L2 writing assistants and context-aware dictionaries : new challenges to lexicography

Tarp, Sven ; Fisker, Kasper ; Sepstrup, Peter (2017)

CITATION: Tarp, S., Fisker, K. & Sepstrup, P. 2017. L2 writing assistants and context-aware dictionaries : new challenges to lexicography. Lexikos, 27:494-521, doi:10.5788/27-1-1412.

The original publication is available at http://lexikos.journals.ac.za

Article

Dictionaries are increasingly integrated into other tools designed to assist the reading, writing and translation of texts. Write Assistant is a newly developed tool aimed at assisting people writing in a second language. It feeds on big data taken in from corpora and digital dictionaries. The paper discusses the philosophy behind the tool, the techniques applied, its empirical basis and functionality, as well as the extent to which it helps its users. It shows how the tool makes it possible to shorten and even skip some phases in the traditional information-search process and allows its user to maintain the focus on the message to be written without the need to consult external information resources. The paper shows how the underpinning technology gives birth to a new type of dictionary that is context-aware and provides a more personalised user service. But it also indicates that future dictionaries need to be conceptionally adapted to the specific tool in order to optimize the service. All this poses new challenges to lexicography.

Woordeboeke word toenemend geïntegreer in ander hulpmiddels wat ontwerp is om te help met die lees, skryf en vertaling van tekste. Write Assistant is 'n nuut ontwikkelde hulpmiddel wat gerig is daarop om mense wat in 'n tweede taal skryf te assisteer. Dit is gebaseer op groot data wat verkry is uit korpora en digitale woordeboeke. In hierdie artikel word die filosofie agter die hulpmiddel, die tegnieke wat toegepas word, die empiriese basis en die funksionaliteit daarvan bespreek, sowel as die mate waartoe dit die gebrui-kers daarvan help. Daar word aangetoon hoe die hulpmiddel dit moontlik maak om sommige fases in die funksionele inligtingsoektogproses te verkort en selfs te weg te laat, en hoe dit die gebruiker toelaat om fokus op die boodskap wat geskryf moet word, te behou sonder dat dit nodig is om eksterne inligtingsbronne te raadpleeg. In hierdie artikel word aangedui hoe die onderliggende tegnologie lei tot die skep van 'n nuwe soort woordeboek wat konteks-sensitief is en wat 'n meer persoonlike gebruikersdiens verskaf. Dit dui egter ook daarop dat toekomstige woordeboekbehoeftes konseptueel by die spesifieke hulpmiddel aangepas moet word om die diens te optimaliseer. Dit hou alles nuwe uitdagings in vir die leksikografie.

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