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Zur Konzeption eines einsprachigen deutschen Lernerworterbuchs : Vorschlage fur die lexikographische Textgestaltung aus benutzerorientierter Perspektive

Van der Colff, Adri (1997-03)

Thesis (DLitt (Modern Foreign Languages))--University of Stellenbosch, 1996.


Objective: This study presents a conception for compiling a monolingual German learner's dictionary. It is a theoretical blueprint which formulates guidelines regarding the choice and treatment ofinformation types suited for inclusion in such a dictionary. The conception is ''user oriented". In other words, its main focus is on the target users: nonnative speakers ofGerman who have reached an intermediate level of proficiency in their active and passive usage ofthe language. The deciding factor when suggestions are made regarding the selection, arrangement and typographical appearance of all lexicographical information is its relevance for this target group. In order for it to be an aid to foreign language learners while reading, writing and translating texts, information is presented in a simple and an easily retrievable way. The conception also aspires to help learners overcome their communicative problems and needs as well as to improve their linguistic competence. However, the ultimate aim ofthis dissertation is not only to provide a theoretical blueprint for a German learner's dictionary, but to have some practical significance as well. It is hoped that these recommendations will go some way towards stimulating the presently underdeveloped German pedagogical lexicographical practice. Contents: The study is structured to include all the vital aspects that are ofsignificance for the compilation of a learner's dictionary. It begins with a discussion of a number of pedagogical-lexicographical issues, such as the role of a learner's dictionary as a means of improving communicative proficiency in language teaching. The focus then moves on to the main objective, namely concrete proposals for the dictionary blueprint. While these proposals are based on up-to-date metalexicographical and linguistic theoretical conclusions, the deciding factor is that they must be practically applicable. First, the draft dictionary is typologically characterised by means of a precise and detailed description of the target user profile and potential usage situation~. Secondly, a discussion of general criteria, mainly aimed at improving the quick and easy retrieval of linguistic information, follows. Then, the contents and form ofthose texts that are not within the central alphabetical wordlist, such as the user's guide and grammar, as well as the internal reference structure ofthe dictionary (mediostructure) are highlighted. Subsequently, the selection of information in the draft dictionary is examined. This includes both the choice oflemmas (macrostructural selection) and the collection of linguistic information types suited for inclusion (microstructural selection). Not only does the conception recommend a relatively small number oflemmas (15 000), exclusively retrieved from the most common and frequently used standardised High German, but the number of information types is also restricted. This results is a low information density which in tum allows for a low text density and a high degree of accessiblity. Although decisions regarding the presentation ofvarious lexicographical information categories are linguistically motivated, linguistic comprehensiveness must occasionally bow the knee before pragmatic considerations. These improve the reception and retrievablitiy of data and enhance the user's chances of a sound understanding. A favourable visual presentation, including a low information density and transparent typographical layout, are also emphasised throughout. Finally, suggestions for the organisation and presentation oflemmas on the one hand and individual information types within the dictionary article on the other are presented. Sample entries provide a clear demonstration of all suggestions. In conclusion, the wider aspects ofhow the dictionary conceptualised in this thesis can be adapted to compile specialist pedagogical dictionaries, such as a production dictionary and a bilingual learner's dictionary which incorporates mother-tongue elements, are presented.

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