n Lexikos - Lexicography and the relevance criterion

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1684-4904
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0039



Until recently, lexicography and information science could rightly be considered two disciplines which had developed along parallel lines but with no or very little formal relation between them. Although the two disciplines developed in almost complete isolation from each other, during the last few years it has nevertheless become increasingly clear that they have a lot in common. This trend began within lexicography which started viewing lexicographical works as a special kind of tool designed to be consulted in order to obtain information. Upon this basis, it has been suggested that lexicography should be considered a part of information science and, hence, integrated into it (cf. e.g. Bergenholtz and Bothma 2012, Tarp 2009). It is evident that this integration of two hitherto independent disciplines with long traditions of their own is not something to be solved overnight and neither can it be a unilateral process.

This article will explore the concept of relevance in both disciplines in more detail and show, at the hand of examples from lexicographical tools, how the theoretical frameworks of both disciplines can complement one another. This will be done within the framework of the function theory of lexicography, as discussed in the many works of Tarp and Bergenholtz (e.g. Bergenholtz and Tarp 2002) and others, and relevance theory in information science as defined by Saracevic (1975, 1996), Cosijn and Ingwersen (2000) and others.

Tot onlangs kon leksikografie en inligtingkunde tereg gesien word as twee dissiplines wat langs parallelle lyne ontwikkel het, maar met min of geen formele verhouding tussen hulle nie. Alhoewel die twee dissiplines in bykans volkome isolasie van mekaar ontwikkel het, het dit gedurende die afgelope aantal jare al hoe meer duidelik geword dat hulle baie in gemeen het. Hierdie tendens het begin met leksikografie wat begin het om leksikografiese werke te sien as 'n spesiale tipe hulpmiddel ("tool") wat ontwerp is om geraadpleeg te word met die doel om inligting te bekom. Op grond hiervan is daar voorgestel dat leksikografie as deel van inligtingkunde gesien behoort te word, en gevolglik daarin geïntegreer behoort te word (sien bv. Bergenholtz en Bothma 2012, Tarp 2009). Dit is duidelik dat die integrasie van die twee tot-dusver onafhanklike dissiplines met lang tradisies van hulle eie nie iets is wat oornag opgelos sal kan word nie en dat dit nie 'n eensydige proses kan wees nie.
In hierdie artikel word die konsep van relevansie in beide dissiplines bespreek en word daar aan die hand van voorbeelde van leksikografiese hulpmiddels aangetoon hoe die teoretiese raamwerke van die twee dissiplines mekaar kan komplementeer. Dit sal gedoen word binne die raamwerk van die funksieteorie in leksikografie, soos bespreek in die talle werke van Tarp en Bergenholtz (bv. Bergenholtz en Tarp 2002) en andere, en relevansie-teorie in inligtingkunde soos gedefinieer deur Saracevic (1975, 1996), Cosijn en Ingwersen (2000) en andere.

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