Panel on Digital Dictionaries (MLA/LSA/ADS)

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Eric Baković has noted the happy confluence of the annual meetings of the Linguistic Society of America and the Modern Language Association, both scheduled for January 3-6, 2013 at sites within reasonable walking distance of each other in Boston. (The LSA will be at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, and the MLA at the Hynes Convention Center and the Sheraton Boston.) Eric has plugged the joint organized session on open access for which he will be a panelist, so allow me to do the same for another panel with MLA/LSA crossover appeal. The MLA's Discussion Group on Lexicography has held a special panel for several years now, but many lexicographers and fellow travelers in linguistics have been unable to attend because of the conflict with the LSA and the concurrent meeting of the American Dialect Society. This time around, with the selected topic of "Digital Dictionaries," the whole MLA/LSA/ADS crowd can join in.

MLA Session 562: "Digital Dictionaries"
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Lexicography
Saturday, January 5; 1:45–3:00 p.m., Public Garden, Sheraton Boston

Presiding: Michael Hancher, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
1. “Dictionaries in Electronic Form: The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Experience," David Jost, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
2. “What We've Learned about Dictionary Use Online," Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster
3. “Lexicography 2.0: Reimagining Dictionaries and Thesauri for the Digital Age," Ben Zimmer, Visual Thesaurus/
Respondent: Lisa Berglund, State Univ. of New York, Buffalo State Coll.

Abstracts for the three presentations can be found on Michael Hancher's site here (PDF).


  1. Rodger C said,

    September 27, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    Interesting that since I stopped going to MLA a dozen years ago, they've at least stopped holding it between Christmas and New Year's.

  2. GeorgeW said,

    September 28, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    What kind of access will we have and how do we access it?

    [(myl) Access to what?]

  3. GeorgeW said,

    September 28, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

    "Open access." Sorry, I completely misunderstood.

  4. David J. Littleboy said,

    September 30, 2012 @ 8:35 am

    "Reasonable walking distance" is rather the understatement of the year: those venues are practically next door to each other.

  5. Geoff Nunberg said,

    October 2, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    It has been a long time since the LSA and MLA shared a time and venue–1988, I think, though I may have missed some recent concurrencies. I wrote about that last one in a 2001 Linguistics and Philosophy paper called "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?" At the time, it seemed as if we had little to say to one another; now the various moves and movements described as "digital humanities" and the growth of computational and corpus linguistics seem to be providing new occasions for commerce between us. Though at bottom, I suspect the classification of linguistics as one of the humanities still has more to do with funding opportunities than with sensibilities.

  6. Yulia S said,

    May 3, 2013 @ 6:05 am

    So sorry I missed the event – though I' m not a member of any of these societies, I'm interested in digital dictionaries and their contribution to the enrichment of English (it's a part of my research on lexical creativity). Could you please tell me where I can find more info on the past event or papers presented there (apart from 3 abstracts mentioned in the post)?
    Thank you in advance!

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