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Reconceptualizing Lexicography: The Broad Understanding

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  • Patrick Leroyer
  • Henrik Køhler Simonsen, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Lexicography has changed radically over the past 20 years and numerous scholars have discussed in a vast number of theoretical contributions whether lexicography is a science of its own and how it should be defined. But has the whole idea oflexicography, the way we see it in the first place, also changed? Is lexicography all about dictionaries one way or another? Can it be understood differently?

 In this light, the purpose of our paper is to propose a broad understanding spurred by the closing remark in Adamska-Salaciak’s article on lexicography and theory as follows ‘theoretical lexicography in its present form is unlikely to offer anysuch theoretical perspective’, cf. (Adamska-Salaciak 2018:14). We do not wish to continue the somewhat tautological discussion of whether lexicographic is a science or not, and bring in yet another definition. Instead, we intend to take Adamska-Salaciak up on her call for further theory development and introduce a reconceptualization of lexicography founded on a social-constructivist position paving the way to a broad understanding.


In ourdiscussion, we have drawn on established, seminal lexicographic theory, but reconceptualization requires a break with current views. Consequently, we have also drawn on theories discussed in (Simonsen 2012), (Christensen 2017), (Fadelet al. 2015), (Leroyer & Simonsen 2018a), (Leroyer & Simonsen 2018b),(Liew 2013), (Osterwalder & Pigneur 2010), (Osterwalder et al. 2014) and (Weil & Woerner 2018) etc. Elaborating on the model of (Verlinde et al.2010) and (Simonsen 2012), we explain how what we call ‘lexicographic meaning-construction processes’ are at the heart of lexicography. In this light, we present a seven-faced model showing how current and novel elements of lexicographic theory interplay and can be reinterpreted.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLexicography for Inclusion : Proceedings of the 19th EURALEX International Congress, 2021
EditorsZoe Gavrilidou, Maria Mitsiaki, Asimakis Fliatouras
Number of pages12
PublisherLjubljana University Press
Publication year2020
ISBN (print)978-618-851138-1-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventXIX International Euralex Congress 2020 : Lexicography for inclusion - Ramada Plaza Thraki, Alexandropoulis, Greece
Duration: 8 Sept 202012 Sept 2020


ConferenceXIX International Euralex Congress 2020
LocationRamada Plaza Thraki
SeriesEURALEX Proceedings

    Research areas

  • lexicographic processes, lexicography, meaning contruction, theoretical definition, theoretical model

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