How to do language policy with dictionaries

Bergenholtz, Henning ; Gouws, Rufus H. (2006)

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The lexicographical presentation of terms from the field of language planning often lacks clear and unambiguous distinction and proper explanation. Too often dictionaries even fail to include these terms in the lemma list, and some central terms have not been treated in any general or special purpose dictionary. This article utilises results from research in the field of language policy to make suggestions for the lexicographical presentation and treatment of a number of relevant terms. The emphasis on a distinction between language policy as applied to the intralingual and the interlingual level and the motivation for the introduction of the notion of a communication policy should help lexicographers to give a more comprehensive account of terms from this field and it will also benefit scholars in the field of language policy. A second aspect of this article is the discussion of ways in which dictionaries participate in the implementation of language policy. It is indicated that lexicographers make ever so many decisions of a language political nature. In this regard the lexicographical influence of issues like linguistic hegemony and language purism are discussed. Suggestions are also made for future lexicographical procedures.

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