(Last Updated on : 24/05/2011)
Origin of Lexicography reveals that there were two categories of lexicons: synonymous and homonymous. There were dictionaries that were written by poets like Banabhatta
, Mayura, Murari and Sriharsa. The Nighantus contained nominal and verbal forms. The Koshas contained only nouns. The former dealt with one special text, the latter was based on any special text. Koshas are written in verse and it incorporates expressions from many of the arts which a poet was expected to have mastered. The composition of such works may have been promoted by existence of Dhatupathas and other lists of the grammarians.
In synonymous lexicons words were grouped by subject-matter. Some of the important synonymous dictionaries included a homonymous section. As the books were aimed at learning, the principle of alphabetic order was not considered. They are divided accordingly on various principles. The longer articles may come first or the arrangement may be by the final consonants or the initial letters or both combined. In some cases information is given as to gender with an appendix on it. Homonyms may be treated in the same way. The older writers were indifferent to order. They were keen to give long definitions. However the later writers are unwilling to waste space and are proportionately unclear.