Pedagogical Lexicography: Towards a New and Strict Typology Corresponding to the Present State-of-the-Art

  • Sven Tarp Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and Centre for Lexicography, Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Keywords: lexicography, learners' dictionaries, school dictionaries, children's dictionaries, desk dictionaries, college dictionaries, dictionaries for foreign-language learners, dictionaries for mother-tongue learners, dictionaries for learners of scientific disci


A frequent and well-known problem within lexicography is the use of various terms to denominate the same phenomenon as well as the use of the same term to denominate various, completely different phenomena. Such a non-systematic terminology may lead to confusion in the discipline and hamper its theoretical and practical development. The problem is especially severe within so-called pedagogical lexicography. A short panoramic review shows that especially the terms "pedagogical lexicography/dictionaries", "didactic lexicography/dictionaries", "school dictionaries" and "learners' dictionaries" are used with a lot of different meanings that vary from author to author, from country to country, from culture to culture. Although publishing houses could hardly be expected to use a strict terminology for their products, this should nevertheless be expected from theoretical lexicography. In order to overcome the present confusion, it is therefore urgent to establish a typology that can be used as reference by scholars dealing theoretically with the subfield of pedagogical lexicography. The article will first show the amazing variety of meanings addressed to the various terms in the theoretical literature. It will then approach the problem along two different lines: 1) establishing a clear definition of the terms "pedagogical", "didactic", "school" and "learner" in a lexicographical perspective, and 2) referring to the existing practice where the terms are frequently used in a much broader sense than in the theoretical literature. Based upon these considerations, a new and strict typology that corresponds to the present practice of pedagogical lexicography will be presented.Keywords: pedagogical lexicography; pedagogical dictionaries; learners' lexicography; learners' dictionaries; school dictionaries; children's dictionaries; desk dictionaries; college dictionaries; dictionaries for foreign-language learners; dictionaries for mother-tongue learners; dictionaries for learners of scientific disciplines
How to Cite
Tarp, S. (2012). Pedagogical Lexicography: Towards a New and Strict Typology Corresponding to the Present State-of-the-Art. Lexikos, 21(1).