Computer Sciences Dept.

Storage, Retrieval, and Editing of Information for a Dictionary

Richard L. Venezky

The purpose of this paper is to describe the progress and future plans for the automation of the Dictionary of American Regional English. Although most of the problems which are discussed have already been tackled by others -- optical scanning, file maintenance, retrieval of semantic information, on-line editing -- the combination of these items to produce a dictionary has never been attempted before. While parts of dictionary production have been computer-aided, no lexicographer has yet tried to automate, to a high degree, the storage, retrieval, and editing of information for a large dictionary. Although the discussion that follows concerns only the techniques which have been developed for the current dictionary, these processes are equally applicable to the compilation not only of other dictionaries, but of any publications which are derived from vast, complex stores of data.

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