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Dictionary Management

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In management theories we find different descriptions of project planning, but the following steps occur in most management plans: target, concept, time plan with milestones and a deadline, project management and the delegation of tasks. These abstract steps are in practice applied very differently in different projects. The same steps can be applied to lexicographic projects. In this field, by looking at finished and not finished dictionary projects, we find that: many are started but never finished; and many are planned to be carried out within a certain time frame, but it takes much longer than anticipated until the project is completed with the publication of one or more dictionaries. The reason for that is normally an unrealistic and much too optimistic planning. But it is also due to a missing knowledge about management planning according to a relevant overall lexicographic theory.

There is a long tradition of understanding lexicography as the compiling of
dictionaries, especially among British scholars. But there is also a tradition of focusing on theoretical lexicography, especially among German scholars. In this contribution, I consider lexicography a discipline with two legs: (1) theoretical lexicography, and (2) practical lexicography. The ideal practical lexicography, i.e. the ideal way of planning and making dictionaries, applies a theory based on practice. In lexicography the list of steps in a dictionary management plan will be different for each single project. This has always been the case, both before and after the use of databases in lexicography. The focus in this contribution will be on the planning of a project in which a database is used as the material collection for one or more information tools. This involves: goals and objectives for the planned information tool(s), the concept for the database, the concept for each information tool, the time plan for the construction of the database, the material collection, test articles for each information tool, test cards for the database, lexicographic instructions, dividing the work into different tasks (e.g. for different lexicographers making certain parts of each card in the database), the project manager’s tasks (e.g. quality control and corrections), time planning for each of the working tasks, layout or design of the planned printed or electronic information tools, publication and further work on the database.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Lexicography
EditorsPedro A. Fuertes-Olivera
Number of pages9
Place of publicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Publication year2018
Pages34-42
Chapter2
ISBN (print)978-1-138-94160-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-10494-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • lexicography, management, dictionary conception, dictionary manager

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