- Wörterbuchforschung. Untersuchungen zur Wörterbuchbenutzung, zur Theorie, Geschichte, Kritik und Automatisierung der Lexikographie. [Studies in Dictionary Use, and in the Theory, History, Criticism, and Automatization of Lexicography.] (review)
- Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America
- Dictionary Society of North America
- Number 21, 2000
- pp. 151-159
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Reviews151 Wörterbuchforschung. Untersuchungen zur Wörterbuchbenutzung, zur Theorie , Geschichte, Kritik und Automatisierung der Lexikographie. [Studies in Dictionary Use, and in the Theory, History, Criticism, and Automatization of Lexicography.] By Herbert Ernst Wiegand. Volume 1. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter 1998. xx + 1162 pages, 159 figures. DM 578. There is no need to introduce Professor Wiegand, since he is one of the most prolific and important authors on the theory of lexicography , founder of several journals and series of monographs, and initiator of many conferences, meetings, seminars, etc. The book under review is the result of long years devoted to empirical research on dictionaries, their compilation and their use, and to development of a coherent theory of lexicography. This first volume of the work under review contains two main sections: (i) Studien zur Strukturierung dnes Forschungsfeldes (- 'Studies on the structural organization1 of a research field') (13-256), and (ii) Wörterbuchbenutzungsforschung (= 'Research on the use of dictionaries') (257-1031). The rest of the volume contains bibliographies and various indices. The second volume promises mainly sections (iii) Systematische Wörterbuchforschung, (iv) Historische Wörterbuchforschung , and (?) Kritische Wörterbuchforschung.2 One of the important topics of the first section is the discussion of the relationship of purely linguistic dictionaries or language dictionaries (in German Sprachwörterbücher, i.e. those whose genuine purpose is to deal with language or languages only) , referred to in the book under review by the symbol (here simplified) K1, to encyclopedic dictionaries (in German Sachwörterbücher, whose genuine purpose is to offer information about the objects [Sachen in German] designated by the entrywords), referred to by the symbol (here simplified ) K2. If we wish to restate a complex situation in simplistic terms, we can say that many, perhaps most, authors writing on this subject (i.e., the relationship of purely linguistic information and encyclopedic information) admit 'The word Strukturierung of the original is either a nominalization of the transitive verb strukturieren, explained in Duden (1983) by the paraphrasis "mit dner bestimmten Struktur versehen, dner bestimmten Struktur entsprechend aufbauen, organisieren, gliedern" (= 'develop, organize, articulate according to a certain structure'), or it is a Stative term, paraphrased in the same dictionary by "das Vorhandensdn dner Struktur" ('the existence of a structure') . The English translation attempts, scarcely with full success, to capture the ambivalence of the German original. This ambivalence is, however, vitally important for the understanding of the section, which performs both tasks, finding out and establishing the underlying structural relations within the field, and articulating the research field according to them. 2A translation of these titles will be offered when the volume is published. For a provisional translation, see below, p. 152. 1 52Reviews that many language dictionaries (K1) contain as well some encyclopedic information (K2), and vice versa, that most encyclopedic dictionaries (K2) also contain some linguistic information (K1). This is an opinion, or mode of conceptualization , which Wiegand rejects. He is able to do so because he recognizes a third class of dictionaries which are called in German Allbücher3 (this would be in English, sit venia verbo, 'omni-books'), which he refers to by the symbol (here simplified again) K3; this K3 class is an intersection of the two other classes: K3 = K1 O K2 (57). Clearly, if, on the one hand, we posit two classes defined as two sets of distinct elements with a transition zone between them consisting of a mixture of elements of either class, and if, on the other hand, we posit three classes, two of them sets of distinct elements and the third an intersection of the two classes, the results of the two treatments are not dissimilar; but the conception in terms of three classes makes the sets and subsets more distinct. I would not pay so much attention to this matter were it not of basic importance for understanding the book: this is a system-constructing work, and as such, it needs classes which are as clear cut as possible. The better one understands this point, the more one will be able to appreciate the achievements of the book. According to this classification of dictionaries, the author conceives of lexicography as having a tripartite articulation, its...