The Effect of Lexicographical Information Costs on Dictionary Making and Use

Sandro Nielsen

Abstract


Abstract: An important aspect for any lexicographer to consider is the ease with which users will be able to acquire the necessary information from the data presented in the dictionary, whether electronic or printed. Furthermore, this aspect has high priority with users and reviewers. A distinction is proposed between two general types of lexicographical information costs. Firstly, search-related costs are the effort required by the look-up activities users have to perform when consulting a dictionary to find access to the data they are searching for. It is argued that the access route, article structure, data distribution and cross-references may influence search-related information costs positively as well as negatively. Secondly, comprehension-related costs are the effort connected to the user's ability to understand and interpret the data presented in a dictionary. In other words: How easy or difficult is it for users to understand the data presented? Examples show how textual condensation, dictionary functions and use-situations may impact on the level of comprehension-related information costs. It is thus possible to establish a framework for evaluating lexicographical information costs for the purpose of dictionary making, use, analysis and research.

Keywords: LEXICOGRAPHY, DICTIONARY, INFORMATION COSTS, ACCESS ROUTES,DISTRIBUTION STRUCTURE, CROSS-REFERENCES, TEXTUAL CONDENSATION, DICTIONARYARTICLES, SEARCH ZONES, DATA, INFORMATION, DICTIONARY FUNCTIONS,USE-SITUATIONS

Opsomming: Die uitwerking van leksikografiese inligtingskoste op diemaak en gebruik van woordeboeke. 'n Belangrike aspek vir enige leksikograaf om in agte neem is die gemak waarmee gebruikers in staat sal wees om die nodige inligting van die data indie woordeboek, hetsy elektronies of gedruk, te verkry. Verder geniet hierdie aspek hoë voorkeurby gebruikers en resensente. 'n Onderskeid word voorgestel tussen twee algemene soorte leksikografieseinligtingskoste. Eerstens, soekverwante koste is die inspanning wat gepaardgaan met dieopsoekaktiwiteite wat gebruikers moet verrig by die raadpleging van 'n woordeboek om toegangte verkry tot die data waarna hulle soek. Daar word geredeneer dat die toegangsroete, artikelstruktuur,dataverspreiding en kruisverwysings soekverwante inligtingskoste sowel positief asnegatief kan beïnvloed. Tweedens, begripsverwante koste is die inspanning verbonde aan diegebruiker se vermoë om die gegewe data in 'n woordeboek te verstaan en te interpreteer. Metander woorde: Hoe maklik of moeilik is dit vir gebruikers om die gegewe data te verstaan? Voorbeelde toon hoe tekstuele verdigting, woordeboekfunksies en gebruiksituasies 'n uitwerking kan hêop die vlak van begripsverwante inligtingskoste. Dit is derhalwe moontlik om 'n raamwerk te skepvir die beoordeling van leksikografiese inligtingskoste vir die doel van die maak, gebruik, ontledingen ondersoek van woordeboeke.

Sleutelwoorde: LEKSIKOGRAFIE, WOORDEBOEK, INLIGTINGSKOSTE, TOEGANGSROETES,VERSPREIDINGSTRUKTUUR, KRUISVERWYSINGS, TEKSVERDIGTING, WOORDEBOEKARTIKELS,SOEKSONES, DATA, INLIGTING, WOORDEBOEKFUNKSIES, GEBRUIKSITUASIES


Keywords


LEXICOGRAPHY; DICTIONARY; INFORMATION COSTS; ACCESS ROUTES; DISTRIBUTION STRUCTURE; CROSS-REFERENCES; TEXTUAL CONDENSATION; DICTIONARY ARTICLES; SEARCH ZONES; DATA; INFORMATION; DICTIONARY FUNCTIONS; USE-SITUATIONS

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/18-0-483

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

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