School dictionaries for home language learners of Afrikaans [Skoolwoordeboeke vir huistaalleerders van Afrikaans]

Tarp S. ; Gouws R.H. (2010)


School dictionaries constitute an extended typological category within the collection of dictionary types. The divergent variety of target users of school dictionaries however demands a clearer typological description and a more precise division in subcategories. This article focuses firstly on some of the different interpretations of the term school dictionary and the obscurity related to the use of this term. An imprecise use of the term leads to a situation where potential users of school dictionaries do not know what to expect in a specific dictionary and who the envisaged target users of the dictionary are. The lexicographic functions of school dictionaries are discussed with the emphasis on Afrikaans school dictionaries for home language learners. An overview and contextualisation of these dictionaries are followed by a discussion of different dictionaries for primary and secondary school learners. Attention is drawn to aspects of the functions, structure and contents as well as positive and negative features of the different dictionaries. It becomes evident that the development in theoretical lexicography has had a positive influence on the compilation of school dictionaries. In conclusion a number of suggestions are made for the improvement of future school dictionaries. The importance of an unambiguous indication of among others the target users and the user situation is stressed. The inclusion, presentation and treatment of data must be done in accordance with the user profile.

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