‘It works in practice but will it work in theory?’ The uneasy relationship between lexicography and matters theoretical

By November 17, 2016,
Page47-92
AuthorMichael Rundell
Title‘It works in practice but will it work in theory?’ The uneasy relationship between lexicography and matters theoretical
AbstractThis paper considers how the practical business of producing dictionaries may be informed by and facilitated by theoretical considerations. What kinds of theory have the potential to make dictionaries better? And is there such a thing as ‘theoretical lexicography’? Several theoretical paradigms are discussed. In the case of the metalexicographic contributions of L.V. Shcherba and H.E. Wiegand, it is suggested that their relevance to the practical task of dictionary-creation is limited; and it is argued that the so-called ‘theory of lexicographical functions’ proposed by Henning Bergenholtz and his colleagues, while helpfully focussing on users and uses, adds little that is new to the debate. Conversely, it is shown that linguistic theory has much to offer lexicographers, and the direct applicability of various linguistic theories is demonstrated in a number of case studies. Finally, the whole discussion regarding appropriate theoretical inputs for lexicography is brought into the radically changed digital world in which lexicography now finds itself.
SessionPlenary lectures
Keywordslexicographical theory, function theory, metalexicography, prototype theory, regular polysemy, lexical functions, user-generated content, collaborative lexicography, adaptive hypermedia
BibTex
@InProceedings{ELX12-004,
author = {Michael Rundell},
title = {‘It works in practice but will it work in theory?’ The uneasy relationship between lexicography and matters theoretical},
pages = {47--92},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 15th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2012},
month = {aug},
date = {7-11},
address = {Oslo,Norway},
editor = {Ruth Vatvedt Fjeld and Julie Matilde Torjusen},
publisher = {Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, University of Oslo},
isbn = {978-82-303-2228-4},
}
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