Dictionary articles are a type of article that explains and gives basic information about technical terms of linguistics. They contrast with survey articles, which are articles about particular phenomena.
All dictionary articles should have a very similar structure: They should consist of sections with identical headings and occur in the same order. Only the first section (Definition) is obligatory. Some of the sections will be irrelevant for some terms. In most cases, however, a nonexisting section means that the work of writing it has not been done yet.
Here is an ordered list of dictionary article sections:
- Definition: This section contains a succinct definition of the term, usually in a single complete sentence. (See Definition.)
- Term properties: This section may contain information on pronunciation, inflection, and derivational possibilities. (See Term properties.)
- Examples: This section may contain concrete examples of the phenomenon described by the term. (See Examples.)
- Comments: This section is for any kinds of comments on the definition or on the term. (See Comments.)
- Subtypes: This section may contain a list of subtypes of the phenomenon. (See Subtypes.)
- Polysemy: This section may contain a list of other meanings that this term also has. (See Polysemy.)
- Synonyms: This section may contain a list of other terms that also have this meaning. (See Synonyms.)
- Origin: This section may contain information on the origin and history of the term. (See Origin.)
- See also: This section may contain a list of linked related terms that are relevant but that do not appear in any of the other sections (e.g. relative pronoun in the article relative clause). (See See also.)
- References: This section contains a list of full references corresponding to the author-year references mentioned elsewhere in the article. (See References.)
- Other languages: This section may contain the equivalents of the term in other languages. (See Multilingual.)
Additional sections may sometimes be appropriate. (See Other sections.)
All dictionary articles may also contain quotations from prominent places in the literature where the term is mentioned (defined, criticized, its orgin discussed, etc.). (See Quotations.)