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The Linguist's Shoebox

Integrated data management and analysis for the field linguist


Researchers need to identify the primary audience for a dictionary.

Many of the decisions in a dictionary project require that the researchers have a clear idea of their primary audience. Trying to serve mixed audiences with mixed purposes can make a dictionary unsatisfying and unusable. Given the reality that few researchers can publish separate dictionaries for separate audiences, a practical approach is to aim primarily at the local audience, but to supplement the dictionary with selected information that is useful and interesting to secondary audiences (e.g., an academic audience). A serious attempt to make a dictionary that will serve the broad needs of the local community often adequately serves other audiences and purposes too. For more information, read section 4.2 in Making Dictionaries.

Index of tips: audiences; lexicography; primary audience
List of tips