Lexicography and interdisciplinarity

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Lexicography should not be seen as a sub-discipline of linguistics or lexicology but as a discipline in its own right with its own object of research, namely the dictionary. As lexicography concerns the development of theoretical and practical principles as well as the production of lexicographical tools, several disciplines are involved in any dictionary project. First of all, IT specialists will contribute to the development of databases and user interfaces and lexicographers must be able to communicate effectively with those specialists. Secondly, modern dictionaries are informed by electronic corpora so knowledge about corpus building and analysis is relevant. Thirdly, almost all dictionaries contain words or terms from more than one domain, whether they are general language or special language dictionaries, so domain-specific knowledge and cooperation with domain specialists are necessary both in relation to the internal structure of the domain and the language used within the domain. Finally, dictionaries are information tools designed to fulfil the needs of users in specific types of usage situations: communicative, cognitive, operational and interpretive. Therefore, knowledge about and cooperation with specialists of, for instance, translation, copy-editing, knowledge management, operating skills and text production are necessary. From a lexicographical point of view, it is important to have interdisciplinary networks involving several specialists so that they can contribute to the dictionary project as required, for example, linguists provide linguistic data, subject-field specialists provide factual data, and translation scholars provide translation-relevant data. The job of the lexicographer-in-chief is to plan, design and implement the entire project with due regard to the interdisciplinary input to the project that is necessary to bring the project to a successful conclusion. This cooperation may then lead to the development of new or revised theoretical principles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Lexicography
EditorsPedro A. Fuertes-Olivera
Number of pages12
Place of publicationUK & USA
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9781138941601
ISBN (Electronic)9781315104942
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesRoutledge Handbooks in Linguistics

Cite this