Skip to main content
Log in

Encoding dictionaries

  • Part III: Encoding Specific Text Types
  • Published:
Computers and the Humanities Aims and scope Submit manuscript


This article describes the major problems in devising a TEI encoding format for dictionaries, which, because of their high degree of structuring and compression of information, are among the most complex text types treated in the TEI. The major problems for this task were (1) the tension between generality of the description, in order to be widely applicable across dictionaries, and descriptive power, that is, the ability to describe with precision the particular structure of any given dictionary; and (2) the need to accommodate different views and uses of the encoded dictionary, for example, as printed object and as a database of information.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Amsler, R.A. and F.W. Tompa. “An SGML-Based Standard for English Monolingual Dictionaries”. InInformation in Text: Fourth Annual Conference of the UW Center for the New Oxford English Dictionary. Waterloo, Ontario: University of Waterloo Center for the New Oxford English Dictionary, 1988, pp. 61–79.

    Google Scholar 

  • Calzolari, N., ed. “Computational Model of the Dictionary Entry: Preliminary Report”. Esprit Basic Research Action no. 3030. Pisa, Italy: CNR, Acquilex, April 1990.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fought, J. and C. Van Ess-Dykema. “Toward an SGML Document Type Definition for Bilingual Dictionaries”. TEI Working Paper no. TEI AIW20. Chicago and Oxford: Text Encoding Initiative, 1990.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fought, J., M. Welser, H. Davenport and C. Van Ess-Dykema. “Extending SGML Concurrent Structures: Toward Computer-Readable Meta-Dictionaries”.Literary and Linguistic Computing, 8, 1 (1993), 33–38.

    Google Scholar 

  • Greenstein, D. and L. Burnard. “Speaking with One Voice: Encoding Standards and the Prospects for an Integrated Approach to Computing in History”. In this volume.

  • Ide, N. and J. Véronis. “Print Dictionaries”. TEI Working Paper no. AI5 D17. Chicago and Oxford: Text Encoding Initiative, 1992.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ide, N. and J. Véronis. S. Warwick-Armstrong, and N. Calzolari. “Principles for Encoding Machine-readable Dictionaries”. InEURALEX '92 Proceedings. Ed. H. Tommola, K. Varantola, T. Salmi-Tolonen and Y. Schopp. Tampere, Finland, 1992, pp. 239–46.

  • Ide, N., J. Le Maître and J. Véronis. “Outline of a Model for Lexical Databases”.Information Processing and Management, 29, 2 (1993), 159–86.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martin, R. “Présentation”. (Numéro Spécial: Autour du T.L.F.).Le Français Moderne, 62, 2 (1994), 129–34,

    Google Scholar 

  • Sperberg-McQueen, C.M. and L. Burnard.Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange. Chicago and Oxford: Text Encoding Initiative, 1994.

    Google Scholar 

  • The DANLEX Group.Descriptive Tools for Electronic Processing of Dictionary Data. Lexicographica, Series Maior. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1987.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Nancy Ide is Associate Professor and chair of Computer Science at Vassar College, and Visiting Researcher at CNRS. She is president of the Association for Computers and the Humanities and chair of the Steering Committee of the Text Encoding Initiative.

Jean Véronis is Maître de Conférences in Computer Science at the Université de Provence and head of the Natural Language Processing Group of Laboratoire Parole et Langage.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ide, N., Véronis, J. Encoding dictionaries. Comput Hum 29, 167–179 (1995).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words