Domain-specific Knowledge in Lexicography: How It Helps Lexicographers and Users of Accounting Dictionaries Intended for Communicative Usage Situations

  • Sandro Nielsen
  • HERMES - Journal of Language and Communication in Business, November 2017, Aarhus University Library
  • DOI: 10.7146/hjlcb.v26i50.97796

Lexicographers need knowledge of specific domains to make good dictionaries

What is it about?

Dictionaries are consulted when translating specialized texts in the global marketplace and when such texts are written in a foreign language. However, studies of translation in e.g. accounting indicate that most dictionaries do not provide the help needed in communicative situations, because they do not take into consideration that domain-specific meanings are culture- and structure-dependent. It is proposed that this state of affairs can be improved by studying the relevant types of knowledge required of lexicographers making accounting and other specialized dictionaries: declarative, procedural and schematic knowledge. These knowledge types are relevant when lexicographers select entry words as well as when they select equivalents and translations. Finally, it is proposed that declarative, procedural and schematic knowledge is needed when writing definitions of terms, and that these types of knowledge should also be reflected in the definitions presented to users or in other ways in dictionaries.

Why is it important?

This paper changes the focus from the need of mere linguistic knowledge to the need of knowledge of a range of fields, especially non-linguistic fields in order to make dictionaries that can answer the questions of users.


Dr Sandro Nielsen
Aarhus Universitet

This paper opens up the scope of lexicography by arguing that knowledge from several fields is necessary to make good dictionaries that users can actually use in various situations.

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Sandro Nielsen