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n Lexikos - Reflections on the academic status of lexicography

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Abstract

Two main camps have been formed with regard to the philosophical and academic status of lexicography: one considering lexicography an independent scientific discipline, and the other opposing such a scientific status. This article discusses some of the arguments from the second camp and argues that lexicography should be considered an independent scientific discipline. The argumentation is based on the fact that the subject field of lexicography is different from the subject fields of any other discipline, including linguistics. In this sense, the concept of a lexicographical work is broader than the more reduced concept of a dictionary. Lexicographical works, including dictionaries, are considered cultural artefacts and utility tools produced in order to meet punctual information needs detected in society. In this way, they have during the millenniums covered almost all spheres of human activity and knowledge. The theory and science of lexicography should not focus on the differences regarding the specific content of all these works, but on aspects that unite them and are common to all of them. In this regard, some of the core characteristics of lexicography as an independent discipline are discussed together with its complex relation to other disciplines. Lexicographical theory is understood as a systematic set of statements about its subject field. Finally, the article argues that the fact that this theory may seem too abstract and difficult to some working lexicographers does not in itself invalidate its independent scientific status, although a close relation between theory and practice is recommended.

Twee hoofkampe het ontwikkel met betrekking tot die filosofiese en akademiese status van die leksikografie: een wat die leksikografie beskou as 'n onafhanklike wetenskaplike dissipline, en die ander wat so 'n wetenskaplike status teenstaan. Hierdie artikel bespreek sommige van die argumente van die tweede kamp en redeneer dat die leksikografie as 'n onafhanklike wetenskaplike dissipline beskou behoort te word. Die redenasie is gebaseer op die feit dat die onderwerpsveld van die leksikografie verskillend is van onderwerpsvelde van enige ander dissipline, insluitende die linguistiek. Hiervolgens is die konsep van 'n leksikografiese werk breër as die meer beperkte konsep van 'n woordeboek. Leksikografiese werke, insluitende woordeboeke, word beskou as kulturele artefakte en nutsgereedskap geskep om aan die onmiddellike inligtingsbehoeftes te voldoen wat in die gemeenskap vasgestel is. Op hierdie manier het hulle gedurende die millenniums byna alle sfere van menslike bedrywigheid en kennis gedek. Die teorie en wetenskap van die leksikografie behoort nie te fokus op die verskille wat betref die spesifieke inhoud van al hierdie werke nie, maar op aspekte wat hulle verenig en algemeen aan hulle almal is. In hierdie verband word sommige van die kerneienskappe van die leksikografie as 'n onafhanklike dissipline bespreek saam met sy komplekse verwantskap aan ander dissiplines. Leksikografiese teorie word verstaan as 'n sistematiese reeks stellings oor sy onderwerpsveld. Ten slotte redeneer die artikel dat die feit dat hierdie teorie te abstrak en moeilik kan lyk vir sommige praktiserende leksikograwe, nie sy onafhanklike wetenskaplike status ongeldig maak nie, alhoewel 'n noue verwantskap tussen teorie en praktyk aanbeveel word.

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/content/lexikos/20/1/EJC60715
2010-01-01
2016-12-06
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