1 Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Business Communication - Center for Leksikografi, Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 University of Stellenbosch4 Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
In this paper we work with the assumption that items giving synonyms in dictionaries are primarily of assistance in the case of text production problems. We assume furthermore that synonymy does not prevail between lexemes but rather between textual items in concrete texts. Accordingly a rich selection of synonyms in text production dictionaries will offer the possibility to select the appropriate item – but only for mother-tongue speakers. We are not discussing items giving synonyms in learners' dictionaries and school dictionaries. From a selection of existing dictionaries it shows, as could be expected, that there is no uniform lexicographic practice but also numerous ways of dealing with synonyms that offers very little assistance to the intended target users of a specific dictionary. This could be due to the fact that too often the inclusion and presentation of synonyms are done without taking the user and the function of a dictionary into account. We would like to propose a model that has partially already been employed in the lexicographic practice. It should here be clear that synonyms can also play an important role in accessing dictionary articles and not only as items in concrete dictionaries. In particular the conceptualisation of a synonym dictionary is presented that distinguishes itself from the majority of other synonym dictionaries by also giving items giving the meaning in the articles of polysemous and homonymous lemmata.