Kernerman Dictionary News • Number 11 • July 2003

The International Schools on Lexicography, Ivanovo

Olga Karpova

Olga Karpova is the Head of the English Philology Department at Ivanovo State University and the university’s Vice-Rector for Public Relations. She has written extensivley on lexicography and dictionaries, received foreign and local awards and grants, participated in many international conferences, and since 1995 she organizes the lexicographical schools at Ivanovo and edits their proceedings. Professor Karpova specializes in Shakespeare dictionaries and translation, and her main interests include authors’ lexicography, English stylistics and discourse analysis.

The idea of holding International Schools on Lexicography at Ivanovo State University goes back to 1992, after the EURALEX Congress in Tampere (Finland). In spite of the fact that Congresses of the European Association for Lexicography are held every two years, to our regret, only few Russian scientists attend them due to financial reasons. That is why we decided to organize International Schools on Lexicography regularly every two years, between Euralex congresses, in Russia and to host them at our university, where we have stable lexicographic traditions.

The topic Contemporary Problems of Theoretic and Applied Lexicography at the English Language Department is one of the leading themes of research at Ivanovo State University. Since 1996 ten postgraduate thesis and fifty final projects have been defended on general and special purpose dictionaries: authors’, learners’, several LSP (architecture, stock market and finance) and new words dictionaries, etc.

Special courses in modern and historical lexicography are delivered at the Department, with about 25 students annually attending and writing course projects in lexicography. There is a student scientific society in lexicography, LEXICOGRAPHICA, that works quite successfully. Being a collective member of Euralex, Ivanovo State University regularly receives the International Journal of Lexicography, as well as the latest news about conferences, workshops and publications.

The aims of Ivanovo Schools in Lexicography (which have acquired in the course of time the status of an international conference) are to give young scholars a good opportunity to learn current tendencies in foreign and Russian lexicography through plenary lectures of invited prominent scholars and to present their own research results and dictionary projects, dictionary surveyes, etc.

Our University has already held four International Schools on Lexicography, with about 160 participants on average, hosting world famous lexicographers and scholars:

  •  1995: Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Lexicography, guest lecturer R.R.K. Hartmann
  • 1997: Problems of Bilingual Lexicography, guest lecturer Krista Varantola
  • 1999: Dictionary in Contemporary World, guest-lecturer Ruth Vatvadt Fjeld
  • 2001: Language. Culture. Dictionaries, guest-lecturers Svetlana G. Ter-Minasova and Kenneth A. Haseley (

The results of the Schools work were published in the form of proceedings and conference materials.

The last conference was held in on September 10-12, 2001, and aroused great interest in Russia and abroad. ProfessorSvetlana G. Ter-Minasova, Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages at the Moscow State University delivered threelectures: The Life of a Word in Speech and Dictionaries, Foreign Languages Teaching – Science, Art or Politics? and, Linguistic and Extralinguistic Problems of Intercultural Communication. Professor Emeritus of Ivanovo State University, Kenneth A. Haseley presented two reports: The New Communicators: What Research Can Teach Us About Effective Communication, and Handling Questions and Answers: Guidelines for Comfort and Success. There were also plenary lectures prominent Russian scholars and guest-lecturers from Croatia. Besides the outstanding representatives of Russian Lexicography there were senior university teachers and post-graduates who got an excellent opportunity to share the results of their scientific work, get them valued and approbated. Above all, the lectures were attended by the senior and junior students of regional universities, who also took great interest in the Conference. Altogether, 26 plenary lectures and 80 session reports were delivered during the three days of the Conference. The headings of the Sections were as follows:

  • Intercultural Communication in Time and Space
  • Bilingualism and Intercultural Communication
  • Mass Communication Language in Intercultural Space
  • Language for Special Purposes
  • Lexicography of XXI Century
  • General and Special Problems of Learners’ Lexicography
  • The Language of Fiction

Ivanovo State University has gained a strong connection with Birmingham University and HarperCollins Publishers. Within the framework of the School, Professor Karpova and her post-graduates made a presentation of Harper Collins Dictionaries.

The 5th International School on Lexicography, with the subject Theoretical Lexicography: Modern Tendencies of Development will be held on September 8-10, 2003. Guest-lecturers includeDmitry Dobrovolsky, Moscow State University, with the following lectures: Modern Bilingual Lexicography with Special Reference to a New German-Russian Dictionary Project; Idioms in Lexicographic Presentation; Linguistic Terminology in Dictionaries of Different Types; and, Polysemy from a Lexicographic Perspective. Dr. Bertha Marie Toft, University of Southern Denmark, will deliver the following lectures: Computerized terminology in Denmark; and, Socio-cognitive terminology and lexicography.

The conference will include sessions on Historical Lexicography, LSP Lexicography, Computer Dictionaries, and New Dictionary Projects. The working languages are English and Russian. The Organizing Committee is planning to publish Conference Proceedings.

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