Lexicology, lexicography and grammaticography (history, introduction, didactics)


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Lexicology, Lexicography, Gramaticography

Course code: 54 

Year of study: Brez letnika 

Course principal:
Assoc. Prof. Kozma Ahačič, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective 

Languages: Slovene 

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, seminar 


Course Syllabus


1. History of linguistics with particular emphasis on lexicography, lexicology and grammaticography

  • Antiquity;
  • Middle Ages;
  • Contemporary trends in Europe;
  • Slovenia;
  • Historical overview of language manuals, handbooks and grammar outlines.


2. Foundations of lexicography and grammaticography

  • Types of grammars and dictionaries;
  • The question of the relevant choice of examples in grammars and dictionaries;
  • Methods and resources for the compilation of grammars and dictionaries;
  • Linguistic theories and their role in the preparation of handbooks;
  • Planning;
  • The preparation of mock entries/chapters;
  • Language source preparation and analysis;
  • The problems of the definition, interpretation and selection of relevant examples;
  • Mono-, bi- and multilingual dictionaries;
  • General and applied dictionaries;
  • Scientific and didactic grammars.


3. Chapters in pedagogical lexicography

  • Users of grammars and dictionaries;
  • Targeting the needs of the users;
  • The history and current state of the didactic approach to lexicography and grammaticography;
  • The lexicographer/grammarian vs. course syllabi;
  • Handbooks vs. didactic grammars;
  • Interactive dictionaries vs. didactic grammars;
  • Corpora of school texts.


Seminar classes

Seminar classes accompany the lectures and complement them by an in-depth exploration of individual chapters covered by the course syllabus. The focus is on a complete analysis of a particular grammar and/or dictionary and comparison with other comparable works of reference. Specific thematic fields (and the accompanying list of reference works) covered by the seminars are adapted to suit each individual student.


Cross-curricular integration

Basic linguistic knowledge is prerequisite for successful participation in lectures. The course is directly connected to other sets of lectures in the curriculum and may be viewed as an introductory course to the programme.



The list predominantly contains items of compulsory reading. The student is required to familiarise themselves with the list of basic readings well enough to be able to access secondary literature specified for other courses in the programme, which build on the same fundamental set of reference works. A regularly updated list of additional readings for individual lectures and/or seminars will be supplied subsequently.

  • Ahačič Kozma, 2007: Zgodovina misli o jeziku in književnosti na Slovenskem: protestantizem. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU.
  • Ahačič, Kozma, 2012: Zgodovina misli o jeziku na Slovenskem: katoliška doba (1600–1758). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU.
  • Atkins, B. T. S., Rundell, M.,: 2008: Oxford Guide to Practical Lexicography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Auroux, Sylvain, Koerner, E. F. K. (eds.) et al., 2000: History of the Language Sciences […], vol. 1. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter.
  • Colombat, Bernard, Fournier Jean-Marie & Puech, Christian, 2010: Histoire des idées sur le langage et les langues. Paris: Klincksieck.
  • CTLF — Corpus des textes linguistiques fondamentaux.
  • Dirven, R., 1990: ‘Pedagogical Grammar: State of the Art Article,’ Language Teaching. Cambridge: The British Council/CILT/Cambridge University Press.
  • Dolezal, Fredric Thomas, McCreary, Don R., 1999: Pedagogical Lexicography Today: A Critical Bibliography on Learners’ Dictionaries with Special Emphasis on Language Learners and Dictionary Users. Berlin, Boston: Max Niemeyer Verlag.
  • Landau, S., 1984: Dictionaries: the Art and Craft of Lexicography. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
  • Slovenske slovnice in slovarji (na spletu). / Various grammars and dictionaries of the Slovene language (available online).


Objectives and competences

The course is devised as an introduction into lexicology, lexicography and grammaticography. The student gets acquainted with the historical development of each individual discipline from antiquity to the present day and is offered an overview of the historiography of linguistics in general. Special attention is paid to the development of these disciplines in the Slovenian territory. The basic concepts and methodological principles of the research and compilation of grammars and dictionaries are presented, both from synchronic and diachronic perspective. The student is also equipped with the knowledge of how to successfully integrate didactic needs into the research and/or compilation of grammars and dictionaries so that they suit a specific didactic purpose (this area of research represents a comparatively new trend in Slovenia).


Intended learning outcomes:

  • Knowledge of grammaticographical history in Europe and Slovenia;
  • Understanding of diversity in the methodological approach to language study;
  • Basic principles of the compilation of scientific, reference and didactic grammars;
  • Knowledge of the fundamental principles of lexicography and lexicographic planning;
  • Combining didactic skills with the methodology and planning involved in the compilation of grammars and dictionaries.



Long written assignments (80 %), final examination (written/oral) (20 %).


Historical lexicology, historical lexicography and historical grammar

Assist. Prof. Andreja Legan Ravnikar, Ph.D.,

Asst. Prof. Alenka Jelovšek, Ph. D.,


Lexicology, lexicography, contemporary grammar

Assoc. Prof. Nataša Jakop, Ph.D.,

Prof. Andreja Žele, Ph. D. ,


Linguistic normativity and the sociolinguistic aspect of dictionaries, grammars and orthographic dictionaries

Assist. Prof. Nataša Gliha Komac, Ph.D.,

Assoc. Prof. Helena Dobrovoljc, Ph. D.,


Terminology and terminography

Assist. Prof. Mojca Žagar Karer, Ph. D. ,

Assist. Prof. Mateja Jemec Tomazin, Ph. D. ,