Reflections on data access in lexicographic works

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearch


This article discusses the need for quick and easy access to the relevant lexicographic data in the light of the function theory. In this respect, it raises the question: How many data does a user need in each consultation? As many as possible? Or as few as possible? The answer provided in the article is that the user needs exactly the amount of data that are necessary in order to meet his or her information needs, neither more nor less. If there are too few data the user's needs will not be met, whereas too many data may confuse the user and make the spotting of the needed data slower and more difficult. On this basis, the article raises a new question: What is exactly the necessary amount of data needed in each consultation? In order to answer this question, the article introduces a distinction between concrete user needs and types of user needs related to a specific type of user situation. In this light, the article discusses a number of articles taken from printed and electronic dictionaries as well as a number of hypothetic articles based upon the former in order to explore some of the possibilities made available to lexicography by the new information technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLexicography in the 21st Century : In honour of Henning Bergenholtz
EditorsSandro Nielsen, Sven Tarp
Number of pages20
Place of publicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Publication date2009
ISBN (Print)9789027223364
ISBN (Electronic)9789027289018
Publication statusPublished - 2009
SeriesTerminology and Lexicography Research and Practice (TLRP)


  • Lexicography
  • Specialised lexicography
  • Acceptability
  • Data access
  • Information access


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