Verklaringsmeganismes in kinderwoordeboeke
This thesis aims at answering the following questions: What are the characteristics of a children's dictionary? What defining mechanisms are used to convey semantic information in the children’s dictionary? What are the criteria for these mechanisms in order to be effective in the children’s dictionary? In this study a children’s dictionary is seen as a type of learner’s dictionary which contains illustrations and limited verbal defining mechanisms. It is aimed at the linguistic and cognitive development of children between the ages of approximately four and nine. Chapter two deals with the definition and typification of the children’s dictionary. In chapter three the relation between language and conceptualization is explored. Specific attention is given to aspects of categorization, prototypes, semantic networks and lexical and conceptual relations. The task of the lexigographer is to convey semantic information in a way that is understandable for the target user of the dictionary. In children’s dictionaries verbal definitions, illustrations and usage examples are identified as important defining mechanisms. The structure and functions of definitions are investigated and different types of definitions are discussed. Eight criteria for effective definitions in children’s dictionaries are identified. The nature of illustrations in dictionaries is investigated. Different types of illustrations and functions of illustrations in dictionaries as well as children’s literature are discussed, after which seven identified criteria for effective illustrations in children’s dictionaries are given. After a discussion of different types of usage examples and functions of usage examples in dictionaries, nine criteria are identified for the effective use of defining mechanisms in children’s dictionaries. In each case the relevant defining mechanism, as used in three children’s dictionaries, is measured against the identified criteria. One of the most important findings of this study is that the definition, illustration and usage example do not function separately in the children’s dictionary. These three defining mechanisms have to be integrated to ensure maximum effectiveness. In chapter seven a summary of the findings is given and some examples dictionary articles are given where the defining mechanisms are integrated. Suggestions are also made for further studies.
- Humanities