The future of dictionaries in safe hands as international lexicographers descend on Waterford

European research group founders Professor Geoffrey Williams, Université de Grenoble, France; Professor Alina Villalva, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal; and Dr Chris Mulhall, WIT

European research group founders Professor Geoffrey Williams, Université de Grenoble, France; Professor Alina Villalva, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal; and Dr Chris Mulhall, WIT

Lexicography was on the menu this week at Waterford Institute of Technology as the Institute hosted the EU COST Action IS1305 European Network of E-Lexicography Training School.

The aim of the training school was to focus on lexicological and lexicographical issues pertaining to the compilation and design of dictionaries. The school sought to address concepts from the lexical properties of words and phrases and how they can be best represented in a dictionary using both historical and modern viewpoints through the use and support of technology.

The organiser of the event is Dr Chris Mulhall, lecturer in French, in the Department of Languages, Tourism and Hospitality. Dr Mulhall’s research focuses on the area of lexicography, which is the study of dictionaries, and he is a Management Committee member of the European Network of E-Lexicography, a research network that comprises of almost 300 European Researchers in the field of dictionary studies.

Since 2013, this four-year research network has been meeting and collaborating to explore new ways of developing both print and electronic dictionaries as well as developing an online portal to increase accessibility to various dictionaries documenting different European languages.

The training school took place at Waterford Institute of Technology from 7-9 June and was one of the last formal events of the network.

Dr Mulhall stressed the long-term value of the research supports and collaborations gained in this period. “Along with colleagues from France and Portugal, we have established our own pan-European research group, called LandLex, which over the coming months and years will undertake some research projects on the recording of words relating to the landscape across European language dictionaries. At present, we are working on the words daisy, hill and red, but we are also discussing our work plan for 2017 and the years thereafter,” he said.

The event saw seven visiting academics from France, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany along with 20 selected participants from ten different countries attend the Institute. “We had a busy schedule for the three days with some very stimulating lectures from experts in the field taking place and some student-centred research activities which made it a rewarding learning experience for all involved,” added Dr Mulhall.

“The EU COST Action framework is an excellent way to network with other scholars and academics across Europe that share similar research interests and have been very beneficial in assisting me to develop me own research and research network over the past four years.”

About Chris Mulhall

Chris was born in Dublin, but grew up in Athy, Co. Kildare. He went to secondary school in Scoil Eoin, Athy, Co. Kildare (now called Ardscoil na Trionoide).

Chris is a son of Pauline Mulhall and the late Richard Mulhall of Willsgrove, Athy, he has seven siblings and according to himself, there are “too many to mention!”

The lexicography link in Chris’ career comes from his PhD studies in University College Dublin in which he researched the treatment of idioms in historical and modern bilingual Italian-English Dictionaries under the supervision of Professor Paolo Acquaviva.

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