The Perfect Learners’ Dictionary (?)

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Thomas Herbst
95, Lexicographica. Series Maior

This volume undertakes a detailed analysis of the latest generation of learners' dictionaries of English. It assembles the papers delivered at the eponymous symposium held at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in April 1997. There are a number of reasons why these dictionaries are of special lexicographic interest: 1. the type of learners' dictionary associated notably with the name of Hornby can look back on a long tradition in British lexicography; 2. competition between various publishers since the late 70s has given crucial impetus to the development of these dictionaries; 3. these new dictionaries are decisively marked by the evaluation of large-scale computer corpora. Central to the volume is the in-depth comparison of four dictionaries published in 1995: OALD5, LDOCE3, COBUILD2, CIDE. The aim is to exemplify specific differences of approach in the four dictionaries from a wide range of viewpoints (definitions, information on valency and collocations, policy on usage examples, political correctness, etc.). A number of articles also enlarge on the history of learners' dictionaries of English, the significance of corpus linguistics for lexicography, and perspectives for the future, notably in connection with the electronic media.
Contents: I. The new generation of English learners' dictionaries: historical background - assessment of specific features - the perspective of the user: Anthony P. Cowie, Learners' dictionaries in a historical and a theoretical perspective. - Flor Aarts, Syntactic information in OALD5, LDOCE3, COBUILD2 and CIDE. - Michael Klotz, Word complementation in English learners' dictionaries: A quantitive study of CIDE, COBUILD2, LDOCE3 and OALD5. - Gabriele Stein, Exemplification in EFL dictionaries. - Robert F. Ilson, The treatment of meaning in learners' dictionaries - and others. - Henri Béjoint, Compound nouns in learners' dictionaries. - Brigitta Mittmann, The treatment of collocations in OALD5, LDOCE3, COBUILD2 and CIDE. - Paul Bogaards, Access structures of learners' dictionaries. - Kerstin Popp, Lexical units, suffixation, suffixes in OALD5, LDOCE3, COBUILD2 and CIDE. - David Heath, The treatment of international varieties. - John Ayto, Lexical evolution and learners' dictionaries. - Klaus-Dieter Barnickel, Political correctness in learners' dictionaries. - André Moulin, The Advanced Learners' Dictionary: syntax cum semantics. - Gisela Böhner, Classroom experience with the new dictionaries: OALD5, LDOCE3, COBUILD2, CIDE. - Burkhard Dammann, Teacher's demands on learners' dictionaries. - II. Learners' dictionaries - other dictionaries: Franz-Josef Hausmann, Semiotaxis and learners' dictionaries. - Jonathan Crowther, Encyclopedic learners' dictionaries. - Dieter Götz, On some differences between English and German (with respect to lexicography). - Thomas Herbst, The English Valency Dictionary: linguistic theory and user-friendliness. - III. Dictionaries - corpora - perspectives: Della Summers, Coverage of spoken English in relation to learners' dictionaries, especially the »Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English«. - Rosamund Moon, Needless and haystacks, idioms and corpora: gaining insight into idioms, using corpus analysis. - Jan Svartvik, Corpora and dictionaries. - Geoffrey Leech/Hillary Nessi, Moving towards perfection: the learners' (electronic) dictionary of the future.

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