Reflections on Lexicographical User Research

Sven Tarp

Abstract


Abstract: The last decades have seen a growing interest in theoretical and practical problems related to lexicographical user research. Starting with a discussion of the concept of lexicographically relevant user needs, this contribution analyses, utilising the lexicographical function theory, various types of needs to be taken into account when doing this kind of research. It then discusses the positive and negative aspects of the various methods applied, i.e. questionnaires, interviews, observation, protocols, experiments, tests, and log files. With reference to both lexicographical and sociological literature, it raises a number of problems com-mon to most of the lexicographical user research conducted until now and recommends the application of scientific methods in future research. Finally, it proposes a number of alternative methods in order to obtain more knowledge about the real user needs.

Keywords: LEXICOGRAPHY, FUNCTION THEORY, DICTIONARY USAGE, USER NEEDS, USER TYPOLOGY, USER SITUATIONS, USER RESEARCH, RESEARCH METHODS, QUES-TIONNAIRES, INTERVIEWS, OBSERVATION, EXPERIMENTS, TESTS, LOG FILES

Opsomming: Gedagtes oor leksikografiese gebruikersnavorsing. Die laaste dekades het 'n groeiende belangstelling in teoretiese en praktiese probleme betreffende leksikogra-fiese gebruikersnavorsing gesien. Deur met 'n bespreking van die konsep van leksikografies ter-saaklike gebruikersbehoeftes te begin, ontleed hierdie bydrae, met gebruikmaking van die leksiko-grafiese funksieteorie, verskillende soorte behoeftes wat in aanmerking geneem moet word wan-neer hierdie soort navorsing gedoen word. Dit bespreek dan die positiewe en negatiewe aspekte van die verskillende metodes wat benut word, d.w.s. vraelyste, onderhoude, waarneming, proto-kolle, eksperimente, toetse, en loglêers. Met verwysing na sowel leksikografiese as sosiologiese literatuur, bring dit 'n aantal probleme ter sprake tipies van die meeste leksikografiese gebruikers-navorsing wat tot nou toe gedoen is en beveel dit die toepassing van wetenskaplike metodes in toekomstige navorsing aan. Ten slotte stel dit 'n aantal alternatiewe metodes voor om meer kennis te verkry oor die werklike gebruikersbehoeftes.

Sleutelwoorde: LEKSIKOGRAFIE, FUNKSIETEORIE, WOORDEBOEKGEBRUIK, GEBRUI-KERSBEHOEFTES, GEBRUIKERSTIPOLOGIE, GEBRUIKERSITUASIES, GEBRUIKERSNAVOR-SING, NAVORSINGSMETODES, VRAELYSTE, ONDERHOUDE, WAARNEMING, EKSPERI-MENTE, TOETSE, LOGLÊERS


Keywords


LEXICOGRAPHY; FUNCTION THEORY; DICTIONARY USAGE; USER NEEDS; USER TYPOLOGY; USER SITUATIONS; USER RESEARCH; RESEARCH METHODS; QUES-TIONNAIRES; INTERVIEWS; OBSERVATION; EXPERIMENTS; TESTS; LOG FILES

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/19-0-440

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

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