Session VII: Monolingual learners’ dictionaries


1.        Put yourself in the position of the compiler of the first monolingual learner’s dictionary. What problems do you need to solve regarding


a)       the learners’ decoding needs, i.e. definition (look at the definitions in a native-speaker dictionary such as Webster; try to define words such as pencil or gherkin for the learner)

b)       the learners’ encoding needs (remember our model of a three-level semantics)


2.        Now compare the approaches taken by the four major monolingual learners’ dictionaries to the solution of the aforementioned problems. (see excerpts)


[CIDE] Cambridge International Dictionary of English. 1995. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

[CCED] Collins COBUILD English Dictionary. 1995. New edition. London: HarperCollins

[LDCE] Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. 31995.  London: Longman

[OALD] Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English. 62000. Oxford: Oxford University Press


3. How do onomasiological learners’ dictionaries (more commonly called learners’ thesauri or vocabulary books) compare with the above dictionaries? (see excerpts)