Function-related secondary user needs and secondary data? a crit-ical examination of some central concepts in the modern theory of lexicographical functions

  • M Ptaszynski


The aim of this article is to contribute to the development of the modern theory of lexicographical functions by offering a critical examination of the following concepts associated with it: primary needs, primary data, secondary needs, secondary data, function-related needs, and function-related data. By way of introduction, a presentation of the basic tenets of the theory is offered, fol-lowed by a description of the general characteristics of secondary needs and data. Next, on the basis of both a critical analysis of the theory and an examination of selected data types in existing lexicographical products, it is argued that all user needs and all data that satisfy those needs are function-related. The distinction between the concepts function-related and usage-related is thus rejected. Since this has serious implications for the relation between secondary needs and data on the one hand and primary needs and data on the other, this relation is subsequently reconsidered. This leads to a redefinition of all the concepts examined. It is also explained why an ideal state of lexicography, where secondary needs and data do not exist, cannot be achieved in the real world. Keywords: dictionary, lexicography, lexicographical function, primary need, primary data, secondary need, secondary data, function-related need, function-related data, extra-lexicographical situation, intra-lexicographical situation, communicative function, cognitive function, operative function, text reception, text production, translation

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eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904