Theory-determined Dictionary Structure Problems and Dictionary Structure Determined User Problems I. A Contribution to Dictionary Criticism and the Theory of Dictionary Structures.

  • Herbert Ernst Wiegand Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), Wallenberg Research Centre at Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Südafrika
  • Rufus H. Gouws Departement Afrikaans en Nederlands, Universiteit Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Südafrika
Keywords: article sequence with window, article structure scheme, article window, basic complex dictionary article, complex article structural image, complex dictionary article, dictionary structure determined user problem, noun-verb-adjective article, partial arti


The empirical domain of the subject matter of dictionary research changes, among others, due to the publication of new dictionaries. A noticeable trend seems to be the increasing occurrence of more new elements regarding dictionary structures in the front matter, central list and back matter. This makes dictionary structure more complex. For the theory of dictionary structures this leads to theory-determined dictionary structure problems: If the theory wants to take cognizance of the new developments it has to be expanded and becomes increasingly complex. If it is expanded one can recognise, in the light of the theory, the strengths and weaknesses of the new structural elements. This leads to dictionary criticism. The weaknesses, especially, lead to dictionary structure-determined user problems. In this first part of the contribution theory-determined article structure problems are treated that result from an investigation of an article type not previously examined, i.e. the complex dictionary articles in which two or more structurally identical words belonging to two or more part of speech classes are lexicographically treated. The theory-determined article structure problems prevail because there are no structural concept for articles of this type, no systematic terminology, no typology and partially no means and methods of presentation. The problems are thereby solved that the theory of dictionary structures is systematically expanded and the heuristics extended to provide for the missing elements. Keywords: article sequence with window; article structure scheme; article window; basic complex dictionary article; complex article structural image; complex dictionary article; dictionary structure determined user problem; noun-verb-adjective article; partial article; partial article external comment on form; partial article external extended complex dictionary article; partial article internal extended complex dictionary article; single complex dictionary article; theory-determined dictionary structure problem; twofold complex dictionary article; window article; wordfamily window