Korrek, volledig, relevant: Dít is die fraag aan leksikografiese definisies

Henning Bergenholtz, Rufus Gouws

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In explanatory dictionaries, both general language dictionaries and dictionaries dealing with languages for special purposes, the lexicographic definition is an important item to present the meaning of a given lemma. Due to a strong linguistic bias, resulting from an approach prevalent in the early phases of the development of theoretical lexicography, a distinction is often made between encyclopaedic information and semantic information in dictionary definitions, and dictionaries had often been criticized when their definitions were dominated by an encyclopaedic approach. This used to be seen as detrimental to the status of a dictionary as a container of linguistic knowledge. This paper shows that, from a lexicographic perspective, such a distinction is not relevant. What is important is that definitions should contain information that is relevant to and needed by the target users of that specific dictionary.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalTydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe
Issue4, Desember
Pages (from-to)568-586
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • lexicograhy
  • encyclopedia
  • lexicon
  • Wikipedia
  • correct
  • relevant
  • user type
  • dictionary function

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