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Empirical data on 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, in other words, the extra-lexicographic situations in which a dictionary consultation is embedded. This is mainly due to the fact that data about these contexts are difficult to obtain. To take a first step in closing this research gap, we incorporated an open-ended question (“In which contexts or situations would you use a dictionary?”) into our first online survey (N = 684). Instead of presenting well-known facts about standardized types of usage situation, this chapter will focus on the more offbeat circumstances of dictionary use and aims of users, as they are reflected in the responses. Overall, my results indicate that there is a community whose work is closely linked with dictionaries. 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 my results are only preliminary, they do indicate the potential of empirical research in this area.

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Author:Carolin Müller-SpitzerORCiDGND
Parent Title (German):Using online dictionaries
Series (Serial Number):Lexicographica : series maior (145)
Publisher:De Gruyter
Place of publication:Berlin; Boston
Editor:Carolin Müller-Spitzer
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2014
Date of Publication (online):2014/04/23
Tag:content analysis; contexts of dictionary use; extra-lexicographic situation; open-ended question; user aims; user needs
GND Keyword:Benutzer; Computerunterstützte Lexikographie
First Page:85
Last Page:126
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 430 Deutsch
Open Access?:ja
BDSL-Classification:Lexikographie, Wörterbücher
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt