Lexicography is divided into two related disciplines: Practical lexicography is the art or craft of compiling, writing and editing dictionaries. Theoretical lexicography is the scholarly discipline of analyzing and describing the semantic, syntagmatic and paradigmatic relationships within the lexicon (vocabulary) of a language, developing theories of dictionary components and structures linking the data in dictionaries, the needs for information by users in specific types of situation, and how users may best access the data incorporated in printed and electronic dictionaries.
This is sometimes referred to as ‘metalexicography’. A person devoted to lexicography is called a lexicographer. General lexicography focuses on the design, compilation, use and evaluation of general dictionaries, i. e. dictionaries that provide a description of the language in general use. Such a dictionary is usually called a general dictionary or LGP dictionary (Language for General Purpose).
Specialized lexicography focuses on the design, compilation, use and evaluation of specialized dictionaries, i.e. dictionaries that are devoted to a (relatively restricted) set of linguistic and factual elements of one or more specialist subject fields, e. g. legal lexicography. Such a dictionary is usually called a specialized dictionary or LSP dictionary and following Nielsen 1994, specialized dictionaries are either multi-field, single-field or sub-field dictionaries. There is some disagreement on the definition of lexicology, as distinct from lexicography.
... multiword expressions should be seriously considered. Bilingual dictionaries can be general or specialized, encyclopaedic or linguistic, alphabetical or thematic, diachronic ... that are “the most difficult [… ] to handle in lexicography” (ibid. : 168). The third type that the authors ... of language researchers only quite recently, and a lot of work still has to be done in this field, “either ...
Some use “lexicology” as a synonym for theoretical lexicography; others use it to mean a branch of linguistics pertaining to the inventory of words in a particular language. It is now widely accepted that lexicography is a scholarly discipline in its own right and not a sub-branch of applied linguistics, as the chief object of study in lexicography is the dictionary Aspects Practical lexicographic work involves several activities, and the compilation of well crafted dictionaries require careful consideration of all or some of the following aspects: profiling the intended users (i.e. linguistic and non-linguistic competences) and identifying their needs defining the communicative and cognitive functions of the dictionary selecting and organizing the components of the dictionary choosing the appropriate structures for presenting the data in the dictionary (i. e. frame structure, distribution structure, macro-structure, micro-structure and cross-reference structure) selecting words and affixes for systematization as entries selecting collocations, phrases and examples
choosing lemma forms for each word or part of word to be lemmatized defining words organizing definitions specifying pronunciations of words labeling definitions and pronunciations for register and dialect, where appropriate selecting equivalents in bi- and multi-lingual dictionaries translating collocations, phrases and examples in bi- and multilingual dictionaries designing the best way in which users can access the data in printed and electronic dictionaries