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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751

Abstract

GOUWS, Rufus  and  LEROYER, Patrick. Increased lexicographic accessibility in the transition from a tourist dictionary to a tourist guide. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2009, vol.49, n.1, pp.145-159. ISSN 2224-7912.

Research in theoretical lexicography has led to the formulation of various models for the planning and compilation of dictionaries. These dictionaries belong to different typological categories but they should all be regarded as reference sources with a specific data presentation, specific structures and well defined functions. Although directed at the compilation of dictionaries, many aspects of these theoretical models can also be applied to other sources of reference. In this paper it is proposed that the implementation of developments in theoretical lexicography should be extended so that certain types of reference sources other than dictionaries, also fall within the scope of their application. These suggestions may look like an attempted lexicographisation of other reference works. However, they should rather be seen as a proposed delexicographisation of a well developed theory, which is at present restricted in its application to the field of dictionaries. Following a brief discussion of some salient features in the development of theoretical lexicography, especially the lexicographic functions approach, the focus switches to the possibility of planning a more general reference source according to criteria laid down for dictionaries. Due to the lack of a proper theoretical basis, many tourist dictionaries fail to satisfy the needs of their intended target users. Accordingly, as opposed to merely proposing an improved tourist dictionary, this article employs tourist dictionaries as a case in point to argue in favour of a more comprehensive tourist guide that will include the tourist dictionary as one of the texts in its central component. Various aspects of the reference needs of tourists are discussed and an indication is given of ways in which dictionaries can provide in these needs. The transition from a tourist dictionary to a tourist guide is presented as the best solution to the problem of inadequate tourist dictionaries. Various aspects of the relevant adaptation and implementation of lexicographic criteria are discussed. Innovative suggestions regarding the structure of the more comprehensive reference source, e.g. the use of an amalgamated central component in which so-called drawer texts are presented as equal status integrated inner texts, are complemented by a focus on the way in which access to the data on offer in such a reference source could be enhanced. It is indicated that, contrary to the prevailing approach in tourist dictionaries, not only a communicative function but also a cognitive function should be satisfied by tourist reference guides. In order to achieve this, the access process needs to make provision for a poli-accessible reference source which allows different search routes with a variety of reference source external points of departure to guide the intended target user to a variety of destinations within the reference source, where the external access routes are linked to internal routes. The notion of intra access routes to link different texts within the amalgamated central component to ensure an optimal retrieval of information and to ascertain textual cohesion is introduced. In a reference source like a tourist guide, access should not be limited to the source internal data. Users often need to be guided to pragmatic and cognitive destinations outside the reference source. To assist users in this regard, suggestions are made for an exit process, giving access to the source external environment. This form of access activates the use of a further lexicographic function, i.e. the operative function. Information retrieved from the reference source should enable knowledgeable target users to employ it in the pragmatic source external environment in order to satisfy certain needs. The reference source, in this case the comprehensive tourist guide, is elevated to a communicative, cognitive as well as operative access route directed at the real tourist environment. Such an approach helps to fulfil the genuine purpose of the relevant reference source. By delexicographising certain aspects of lexicographic theory its more general application can enhance the quality, accessibility and usefulness of many other sources of reference.

Keywords : Access process; access routes; accessibility; amalgamated component; cognitive function; communicative function; drawer structure; lexicographic functions; lexicography; operative function; reference source; tourist dictionary; tourist guide.

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