oa Lexikos - The structure of an Afrikaans collocation and phrase dictionary

Volume 8, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 1684-4904
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0039



In this article an Afrikaans collocation and phrase dictionary for mother-tongue speakers (primary target group) as well as advanced learners (secondary target group) is discussed. The position which such a dictionary occupies among other dictionary types is pointed out. A motivation is also given for the inclusion of idioms and other fixed phrases in the proposed dictionary. The three key approaches with regard to the interpretation of the term collocation are examined, Le. the text-oriented approach of Halliday and Hasan (1976), the statistically-oriented approach of Sinclair (Collins Cobuild) and the signiIicance-oriented approach of Hausmann (1984). The arguments in this article favour Benson et al.'s (1986) implementation of the significance-oriented approach. Statistical evidence could be used to examine the usage frequency of collocations and phrases. The advantages and/or disadvantages of these approaches are considered. Three types of words and their treatment in the dictionary are discussed: those which have a very wide range of combination, those which have selectional restrictions imposed by general semantic features, and those of which the range of combination is restricted by certain other words. It is argued that only the last two types should be included in this dictionary. As one of the target groups is unsophisticated learners with a limited grammatical background, the ideal would be to enter lexical collocations both at their bases and at the collocators. To save space however, more information such as examples could then be provided at the bases only.

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