There is an ongoing discussion on the status of lexicography: Is lexicography a linguistic sub discipline? Or is it a discipline of its own? Or should lexicography be a special part of information science? But the topic of this paper deals with another question: Who is a lexicographer, and which type of expert is best suited to make modern dictionaries in the information age? This question is quite complex. We have different kinds of dictionaries, e.g. general language and special language dictionaries. And we have different kinds of lexicographers, e.g. 1. metalexicographer, 2. practical lexicographer making the concept for a planned dictionary, 3. lexicographer making the concrete dictionary articles or parts of them. For (2) a linguist is of course not the natural choice. For (3) we need linguists for certain kind of dictionaries and certain data types in general languages, but not necessarily for all, e.g. not for meaning items, collocations or synonym items. This will be discussed outgoing from the description of a database and the concept for one polyfunctional and five monofunctional monolingual general dictionaries. The first monofunctional dictionary is a reception dictionary. It has data only from the data field “meaning”. The second monofunctional dictionary is a text production dictionary for help to find another word instead of the one you do not want to use, in other words a synonym dictionary. Such a dictionary can be used for reception too, but it is not its genuine function. The third dictionary is a text production dictionary with most of the data you find in the traditional polyfunctional dictionaries. There is at least one big difference: It is a proscriptive dictionary not only describing or forbidding, but making recommendations in cases of variation. The fourth dictionary is a text production dictionary with spelling and inflectional data - but in addition a meaning item in cases of homonymy. The fifth dictionary is a text production dictionary called “Tell me the word I am looking for”. Here you can search for words with a certain meaning or use a Boolean search. The sixth and last dictionary is a polyfunctional dictionary for the communicative functions reception, text production and a broad cognitive function with historical and political data and links to other information tools or homepages.
Lexicography and Dictionaries in the Information Age: Selected Papers From the 8th Asialex Conference, 2013, p. 1-10