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A General Framework for Reviewing Dictionaries

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The reviewing of electronic and printed dictionaries is not an exercise in linguistics or in subject fields but an exercise in lexicography. It does not follow from this that dictionary reviews cannot or should not be based on a linguistic approach, but that the linguistic approach is only one of three approaches to dictionary reviewing. Similarly, the linguistic and factual competences of reviewers should not be relegated to an insignificant position in the review process. Moreover, reviewers should define the object of their reviews, the dictionary, in terms of significant lexicographic features in order to give priority to lexicography and dictionary functions, as this emphasises the fact that dictionaries are much more than mere vessels of linguistic categories, namely lexicographic tools that that have been developed to fulfil specific types of needs of specific types of users in specific types of situations in the real (extra-lexicographic) world.
I propose a basis for a framework that contains an outline of general theoretical and practical principles that underlie the true nature of dictionary reviews, and places the reviews in a lexicographic universe with the dictionary and lexicography at its centre. This seems to be in line with the modern understanding of lexicography as a separate academic discipline concerned with the compilation, design, evaluation and use of dictionaries. Moreover, a set of generally applicable principles may lead the discourse community to accept dictionary reviews as an important part of the scholarly discourse. Finally, it may result in reviews that actually contribute to the development of lexicographic theories and dictionary compilation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMulti-disciplinary Lexicography : Traditions and Challenges of the XXIst Century
EditorsOlga Karpova, Faina Kartashkova
Number of pages13
Place of publicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication year2013
Pages145-157
Chapter13
ISBN (print)978-1-4438-4256-3, 1-4438-4256-7
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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