Ornithonymy and lexicographical selection criteria

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Due to the great variety of life on Earth and the human propensity to give names to practically all other lifeforms, the recording of names for items of flora and fauna presents an ever-present challenge to lexicographers. Despite this, there is very little discussion of this subject in the metalexicographical literature. This paper examines this topic through assessing the recording of ornithonyms (names for bird species) in seven dictionaries of Indian English and matching these against selection criteria in order to determine what factors may have influenced the selection process. This focus raises issues relating to the inclusion/exclusion of ornithonyms in dictionaries as well as the question of how lexical items are determined as belonging to a specific regional variety of English, with implications for other varieties of English, other vocabulary domains, and lexicographical practice in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-62
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Lexicography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


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