Kvaliteten af angivelser i encyklopædier og leksika

Henning Bergenholtz, Inger Bergenholtz

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


The titles of lexicographic tools - dictionary, lexicon or encyclopaedia - are nor­mally just names given to them by the publishers, although you may point out cer­tain differences between certain types. At least in the nordic countries the genuine purpose of a dictionary normally is to be giving help by problems with existing texts, the so-called communicative problems. A lexicon serves a narrow field whereas an encyclopaedia serves as a tool for getting knowledge about all fields. Talking about quality in lexicographic works you may point out the lack of quality in the sense of counting errors. But from a metalexicographic point of view the er­rors are not important. More interesting are those definitions which are correct but not sufficient. The thesis of our paper is that even if you assume a certain complete­ness, you cannot achieve quality without including a) the type of the potential user - being an expert, a semi-expert or a layman dealing with L1 or L2 - and b) the needs which the reference work wants to fulfil - helping to solve problems in reception, text production, translation, or knowledge achievement. Examples from gene tech­nology and musicology will be given. Our own proposals are based on an Internet dictionary on musical terms, Musikordbogen 2007, which has recently been made accessible.
Original languageDanish
Pages (from-to)11-34
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • dictionary
  • encyclopedia
  • lexicon
  • semantics
  • Encyclopedic Information

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