
to determine the result of the absence of these features or information contained within
the dictionary on the effectiveness of the dictionary.
The studies have revealed that there is a huge requirement of the bilingual dictionaries
in the various parts of the world, which will not only help the users to look up the
translation equivalents of the words which have been translated from one language to the
other, but will also help the users to learn a foreign language and also learn about their
culture.186
For making this possible, the lexicographers must try to create such bilingual dictionaries
which can be free from all the weaknesses that exist in the currently available bilingual
dictionaries and should be easy to use. Also, initiatives must be taken by the scholars
and lexicographers to educate people on the proper use of the dictionary so that they
can benefit the most out of it.187
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Questionnaire
1. How often do you use the dictionary?
 Everyday
 A few times in a week
 A few times in a fortnight
 Once in a while
2. Do you prefer referring to a monolingual dictionary or a bilingual dictionary?
 Monolingual dictionary
 Bilingual dictionary
 Both
 None of the above
3. What are the reasons behind acquiring the dictionary?
 A habit inculcated within the family
 Use of dictionaries in the school
 To learn about a given language
 The occasional need to look up for the meanings of the words
4. Where the instructions provided in the dictionary helpful in using it?
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
5. For what kind of information did you mostly look up the dictionary?
 For understanding the meanings of the technical terms
 To learn a new foreign language
 To understand the meanings of the terms when visiting a foreign country194
 For increasing the vocabulary
6. Were the meanings of the words given in the dictionary easily understood?
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
7. Could you find all the words that you were looking for in the dictionary?
 Yes
 No
 Most of the times
 More words need to be added to the dictionary
8. Where the illustrative examples given in the dictionary helpful in understanding the
meanings and usage of the terms?
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
9. Was the structure used for arranging the headwords in the dictionary helpful in
looking up the words?
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
10. Were the usage labels provided along with the words helpful in understanding the
context to which the words were related?
 Yes195
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
11. Were the meanings of the words given with reference to the parts of the speech
helpful in understanding the sense of the word?
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
12. Could you identify the correct sense of the polysemous words contained within the
dictionary?
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
13. Could you learn about the culture of the region from the meanings of the terms that
were given in the dictionary?
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
14. According to you, does the origin of the words play any role in understanding the
meanings of the words?
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 In some specific cases196
15. What are the reasons behind the need for using new methods for compiling a
bilingual dictionary?
 The existing dictionaries only add the new words
 The needs of the users keep on changing with time and so the methods of compiling
the dictionary should be in accordance with those needs
 The meanings of the words should be given in a language that can be used by the
current generation of users
 All of the above
16. Does the dictionary serve the purpose of its creation?
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
17. Is the language used in the dictionary easily understood?
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
18. Is there a need for adding additional information to the dictionary apart from that
related to linguistics?
 Yes
 No
 Only that information that can be useful in the normal life
 Specific information related to currencies, names, buildings, etc.
19. Does the bilingual dictionary help in using the words of the foreign language for
making syntactically and literally correct sentences by the user on their own?197
 Yes
 No
 To some extent
 Needs improvement
20. Are the electronic dictionaries more helpful than the paper dictionaries?
 Yes, as there is no space restriction for adding words
 Yes, as it makes the cross referencing easier
 No, as it can be accessed only by those who have computers
 No, as it is difficult to use than the paper dictionaries
21. What can you say about the translation of the word “Akh” “أخ” in the dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
22. What can you say about the translation of the word “Shaqeeq” “ﺷﻘﯿﻖ” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
23. What can you say about the translation of the word “Khal” “ﺧﺎل” in the dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
24. What can you say about the translation of the word “’am” “ﻋﻢ” in the dictionary?198
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
25. What can you say about the translation of the word “taarradhin” “ضٍ
ﺗﺮا” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
26. What can you say about the translation of the word “Qur’an” “ﻗﺮآن” in the dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
27. What can you say about the translation of the word “shahādah” “اﻟﺸﮭﺎده” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
28. What can you say about the translation of the word “Allah” “ﷲ” in the dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users199
29. What can you say about the translation of the word “al-faatiha” “اﻟﻔﺎﺗﺤﺔ” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
30. What can you say about the translation of the word “al-falaq” “اﻟﻔﻠﻖ” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
31. What can you say about the translation of the word “ghasiqin” “ﻖٍ ﻏﺎﺳ” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
32. What can you say about the translation of the word “waswasa” “وﺳﻮﺳﺔ” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
33. What can you say about the translation of the word “al-waswas” “اﻟﻮﺳﻮاس” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated200
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
34. What can you say about the translation of the word “fatwa” “ﻓﺘﻮى” in the dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
35. What can you say about the translation of the word “ansar” “أﻧﺼﺎر” in the dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
36. What can you say about the translation of the word “kha’lun” “لٌ ﺧﺎ” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
37. What can you say about the translation of the word “kha’latun” “ٌﺧﺎﻟﺔ” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
38. What can you say about the translation of the word “ammun” “ﻢٌﻋ” in the dictionary?201
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
39. What can you say about the translation of the word “alif-lam-mim” “اﻟﻢ” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
40. What can you say about the translation of the word “yasin” “ﯾﺲ” in the dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
41. What can you say about the translation of the word “ayn-sin-qaf” “ﻋﺴﻖ” in the
dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users
42. What can you say about the translation of the word “ha-mim” “ﺣﻢ” in the dictionary?
 Accurately translated
 Mistranslated
 Difficult to translate
 The meaning of the term cannot be easily understood by the users

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