The occupation of lexicography by linguistics has serious adverse effects on the theoretical development of metalexicography and the physical products of dictionary work. In particular, the British tradition in which lexicography is classified as a field without theory and for which the linguistic theories should suffice is sharply criticised. The German tradition, while arguing at a high theoretic level, also uses the linguistic theories and forms of presenting research. The view that dictionaries must of necessity document extensively in the form of polyfunctional dictionaries is part and parcel of this traditional perspective. This does not apply to printed dictionaries only, but allegedly also – or even specifically – to internet dictionaries. The counterthesis postulated in this contribution is that the internet makes it even more possible than printed dictionaries to produce monofunctional dictionaries which, depending on their function, can be derived from one and the same database.
Language Science and Language Technology in Africa: Festschrift for Justus C. Roux, 2012, p. 328-339