Style guide: The basis to compile dictionaries

  • Tsegay Woldemariam


In spite of the many dictionary compilation works done in our country, the quality of their makeup and content is under question. Though perfection is rare for any work, producing good quality output should always be the ultimate goal. Dictionary compilation needs careful planning. The planning phase includes knowing who the users of the dictionary are, what its type is, what its size should be and what and what not to include in the dictionary. So anyone interested in preparing a dictionary should clearly put his plans in black and white, before rushing into the next phase. In such a planning the lexicographer needs to prepare a style guide. A style guide offers us a chance to compile dictionaries in a consistent manner. A style guide is a reference point that sets standards for preparing dictionaries where multiple authors use one tone.


ሃረገወይንና ሌሎች (1993 E.C.)። ኣማርኛ መዝገበ ቃላት። የኢትዮጵያ ቋንቋዎች ጥናትና ምርምር ማእከል፣ ኣዲስ ኣበባ ዩኒቨርሲቲ፤ ኣዲስ ኣበባ፣ ኣርቲስቲክ ማተሚያ ቤት።
ደስታ፡ተክለ፡ወልድ (1962 E.C.) ዐዲስ፡ያማርኛ፡መዝገበ፡ቃላት፡ ኣዲስ ኣበባ፣ አርቲስቲክ ማተሚያ ቤት።
Akmajian, A., Demers, R. A., Farmer, A. K., and Harnish, R. M. (2001) . An Introduction to Language and Communication. (5th edition). London, The MIT Press.
Atkins, Sue and Rundell, Michael (2008). The Oxford Guide to Practical Lexicography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bussman, Hadumod (2006). Dictionary of Language and Linguistics. London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis e-library.
Crystal, David (2008). A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics (6th edition). UK: Garsington Road, Oxford; Blackwell Publishing.
Hornby, Albert Sidney (2001). Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English. (Sixth edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jackson, Howard (2002). Lexicography: An Introduction. UK: Taylor and Francis, Routledge.
Kane, Thomas Leiper (1990). Amharic English Dictionary. Germany: Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden; MZ-Verlagsdruckerei GmbH.
Lewis, Antony (2012). Wordweb 6.75 e-dictionary. Princeton University.
Microsoft Corporation (2009). Microsoft Encarta 2009. Microsoft Corporation, USA.
Todd, L. (1987). Introduction to Linguistics. Longman. UK: York Press.
University of Oxford, (2014). University of Oxford Style Guide. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
How to Cite
WOLDEMARIAM, Tsegay. Style guide: The basis to compile dictionaries. ZENA - LISSAN (Journal of Academy of Ethiopian Languages and Cultures), [S.l.], v. 26, n. 1, p. 119 - 140, jan. 2017. ISSN 2222-6028. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 16 feb. 2019.
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