User-oriented Understanding of Descriptive, Proscriptive and Prescriptive Lexicography*

Henning Bergenholtz

Abstract


Abstract: There is much uncertainty and confusion as to the real differences between prescrip-tive and descriptive dictionaries. In general, the majority of existing accounts can be summarised as follows: Descriptive relates to the empirical basis; accordance between the empirical data and the dictionary is required. Prescriptive relates to the genuine purpose of the dictionary; the dictionary is meant to help with problems concerning text production and will thus affect usage. This asym-metrical understanding would imply prescriptive and descriptive in practice being false contrasts. In this article, a more consistent terminology is suggested which allows for both the function of the dictionary and the relation of the dictionary to the empirical basis.

Keywords: DESCRIPTION, DICTIONARY FUNCTION, EMPIRICAL BASIS, EXACTLY DESCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY, EXACTLY PROSCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY, EXPLICITLY PRE-SCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY, INTROSPECTION, LINGUISTIC SURVEY, NOT EXACTLY DE-SCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY, NOT EXACTLY PROSCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY, PRESCRIPTION, PROSCRIPTION, STRONGLY DESCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY, STRONGLY PRESCRIPTIVE DIC-TIONARY, TEXT CORPUS, USER-ORIENTED, WEAKLY DESCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY, WEAK-LY PRESCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY, WEAKLY PROSCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY

Opsomming: Gebruikersgerigte siening van deskriptiewe, proskriptiewe en preskriptiewe woordeboeke. Daar is baie onsekerheid en verwarring oor die werklike verskille tussen preskriptiewe en deskriptiewe woordeboeke. Oor die algemeen kan die meerder-heid bestaande verklarings soos volg saamgevat word: Deskriptief hou verband met die empiriese basis; ooreenstemming tussen die empiriese gegewens en die woordeboek is nodig. Preskriptief hou verband met die werklike doel van die woordeboek; die woordeboek is bedoel om te help met probleme betreffende teksproduksie en sal dus gebruik beïnvloed. Hierdie asimmetriese siening sal impliseer dat preskriptief en deskriptief in die praktyk onjuiste teenstellings is. In hierdie artikel word 'n meer konsekwente terminologie aan die hand gedoen wat rekening hou met sowel die funksie van die woordeboek as die verhouding van die woordeboek met die empiriese basis.

Sleutelwoorde: DESKRIPSIE, WOORDEBOEKFUNKSIE, EMPIRIESE BASIS, PRESIES DESKRIPTIEWE WOORDEBOEK, PRESIES PROSKRIPTIEWE WOORDEBOEK, DUIDELIK PRESKRIPTIEWE WOORDEBOEK, INTROSPEKSIE, LINGUISTIESE ONDERSOEK, NIE-PRESIES DESKRIPTIEWE WOORDEBOEK, NIE-PRESIES PROSKRIPTIEWE WOORDEBOEK, PRESKRIP-SIE, PROSKRIPSIE, STERK DESKRIPTIEWE WOORDEBOEK, STERK PRESKRIPTIEWE WOOR-DEBOEK, TEKSKORPUS, GEBRUIKERSGERIG, SWAK DESKRIPTIEWE WOORDEBOEK, SWAK PRESKRIPTIEWE WOORDEBOEK, SWAK PROSKRIPTIEWE WOORDEBOEK


Keywords


DESCRIPTION; DICTIONARY FUNCTION; EMPIRICAL BASIS; EXACTLY DESCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY; EXACTLY PROSCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY; EXPLICITLY PRE-SCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY; INTROSPECTION; LINGUISTIC SURVEY; NOT EXACTLY DE-SCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY; NOT EXACTLY PROSCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY; PRESCRIPTION; PROSCRIPTION; STRONGLY DESCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY; STRONGLY PRESCRIPTIVE DIC-TIONARY; TEXT CORPUS; USER-ORIENTED; WEAKLY DESCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY; WEAK-LY PRESCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY; WEAKLY PROSCRIPTIVE DICTIONARY

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/13-0-722

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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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