Forensic Dictionary Analysis: Principles and Practice
journal contributionposted on 09.08.2011, 13:27 by Julie M. Coleman, Sarah Ogilvie
Lexicographers often provide an account of their working practices and policies, and reviewers and researchers generally take this on trust. Forensic dictionary analysis uses evidence-based methodologies to interrogate the dictionaries themselves about decision-making processes involved in their compilation. The version of events that this reveals is sometimes quite different from compilers’ accounts. This paper builds on a variety of approaches in historical dictionary research—statistical, textual, contextual, and qualitative—to present forensic dictionary analysis as a technique that allows researchers to examine and understand the complex relationships between editorial policy and lexicographic practice.