The lecture started with some pieces of information concerning the organisation of the class.
The most important aspect was the creation of a website or at least a blog website to be able to publish a web portfolio (including summaries of lecture, tasks, reports and a glossary) every week on the internet. This technique contains several advantages compared to the use of paper or e-mail. A web portfolio makes the access and interaction easier and can be a source of material or tasks for the class because of its permanent availability via internet. Furthermore it gives the students the opportunity to use electronic media frequently and to improve their skills in this respect.
If you want to launch a website there are some options. You can run your own web server (for example by using the Apache server and saving your HTML files), use the university website or another web service provider (which means you have to upload your HTML files) or simply create a weblog (blog). But in every case the site has to be professionally formatted, look good and be user-friendly!
After dealing with the organisation topic, the lecture focused on the definitions of "website", "hypertext" and "text".
A website is a hypertext document on the World Wide Web containing embedded document objects, linked document objects, texts, pictures, etc. It is available everywhere at any time (the onely condition: you have to be connected to the internet) and can be linked with other websites.
The word hypertext describes any text document on the internet (for example electronic dictionary, blog,etc.) as well as a help document for a computer application.
A text has to be seen as a group of sentences standing in context. These sentences consist generally speaking of words (which consist of letters).
A text features three properties: meaning (semantics, pragmatics), formulation (text structure) and appearence (media). Meaning and appearance belong to the so called shared world, formulation to the world of the mind.
After that we pointed out some examples of texts and documents. Basically this field can be divided into 3 categories:
Books (for example novels, technical handbooks or dictionaries), periodicals (for example newspapers or scientific journals) and the web.
As a next step we took a closer look at dictionaries. There are two main groups: by using a semasiological dictionary you can search for a word and inform yourself about its meaning (reader's dictionary), in an onomasiological dictionary you can look up a certain topic and find a number of words related to it (writer's dictionary).
You can find several kinds of dictionaries: bilingual dictionaries, specialized dictionaries, character dictionaries, data dictionaries, glossaries and many more.
At the end of the first lecture we were told why the field of text theory is important.
There are many famous and huge companies investing in linguistic projects which means off course employing linguists (for example Microsoft or Bertelsmann & Lycos Europe in Gütersloh). This shows the good perspective of linguistic jobs! It is also interesting to know that Bielefeld University is well-known for its research centre for Text Linguistics and Text Technology. This piece of information makes clear that we have chosen the right spot for our studies!
Questionnaire of questions about dictionaries:
How many dictionaries do you posses?
- I don't posses any dictionaries but I can borrow them from my older brother.
- I have got two: Langenscheidts Taschenwörterbuch English-German/German-English and French-German/German-French.
- I have a monolingual English dictionary.
How often do you use them?
- I sometimes use dictionaries for my homework so I would guess 4 times a month.
- I use them very often to look up the right spelling of certain words because this is very important to my teachers!
- I used to use my dictionary sometimes at school but now I don't need it anymore because I usually don't have to speak or write in English.
Do you also use dictionaries on the web?
- In some really rare cases I do my homework on the computer and then I use dictionaries on the web because it is the fastest way to look up something if you are already sitting in front of your computer.
- No, I don't because unfortunately I have no access to the internet. But I think it would be a very helpful alternative to my traditional dictionaries.
What kinds of dictionaries are there?
- Monolingual dictionary
- Bilingual dictionary
- Multilingual dictionary
- Maximizing dictionary
- Minimizing dictionary
- Specialized dictionary