When Learners Produce Specialized L2 Texts: Specialized Lexicography between Communication and Knowledge

Patrick Leroyer, Henrik Køhler Simonsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This article discusses the theoretical distinction between communicative- and cognitive-oriented dictionary use situations and explores whether or not this sharp distinction is still valid at a time when users do not use dictionaries but instead online language resources, particularly in learning environments. The paper seeks to answer this research question based on empirical data from a user study conducted at Copenhagen Business School in 2017. We carried out a controlled experiment involving ten test persons and the user study produced ten screen recordings, ten specialized texts, ten self-assessments and ten teacher-assessed rubrics. On the basis of our empirical data we found that the sharp distinction between communicative and cognitive-oriented dictionary use situations does not seem to make much sense anymore when users, to an increasing extent, do not use dictionaries but instead online language resources. We found that specialized language and specialized knowledge are completely intertwined, mutually interdependent and form a dialectic relation, which in fact can be identified by analyzing the test person’s information search and retrieval processes. We also found that
new, modern language resources make it possible to make searches in text directly and to take full advantage of the dialectic relation between specialized language and specialized knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XVIII EURALEX International Congress : Lexicography in Global Contexts
EditorsJaka Čibej, Vojko Gorjanc, Iztok Kosem, Simon Krek
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationLjubljana
PublisherLjubljana University Press
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9789610600978
ISBN (Electronic)9789610600961
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event18th EURALEX International Congress: Lexicography in global contexts - University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Duration: 17 Jul 201821 Jul 2018
Conference number: 18


Conference18th EURALEX International Congress
LocationUniversity of Ljubljana
Internet address


  • Specialized lexicography
  • Cognitive functions
  • Communicative functions
  • Situation distinction
  • Learning situations
  • Functional interdependence

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