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Phrasal equivalents with alternative elements in bilingual dictionaries: presentation problems
Odpowiedniki frazowe z elementami wymiennymi w słownikach dwujęzycznych – problemy reprezentacji
środki kondensacji tekstu
Wydawnictwo Naukowe Szczecińskiej Szkoły Wyższej „Collegium Balticum"
Przegląd humanistyczny. Pedagogika, politologia, filologia, Issue 6, 2012, p. 120-131
One of the difficulties that inexperienced dictionary users face is the cryptic character of dictionary text, which is full of codes, abbreviations and symbols, the significance of which has to be mastered before the microstructure can be accessed. Such devices generally serve the purpose of space conservation in paper dictionaries, and can be termed collectively, after Wiegand (1996), “methods of textual condensation”. As Prinsloo and De Schryver (2002: 72) observe, “[i]ncreased text density, which should obviously stand in relation to the decoding skills of the target user, can – especially in paper dictionaries – be a virtue as long as that user can unambiguously retrieve the information.” Unambiguous retrieval of information is possible provided that principles of textual condensation are explained in the metatext of the dictionary or they are sufficiently intuitive. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and, as a side-effect of the pursuit of economy of space, the convenience of dictionary users can be compromised. This study focuses on the use of space-saving devices indicating alternative elements of phrasal equivalents in two major bilingual dictionaries for Polish learners of English: PWN-Oxford Dictionary and Kosciuszko Foundation Dictionary. Firstly, it looks at the function of the aforementioned devices as defined in the dictionaries. Secondly, it attempts to highlight inconsistencies in their use and potential problems with their interpretation. From each side of both dictionaries, a random sample of 500 pairs of phrasal equivalents containing at least one alternation was extracted. Next, each phrase was manually annotated with respect to the difficulty of decoding as well as gravity of potential interpretation errors. The qualitative analysis of the results of annotation led to the identification and classification of potential problems with the interpretation of space-saving devices.
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Artykuły naukowe (WA)
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