The use of an improved access structure in dictionaries

  • RH Gouws


Dictionary consultation procedures often fail because the structure of a dictionary impedes the user from sufficient access to the data. Modern-day metalexicography has identified the access structure as one of the most important structural components of a dictionary. The access structure represents the search route a user follows to reach the required data in order to retrieve the necessary information. This paper focuses on a few aspects of the access structure. It is argued that a frame structure and an improved use of outer texts can enhance access to the lexicographic data. Different macrostructural ordering procedures are discussed and it is suggested that the lexicographers of bilingual dictionaries should avoid multiple niching. The presentation of inner texts in clearly identifiable text blocks can assist the user in rapidly reaching the desired search zone. Although the emphasis is on bilingual dictionaries many of the suggestions also apply to monolingual dictionaries. Keywords: metalexicography, lexicography, dictionary, bilingual, access structure, frame structure, multiple niching, nesting, inner texts, outer text

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904