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Reflections on dictionaries designed to assist users with text production in a foreign language

S Tarp


After a discussion of a selected part of the existing theoretical literature, the concept of foreign-language text production is analysed within the framework of the broader concept of the foreign-language learning process. Two main types of foreign-language text production are discussed, i.e. text production with and without an outline in the learner's mother tongue, followed by an analysis of the kind of assistance dictionaries can provide to the user. The main conclusion drawn from this discussion is that a dictionary designed to assist a user with both types of text production should include both an L1–L2 word list and an L2 (or L2–L1) word list. On this basis, a
proposal for the lexicographic data that should be included in the respective word lists is presented, and this data is then compared with the data needed to assist the user in foreign-language text reception. The conclusion is that it is quite possible to conceive bifunctional dictionaries that can provide assistance for both foreign-language text production and foreign-language text reception.

Keywords: lexicography, learner's lexicography, learner's dictionaries, lexicographic functions, communication-orientated functions, foreignlanguage text reception, foreign-language text production, user characteristics, user needs, user situations, lexicographic data

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eISSN: 2224-0039
print ISSN: 1684-4904