Dictionaries for text reception

Authored by: Patrick Leroyer

The Routledge Handbook of Lexicography

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138941601
eBook ISBN: 9781315104942
Adobe ISBN:


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It is possible to distinguish between three basic approaches to the study of dictionaries for text reception, also known as ‘decoding dictionaries’: (a) as objects of study per se; (b) as expressions of a relationship between them and their usefulness for users; and (c) as to their planning and construction. Due to space constraints, this chapter will focus on (b) through a critical discussion of the concept of the dictionary for text reception and of the specific needs that specific users may have in specific text reception situations in the extra-lexicographical world. In the first sections of this chapter, we will address theoretical arguments needed to conceptualise dictionaries for text reception. This will be done in the framework of the function theory of lexicography (Tarp 2008; Fuertes Olivera and Tarp 2014), in which dictionaries are apprehended as utility tools for consultation. We will then address a number of lexicographic issues raised by specific text reception problems. Finally, we will briefly outline lexicographic challenges related to the growing number of computational applications for machine reception. The optimistic conclusion is that lexicography has not become outdated. High-quality lexicographic datasets are needed in systems designed to automate meaning extraction and enhance human reception.

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