The Kernerman Dictionary Research
Kernerman Publishing and K Dictionaries
have joined in the launching of a project aimed at encouraging
research in selected areas of lexicography. This project, named
Kernerman Dictionary Research Grants, will have a 3-year trial
run. At the end of that period the project will be reviewed,
and the next 3-year period will be planned.
In the first 3-year period (2002-2004)
the sum of US$ 9,000 will be available. The grants will be administered
by the associations for lexicography in Africa, Asia and Europe
(AFRILEX, ASIALEX and EURALEX). Each association will appoint
an Assessment Committee consisting of its president and two officers,
who will review and approve applications. The Committees are
independent, and their decisions are final.
One grant will be awarded annually by
each Committee. The maximun sum of each grant is $1,000, but
a grant may be renewed fully or partially at the discretion of
the Committee, or money held over for the following year, The
grants are open to candidates anywhere in the world, who may
apply to any one of the three Committees.
Applicants should submit a 500-word
outline of their proposal, which, if accepted, will be published
in Kernerman Dictionary News, as well as a 2,000-word summary
on completion of their project. Five areas of lexicography have
been selected for consideration for grants during the first three
The study of the dictionary-using behaviour of language learners
at the elementary school level, the junior high-school level
and the high-school level, and of non-academic adult language
learners at the beginning and intermediate levels, as well as
the design of these dictionaries.
Lower and intermediate level students constitute the vast majority
of foreign language learners and dictionary users. Until now,
their interests have been vastly neglected, as most dictionary
research is carried out in universities and colleges, and have
as subjects university and college students. It is hoped that
by encouraging research at the pre-tertiary level lexicographers
can gain much-needed information about the dictionary needs of
pre-academic language learners.
2. Specialized corpora for foreign
More and more dictionaries for L2 are being based on general
word corpora. However, these corpora do not meet the linguistic
and lexical needs of students who are learning another language.
Basing learner dictionaries on corpora that reflect more closely
the needs of learners of that particular language, not the level
of a native speaker, might enhance pedagogic lexicography, making
modern learner dictionaries more relevant and user-friendly.
Work done toward the creation of specialized corpora would be
very beneficial for learners of those languages.
3. The function of lexicography in
the process of vocabulary acquisition
Where new vocabulary means both new words and phrases, and new
meanings of familiar words and phrases, and acquisition means
storing in the reader's long-term memory, the function of the
learner dictionary in vocabulary acquisition takes on an important
dimension. Studies are needed not simply of how the dictionary
helps the learner understand new meanings and uses, but also
of how it facilitates their retention in the long-term memory.
How can dictionaries assist users in remembering what they read?
4. Trilingual and multilingual lexicography
A surprisingly large number of persons are bilingual. These include
members of such groups as national and ethnic minorities who
speak the language of the majority, refugees, emigrants, foreign
students, transient workers and their families, and numerous
others who may be on the move. Many of these learn a third language
(such as English as the global lingua franca), becoming trilingual.
The theory and design of trilingual and multilingual dictionaries,
yet in its infancy, is now more viable with the development of
5. Lexicography programs concerning
language preservation and survival
The genuine fears about the extinction of small languages in
the face of globalization, together with the dissemination of
a few favoured languages, are stimulating efforts to preserve
small languages, or even to revive them in cases where the number
of speakers has declined almost to the vanishing point. Dictionaries,
whether historical, monolingual, bilingual or descriptive, can
help in the preservation and revival of endangered languages.
The construction of oral and written corpora is required for
such languages, as well as critical research into available material.
These are general guidelines, and the
Assessment Committees may use their own discretion in selecting
awardees for innovative research in other areas.
K Dictionaries Ltd
10 Nahum Street, Tel Aviv 63503 Israel
tel: 972-3-5468102 fax: 972-3-5468103