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One Database, Four Monofunctional Dictionaries

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A dictionary is an information tool. In the last century most dictionaries were constructed as polyfunctional tools
following a broad and imprecise understanding: A dictionary is to be used by everyone for every kind of communicative
and cognitive problem. But normal tools are not polyfunctional. If you go to a shop and ask for a saw, you have to specify
fi rst what you are going to saw: a big tree or a small piece of plywood. After having explained that, you will be offered
a monofunctional saw. So it should be too for information tool: A good tool is a tool designed for a certain function and
for a certain user group for certain needs. This paper will argue for the need of dictionary designs for monofunctional
dictionaries. Doing that, we need to be aware of the fact that a lexicographical database is not a dictionary. A database
contains data which can be presented in one or more monofunctional or polyfunctional dictionaries.
The database of the dictionary in question comprises 4.015 (September 30st, 2012) cards with defi nitions, historical
background, synonyms, references and links, pictures etc. Outgoing from this database, four different dictionaries
are presented. All of them are dictionaries on musical terms mainly from the world of classical music, but also from
commercial music and the so-called world music. The music dictionaries intend to be tools for music students in
universities and music schools, for both amateurs and professional musicians and for every interested person who wants
aid when reading texts on music or who wishes to get further information on musical terms and topics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHermes
Volume50
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
ISSN0904-1699
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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