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Contexts of dictionary use

  • To design effective electronic dictionaries, reliable empirical information on how dictionaries are actually being used is of great value for lexicographers. To my knowledge, no existing empirical research addresses the context of dictionary use, or the extra-lexicographic situations in which a dictionary consultation is embedded. This is mainly due to the fact that data about these contexts is difficult to obtain. To take a first step in closing this research gap, I incorporated an open-ended question (“In which contexts or situations would you use a dictionary?”) into the online survey (N = 684) and asked the participants to answer this question by providing as much information as possible. Instead of presenting well-known facts about standardized types of usage situation, this paper will focus on the more offbeat circumstances of dictionary use and aims of users, as they are reflected in the responses. Overall, the results indicate that there is a community whose work is closely linked with dictionaries and, accordingly, they deal very routinely with this type of text. Dictionaries are also seen as a linguistic treasure trove for games or crossword puzzles, and as a standard which can be referred to as an authority. While it is important to emphasize that the results are only preliminary, they do indicate the potential of empirical research in this area.

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Author:Carolin Müller-SpitzerORCiDGND
Publisher:Trojina, Institute for Applied Slovene Studies/Eesti Keele Instituut
Place of publication:Ljubljana/Tallinn
Editor:Iztok Kosem, Polona Gantar, Simon Krek, Margit Langemets, Mari Tuulik
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Year of first Publication:2013
Date of Publication (online):2014/07/07
contexts of dictionary use; lexicographic situation; research into dictionary use
GND Keyword:Computerunterstützte Lexikographie
First Page:1
Last Page:15
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 430 Deutsch / 433 Deutsche Wörterbücher
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt