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Special Feature

Dictionaries for Learners of English


Paul Bogaards, Leiden University, Prins Hendriklaan 68, NL-2051 JE Overveen. Tel. +31 (0)235261488. Bogaards@R ULLET. Leiden Univ. NL

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Abstract
Recently four new dictionaries for learners of English have been published. In the first section of this article some thought is given to the relationship between foreign language learning and dictionary use. The steps that a learner needs to take when reading or writing a text in the foreign language are taken as a starting point for the discussion. This leads to a set of questions which are used in the subsequent sections for the evaluation of the new learner's dictionaries. Some twenty points concerning text reception and text production in a foreign language are reviewed. In the concluding section an overall evaluation is given. Tables and Figures at end.

1. Introduction 1995 was a particularly fruitful year for the pedagogical lexicography of English, with the appearance of no fewer than four new dictionaries for learners. Three of them are new editions of already existing dictionaries: there is a second edition of the Collins Cobuild English Dictionary (henceforth COBUILD), a third edition of the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (LDOCE), and a fifth edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English (OALD); the new one is the Cambridge International Dictionary of English.(CIDE). Table 1 gives some comparative information about these dictionaries. In order to be able to make a clear assessment of these new learner's dictionaries, I would like to develop a set of criteria which are specific to the language learning situation. This will be done in the second section of this paper. After that I will use these criteria to describe and compare the dictionaries just mentioned, separately for their use for receptive purposes (section 3) and for productive purposes (section 4). I will conclude with a table presenting an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the four dictionaries discussed, and a number of general observations. 2. Dictionaries and second or foreign language learning Two questions come to mind when having to define the relationship between dictionaries and second or foreign language learning (L2 learning). The first
International Journal of Lexicography, Vol. 9 No. 4 1996 Oxford University Press

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Paul Bogaards

one is how can dictionaries be used in a language learning situation?, and the

second one is who are the users? As will be clear in a moment, the answers to these two questions are highly interrelated. To begin with the second question, since the dictionaries we are talking about are all monolingual, the users cannot be absolute beginners. All users should be to some extent advanced learners, as is mentioned in the title or in the introductory pages of the dictionaries. But what exactly is an advanced learner? What exactly is (s)he supposed to know already? And at what stage does one finish being a learner? In other words, where are the lower and the upper limits for users of this type of dictionary? But there is not only the question of the stage learners are at in the learning process: they can also be categorised according to different types of other criteria, e.g. age, educational level (primary, secondary, higher), type of education (general or vocational), and objectives aimed at (reception or production, spoken or written language). It is obvious that an illiterate immigrant who speaks his second language fairly well, and can therefore be considered to be an advanced learner, cannot use a learner's dictionary. And it seems unlikely that children under twelve can do so, even if they are more or less fluent in a second language. As a matter of fact, the learner's dictionaries implicitly define their user groups, as far as the lower limit is concerned, by making choices about a number of features such as the devices used for explaining meanings and the type of grammatical or other instructions for productive use. It is assumed that the users have a certain vocabulary at their disposal and that they are able to correctly interpret all sorts of symbols, labels and abbreviations. By doing this, and by including or excluding certain (families of) words, the dictionaries make not only claims about who the intended users are and what they should know, but also about the needs they have. At the upper level one could say that although a L2 learner will never become a native speaker and so will always remain a learner, very advanced learners will be able to use non-adapted monolingual dictionaries of the foreign language and will find there all the words they need, especially the less frequent and the technical ones. It goes without saying that it will depend on the layout and the quality of these non-adapted monolingual dictionaries whether these very advanced learners will find all the information they need in order to understand and to produce the other language. Talking about the learners' needs brings us back to the first question formulated at the beginning of this section, i.e. the one about the role of learner's dictionaries in L2 learning. One of the main tasks of advanced L2 learners is to accumulate more and more lexical knowledge. This task is best described in terms of what Cruse (1986) has called the lexical unit. According to Cruse lexical units are "the smallest parts which satisfy the following two criteria: (i) (ii) a lexical unit must be at least one semantic constituent a lexical unit must be at least one word" (p. 24).

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They constitute "the union of a lexical form and a single sense" (p. 77).

Dictionaries for Learners of English 279 The lexical unit may be one particular sense of a polysemous word, a monosemous word or a multi-word expression. Thus, party as in 'political party' and party in 'party in court' constitute two different lexical units. By the same token, the word hipsters, which has only one sense, and the fixed phrase pull a fast one are both lexical units in their own right (see also Bogaards 1994, chap. 2 for more details). As far as the lexical domain is concerned, L2 learners have to a. b. learn completely new lexical units, i.e. new forms with unknown meanings; learn new meanings for forms with which they are already acquainted, i.e. new senses of familiar words (e.g. party as in 'party in court' or as in 'political party') or particular meanings of combinations of familiar words, that is compounds, verbal phrases, idioms and the like (e.g. hot dog, go back on, bring home the bacon, etc.); learn relations between lexical units, in terms of form (i.e. morphological relations), but above all in terms of meaning: they have to learn to discriminate between lexical units with approximately the same meaning, and to structure lexical fields; learn the correct and appropriate uses of lexical units at the levels of grammar, collocation, pragmatics and discourse;

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c.

d.

e. consolidate this knowledge; f. develop strategies to cope with gaps in their knowledge. (See Augusto & al. 1995, Bogaards 1994)

A learner's dictionary should provide information for points a to d. However, as dictionaries do not constitute primary teaching or learning material (see Hausmann 1977: 145), they will tend to be used in the context of other learning activities. Roughly speaking, they are used for either the production or the reception of texts in the foreign language. In most modern teaching contexts as well as in non-guided L2 learning, this means that advanced learners read and listen to authentic texts, and speak or write in order to get messages across. As it is well known that dictionaries are hardly ever used for spoken communication (see Bogaards 1988), I will concentrate here on their use for reading and writing. With the notable exception of pronunciation, the points discussed in the rest of this article would not, however, have been fundamentally different had speaking and listening been taken into account. The process of looking up words in a dictionary has been described in some detail in the literature. Bogaards (1993) presents a model which tries to isolate the different steps. This model will form the background of the description of what L2 learners do or should do when consulting dictionaries. In what follows a distinction will be made between the use of dictionaries for reading and for text production. While reading a text in the foreign language, learners may come across a word form they do not understand. In order to attach a meaning to this word form they will have to find it in the dictionary. Although in most cases this

280 Paul Bogaards form will be easily found in the alphabetical list, several problems may arise here. First, the form may not be in the dictionary because its macrostructure is too limited. Then, the form may not be listed at its exact alphabetical place or it may be part of an expression that is not mentioned under the word where it is looked up. Finally, in cases where a form turns out to have several meanings or uses, there is the problem of finding the one which has the best chances of corresponding to the meaning in the text. All these aspects have to do with findabiliry. Dictionaries contain different numbers of words and expressions and follow various policies for presenting them. In the following sections, I will analyse the dictionaries according to the following questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. how many words and expressions are entered? are all word forms easily accessible? where can expressions be found? what is done to guide the user in longer entries?
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Once the learner has arrived at the place where he can find the information he needs in order to interpret the form he was confronted with, he has to decode the information given. As the form itself is unknown to him, other elements should lead him to a clear understanding of its precise meaning. These may be definitions, illustrations, examples or any other devices which can help the learner understand the meaning. What is involved here may be called comprehensibility. Again, dictionaries have different approaches for making the meaning of words and expressions clear. They may have a restricted defining vocabulary, different types of drawings or photographs or they may give many simple examples. In the following sections I will analyse the new learner's dictionaries in the light of the following questions: 5. 6. how comprehensible are the definitions given? what types of illustrations or other devices are used to make meanings clear?

7. how comprehensible are the examples given? For text production there is again, first, the problem of findabiliry. One of the most problematic aspects of the use of monolingual dictionaries is the accessibility of unknown words. How can a learner find the appropriate term for a certain piece of cloth, an informal expression for a part of the body or a more flowery term for words that have already been used too often? It is interesting to note that, whereas for receptive purposes the learner should be guided from unknown elements to familiar ones, for productive goals he should be able to start from familiar words in order to find words which are new to him. Another aspect of findability in a productive context is the difficulty of choosing between words which have approximately the same meaning. Dictionary makers have thought of all sorts of devices which can help learners to use unfamiliar words and expressions or to choose the most appropriate one amongst a set of possible words; illustrations of concrete objects with the names of different parts, tables of different types, all kinds of cross-references,

Dictionaries for Learners of English 281 notes, etc. The questions which will guide the analysis to be presented in the following sections will be: 8. 9. what devices are offered in order to allow users to find words and expressions they did not know? what devices are offered in order to allow users to make a good choice between options?

Irrespective of whether the learner has found a word using one of these devices or was able to think of the right word himself, the next problem is to ascertain its correct use. The correct use of vocabulary items entails not only grammatical features, but also involves questions of collocability, discourse level and pragmatic appropriateness. The relevant criterion can be called usability. Most of the information on use can be found in coded form and very often different uses are illustrated by examples. The questions to be asked in this context are: 10. how clear is the grammatical information? 11. 12. what other types of information on use are given? how useful are the examples given?

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The set of twelve questions formulated in this section will be taken as a starting point for an analysis of the learner's dictionaries that have recently been published for English.

3. The use of learner's dictionaries for receptive purposes


3.1 Findability 3.1.1 Number of meanings explained. The first question in this context concerns what is often called the macrostructure of the dictionary: the total number of entries. As may be seen from figures 1 to 4, the information about one form, pocket, may be presented in a number of ways. COBUILD has one entry presenting twelve uses, OALD has one entry for the noun and a subentry for the verb, CIDE has two entries with one having two subentries, and LDOCE has three entries. So, what makes a comparison possible and what really interests us is not the number of entries but the number of meanings explained. Here again the concept of lexical unit as defined by Cruse (1986) will be useful. Table 2 gives the full list of lexical units that may be found in the four dictionaries for the form pocket (leaving out all compounds). As may be seen from that table, each dictionary makes a particular selection and presents a different number of lexical units. Because of variations in definitions and explanations, the decision whether or not to put a + at a given place is not always straightforward. COBUILD's definitions for pocket as a verb are not easily compared to those given by the other dictionaries. Furthermore, is OALD's definition "3 a small isolated group or area" to be counted as one

282 Paul Bogaards sense or as two, and CIDE's definition "a group, area or mass of something which . . . " as three? I decided not to go that far, but to follow the presentation of each dictionary. So for OALD and for CIDE, I noted one lexical unit in this case. For LDOCE, however, I noted 4a ("small area . . . " ) and 4b ("small amount . ..") as separate lexical units. "Be in each other's pockets" and "live in each other's pockets" have been counted as different lexical units, because they have different forms and it is forms the learner is confronted with in the case of unknown elements in a text. Moreover, it may be considered (hat LDOCE giving "from your own pocket" as well as "out of your own pocket" is more generous than CIDE, which gives only the latter form. Especially for CIDE, counting the lexical units is a delicate matter because senses are not numbered, many fixed expressions are given as examples with an explanation in brackets, and sometimes explanations are given for what does not seem to be any sort of fixed expression or special meaning (e.g. patch pocket). In the totals given in table 2, I have counted all lexical units which are mentioned in each dictionary, and I have specified how many of them are presented without an explanation ('m' in the table). As can be seen, the totals are rather different for the four dictionaries. It is, however, far from clear to what extent these totals, based as they are on one randomly chosen form, are representative of each dictionary as a whole. In order to get a fair view of the total content of the four dictionaries, I took four samples of about four pages each and counted the lexical units according to the principles described above. Table 3 gives the results. Again the total numbers are rather different, with CIDE constituting only about two thirds of the total number of lexical units found in LDOCE, and OALD and COBUILD coming in between. Starting with the numbers found for the analysed samples, I calculated an estimated total number of lexical units for each dictionary by relating these numbers to the space they occupy (see table 3). The numbers given are a slight overestimate of the real numbers, because they are based on the total numbers mentioned, including the cases of 'm' (mentions without explanations). As these 'm' cases sometimes refer to other entries, as is the case for pick sb's pocket->PICK in OALD, some lexical units may be counted twice. The outcomes must anyhow be interpreted with care and are not more than what they pretend to be: as exact guesses as possible. What they certainly indicate is that LDOCE is the most generous dictionary, presenting between 90,000 and more than 100,000 lexical units (which is more than is claimed by the makers). The outcomes indicate also that there is no big difference between OALD, COBUILD and CIDE, which cover each some 70,000 or 75,000 items. For CIDE these numbers do not exactly correspond to the number of "words and phrases" claimed on the back cover. It is difficult to say whether or to what extent the selection of lexical units by one dictionary is better adapted to the needs of the learners than the choice made by another one. As far as findability for receptive purposes is concerned, it is clear that the more lexical units there are in a dictionary, the better are the chances that a learner will find what he needs. Analysing in a more qualitative way what distinguishes the four dictionaries from each other, one can see that part of the extra items listed in LDOCE

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 283 concern old, old fashioned or literary words like orison, vamoose, oubliette or buckler, whereas others are rather technical or specialised, e.g. bulgur, oriel window or oriole. On the other hand, many derivatives are mentioned, mostly without an independent explanation: next to bullheaded one can find buUheadedly and bullbeadedness; next to bullish, bullishly and bullishness, etc.; and words like ordinal, orient or ground are also given as adjectives. One might wonder whether these lexical units really add to the value of the learner's dictionary when it is used to understand texts in the foreign language. But there are also many American English words and expressions which are mentioned only in LDOCE, such as buddy-buddy, bull pen, grubstake or vanity table. Finally, one can find many compounds like building contractor, ground squirrel or vanity publisher. Even if some of these compounds might be considered to be transparent, most of the supplementary vocabulary presented by LDOCE seems to be useful for L2 readers. From LDOCE to OALD is not a big step, except for the total number of lexical units listed. Again there are some old fashioned, technical or rare words like vab'se, grudgeon or organ loft, but they are rather exceptional. The number of derivatives is rather limited, and it is somewhat surprising to find e.g. groundlessly but not e.g. organisationally. It should be said, however, that none of the dictionaries seems to be totally consistent in giving or not giving this type of information about which derived forms are used in real language and which ones are mere theoretical possibilities. COBUILD seems to have the lowest number of "own-words", i.e. words that are in none of the other dictionaries, and to miss most "general words", i.e. words that can be found in the three other dictionaries. Technical, formal or old words and expressions like group captain, osprey, bulrush and even orthography or orthopaedist do not occur. The number of derivatives is very limited: forms like variegation or orthodontic are not given. There seems to be also a relatively small American vocabulary: one searches in vain for variety store, Oscar, grump or grungy. On the other hand, COBUILD does give compounds like buffer state, bull whip and growing season, some of which are rather transparent. CIDE closely resembles COBUILD in presenting few "ownwords" and in giving very few infrequent terms. Derivatives are relatively often given but as a rule without a separate definition. As to morphological tools which may help to decipher words which are not in the dictionary (or in any), LDOCE and OALD give a practically complete set of derivational suffixes like -ate, -ative, -dom, -isation, -ise, -ish, etc.; COBUILD and CIDE are less exhaustive. On the other hand, COBUILD presents the most suffixes like -legged, -made, -organized, etc. and LDOCE the least, the other two dictionaries being in between. All dictionaries give prefixes like mis-, pre- and retro-, while only OALD gives ortho-, and OALD and LDOCE give meta-. Adjectives derived from geographic names are given in the alphabetical list by three out of four dictionaries. CIDE only gives adjectives like Gaelic and Gallic in the A-to-Z part, but presents a complete list of names of countries, inhabitants, languages and money under the heading NATIONS AND NATIONALITIES on pages 940-942 at N. OALD also gives a complete list

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284 Paul Bogaards of names and adjectives, together with maps of the world, Canada and the United States, The British Isles and Central Europe on pages Cl to C8. COBUILD has most of these geographical adjectives in the A-to-Z section, but, like in OALD and LDOCE, the selection seems rather haphazard. Most adjectives pertaining to European countries can be found, but those derived from Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Cambodia or Korea are missing. A certain Euro-centrism appears also in the choice of religious vocabulary. Bishops, priests, imams and mullahs can be found in all dictionaries, but whereas they all mention Christ, Messiah and Bible, they all miss one or more of Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna and Koran. Taking into account the overall size of the macrostructure of the dictionaries, there are no big differences as to the covering of abbreviations. The treatment of for instance chemical elements is also rather similar, although OALD is the only one to give a full table (in Appendix 7). 3.1.2 Accessibility of single forms. The second aspect of findability for receptive use concerns the ease of access to the items that are in a given dictionary. The perspective adopted for present purposes is of the L2 reader who is trying to understand the message of some text and feels the dictionary might help him to make a particular point clear. As paying attention to a particular word may loosen the link with the text as a whole, especially when the search procedure takes some time, it is important for him that he can find an answer to his problem as quickly as possible. The simplest way of finding a word is to look it up in the alphabetical list. Whenever a form is not in its exact alphabetical place, the learner will have to step back from his text and wonder where he might find what he is looking for. As can be seen from figures 1 to 4, the four dictionaries have different policies for presenting meaning-related forms. LDOCE has the most straightforward approach: all forms are given in a strict alphabetical order. OALD gives the derivative pocketful, as well as the compounds pocket knife and pocket money, which are written as two words, under the entry pocket, but presents pocketbook as a separate entry. COBUILD again has an alphabetical ordering in the case of pocket, whether the items are written as one word (pocketbook), two words (pocket money) or as a hyphenated word (pocket-sized). Elsewhere, however, a derived word like poetically is given under poetic and before poetical, and buck naked is given under buck whereas bucket seat is not given under bucket but as a separate entry. CIDE gives most meaning-related words in one entry, be it as subentries or as examples. In the case of pocket, only pocketbook and pocketknife are presented in separate entries, whereas pocketful, which is also one word, but a derivative, not a compound, constitutes a subentry. The other compounds, which can all be found as examples under pocket [BAG), are written as two words or as hyphenated words. Now, for two reasons, this approach may complicate the task of the foreign reader. First, not all compounds given under pocket [BAG] have a clear relationship with that meaning. A learner who comes across "a pocket-sized television" and who has understood that the meaning of pocket [GROUP/AREA] contains an element of reduced size, might

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 285 very well start looking for an explanation in that entry. For pocket veto there seems to be no clear reason to look for it under pocket |BAG), nor for dead end under dead [COMPLETE]. Second, many compounds can have different shapes in the texts the learner is confronted with, and these variations are reflected in the dictionaries. Six out of sixteen compounds which are given with paper and which appear in more than one of the four dictionaries have different forms (e.g. LDOCE gives paperclip, OALD gives paper-clip, COBUILD and CIDE give paper clip). So, whereas grouping words under meanings may be puzzling for the L2 reader, presenting them according to their fortuitous form may further complicate his task. It is worth pointing out that CIDE's presentation requires the use of many cross-references. Mostly they are given (three times for organization), but sometimes they are lacking (organizer occurs at two different places without there being sign posts from the one to the other). Grouping things together may have still other drawbacks. As mentioned above, CIDE and OALD give names of countries, inhabitants, currencies etc. in a special list. These riches are only findable, however, for those who are aware of them while executing another task, viz. reading a text. All four dictionaries give crossreferences like bought->buy, but LDOCE is the only one to give grown-*grow, COBUILD the only one to give thrown->throw. The frequent absence of forms like grown, known and thrown as separate entries in the alphabetical list seems to be justified by the fact that they (almost) immediately follow the corresponding infinitives. Moreover, in CIDE derived forms are systematically presented in the entries of the simple forms they belong to. However, all four dictionaries give written-*write almost immediately following write. They are all far less systematic when it comes to irregular forms of compound verbs like remade, overate or overcame. 3.1.3 Accessibility of multi-word expressions. L2 readers not only want to look up isolated forms, but are quite often puzzled by what seem to be longer stretches of language having some special meaning. To my knowledge, nothing is known about the sensibility of foreign learners to the fixed or idiomatic status of word combinations they come across without knowing their meaning. It may be hypothesised that when they are confronted with an expression all the elements of which they recognise without being able to extract the meaning of the whole, they will consult the dictionary in another way than when they are presented with a combination of words they did not know before. If they are aware of the presence of some sort of special combination of words, they can look for special signs or a particular presentation. Although this point may cause many difficulties for the L2 learner, I will not go into the problem of defining what constitutes a fixed expression or what differentiates collocations from idioms. What is certain is that the learner has to decide on the word where he may find the explanation he needs. Again the presentations of multi-word expressions in the four dictionaries differ considerably. To give some examples, turn out your pocket is treated as a fixed expression needing an explanation by LDOCE, as a simple example or collocation by OALD, and is not mentioned at all by the two other dictionaries; money burns

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286 Paul Bogaards a hole in sb's pocket is explained under money in OALD, under burn in LDOCE and CIDE, and under pocket in COBUILD. Not much is known about where people look up this type of expression, but it seems that people with different mother tongues have varied search strategies (see Bogaards 1990, 1992). As the learner's dictionaries are written for a worldwide use, they should ideally mention all multi-word expressions in the entries of all relevant content words. In the case of pocket LDOCE seems to present this type of expression in about the same way as the different senses of the lemma word. In other entries, like ground, it becomes clear that the multi-word expressions are given next to the sense they belong to or grouped in clusters based on similar meaning. Be on familiar ground is under 9 AREA OF KNOWLEDGE, whereas on moral grounds is under 17 REASON. This approach leads to there being two mentions of to cover a lot of ground, one next to 7 SPORTS in the sense of "to travel a very long distance" and one next to 9 AREA OF KNOWLEDGE in the sense of "to give information about many different parts of a subject". Unfortunately, there is no cross-reference from one mention to the other. In the introductory pages it is stated that "[pjhrases and idioms are usually listed under the first main word", with a cross-reference note in the entries of other main words. The word "usually" should be taken rather literally: to drop a clanger, break sb's heart, have a good word to say and over my dead body are each defined at two places (and sometimes in somewhat different terms), whereas strike home, which is defined at strike, has no cross-reference at home. OALD has special signs in the form of black boxes with white letters for idioms (IDM) as well as for phrasal verbs (PHR V). After these signs the multi-word expressions are presented in a strict alphabetical order. The policy adopted for giving definitions at one place rather than at another is the same as with LDOCE: "idioms are defined at the entry for the first 'full' word (.. .) that they contain" (p. A6). But this policy is carried out more strictly; it is indicated what is meant by 'full words' as opposed to grammatical words and which 'full words' are an exception to the rules. It is also stated that idioms are not mentioned under their variable parts. Because live to tell the tale can also be used in the form be around or be still alive to tell the tale, it is only denned under tell with a cross-reference at tale. Putting cross-references at live, around and alive would doubtless have been helpful, especially for those learners who come across one of these expressions without knowing that other variants are possible as well. COBUILD has not explicitly formulated any policy for the placement of multiword expressions but there seems to be a preference for giving the definition under the second (or the last?) element: drop a clanger, hit home, live to tell the tale, break sb's heart are all denned at the second or last content word, but make your blood run cold is defined at blood and over my dead body is defined in two places. There are not very many cross-references. Moreover, what few ones there are relate only to the entry words, not to a particular meaning, which is what is done in the other dictionaries and which would have been very simple given the fact that in COBUILD all meanings are numbered. At the end of the dictionary CIDE. gives a "Phrase Index", i.e. a full list of idioms and phrasal verbs with references to the page and the line on that page

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 287 where the definition can be found. This explains why there are no crossreferences in the A-to-Z section. The idea is that, when in doubt about the best place to look for an explanation, the user can consult the list and be sure where to go. I must say that I am rather sceptical about this procedure. Since most fixed expressions contain only two content words, looking up the one or the other gives a fifty percent chance of finding the solution. Going first to the "Phrase Index" always necessitates a double search procedure. Besides, the denning policy, as is clearly stated on p. ix, is in favour of the first content word. Sometimes, as in to drop a clanger or to break sb's heart, two explanations can be found. What seems to be a real problem in CIDE is the placement of phrasal verbs. A phrasal verb like put out, which has many different and sometimes unexpected meanings, can be found at very different places. Not only are some meanings explained under a second element, as in the case of put out the flags, put out to grass, put out of joint, etc., but it is difficult to find the mentions of put out under the eight entries for put and the two entries for put out. To someone who is trying to grasp the meaning of to put out in a sentence like "The council has put the job of street-cleaning out to a private firm" it may seem to be far from evident that he has to look under put [MOVE]. And what could make him think that he should look under put [CONDITION] in order to find meanings like "extinguish", "defeat" or "produce"? The "Phrase Index" will not really help him out, and all the less because some references do not correspond to occurrences of to put out (e.g. lines 1154R77 and 1155R62). 3.1.4 The structure of entries. It may be assumed that advanced L2 learners who are reading a text in their foreign language and who come across an element that is unknown to them nevertheless do know several things about such an element. First, one might reasonably surmise that they are aware of the subject of their text and of the type of text they are reading. They are able to distinguish a literary text from an essay on legal matters or from a casual text on an everyday subject. Second, they are able to recognise the different parts of speech and they know whether the element that causes them a problem is a noun, a verb or an adverb. Finally, it must be assumed that they understand the global meaning of the sentence they are reading. These three sources of information may help them to predict to a certain extent what the meaning of the problem word will be. I would like to stress, however, that these statements are only assumptions which could, and therefore should, be investigated in later research. In the light of these assumptions it is interesting to see in what ways the four dictionaries try to help the learners to find their way to the answer they are looking for. As for the subject domain, the four dictionaries make very few distinctions. COBUILD marks legal, medical and technical terms, CIDE legal, medical and specialised terms, LDOCE legal and technical terms and OALD has only one label, techn, which may be followed by indications like anatomy, computing, law, etc. With regard to styles and registers, each dictionary has five to eight labels, varying from literary, poetic or rhetoric through spoken and informal to slang and taboo. The number of attitudinal labels is

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Paul Bogaards

more varied. OALD has the most: approving, derogatory, euphemistic, ironic, jocular, offensive and sexist, CIDE has three: approving, disapproving and humorous, LDOCE has only approving and humorous, and COBUILD has only offensive. LDOCE distinguishes eleven varieties of English, CIDE six, OALD three and COBUILD only two, American and British. It should be said that all these labels do not catch the eye; they are in thin italics or, as in the case of COBUILD, are part of the normal print. They do not seem to be given as signposts for rinding the meaning that could apply in a given text. As far as I know, no research has been done on the usefulness of these types of information for the L2 learner, but it could be hypothesised that some of the labels mentioned, e.g. those indicating subject domains, deserve a more salient place than they now have. LDOCE and CIDE use semantic information as guiding principles. LDOCE gives global information about clusters of meanings or usages between black triangles, called sign posts, and longer entries are preceded by a menu containing these global headings. In the same vein, CIDE gives what are called guide words in boxes. As can be seen in figures 1 and 4, LDOCE has five sign posts, whereas CIDE has only two guide words. As has already been suggested above, CIDE's guide words may sometimes be too wide or too vague, but in any case it is an empirical question to what extent these associative approximations of meanings are effective. Unfortunately, LDOCE's sign posts and CIDE's guide words are not always formulated within the limited vocabularies that are used for the definitions (see 3.2.1). The most outstanding feature of COBUILD is the extra column which gives all the grammatical information (see fig. 3). Given its prominent place, one has to conclude that in this dictionary the learner is assumed to profit most from this type of indication for finding his way to the relevant meaning. But again, it is a matter of empirical research whether and to what extent this actually is an effective approach. As a matter of fact, in this new edition, nominal, verbal and other uses of a given form are better grouped than they were in the first edition. Furthermore, for long entries there are now super head-words like mind 1 noun uses and mind 2 verb uses. In the case of pocket, however, not all nominal uses are grouped together. Learners using OALD and having found the relevant word form are not offered any particular help for finding the meaning they are looking for, except in very long entries like get, give or go, where similar meanings are grouped and presented with global semantic indications. As is the case for the other dictionaries, the meanings are in order of descending frequencies, with the most frequent and/or general meaning being explained first and the more specific meanings or usages coming later. Although it is difficult to think of other orders of presentation, except for one based on etymology - which has to be excluded for obvious reasons -, one might wonder whether advanced learners are really helped if they have to go through a number of familiar meanings in order to get to the unknown ones they need. Before finishing this section on findability for receptive purposes, a word on typography and overall lay-out is in order Thanks to the use of a great variety of typefaces, LDOCE has succeeded, it seems to me, in having the clearest

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 289 presentation: meanings and special uses are easily traceable in the entries. The pages in the other three dictionaries are much more grey and lacking in distinct relief. This is especially true for CIDE, where, as a result of a very small typeface and little contrast between normal and bold print, it is rather difficult to find what one is looking for. LDOCE and OALD have grey thumb-indexes which may speed up the search procedure by helping the user to go from one letter to another. 3.2 Comprehensibility 3.2.1 Comprehensibility of definitions. Once the L2 learner has found the place where he may find the explanations he is looking for, he has to interpret the information given about the form which caused him trouble. As all four dictionaries use definitions as a first means of clarifying the meanings of words and expressions, it is interesting to compare the defining styles adopted in each of them. All four dictionaries claim to use a limited defining vocabulary. LDOCE gives on p. B13-B18 a complete list of the more than 2,000 words which have been selected for this purpose. It is expressly stated (p. B12) that only "the most common and 'central' meanings of the words in the list" are used. Furthermore, the words are only used in the word classes as indicated in the list (but not all relevant words have been specified as to word class), and as a rule phrasal verbs are excluded. The list includes 30 prefixes and suffixes that can be used with the defining words. All words which are used in definitions but which do not belong to the Longman Defining Vocabulary are printed in small capitals (see for instance pocketbook in fig. 1). In contrast with earlier editions, OALD now has also a defining vocabulary the full list of which is given on p. 1417-1428. It consists of some 3,500 words, which are applied under about the same conditions as those in LDOCE, except for the affixes; in OALD only inflected forms may be used, but no derivatives. This different treatment of forms reduces the difference in size between the defining vocabularies used in LDOCE and in OALD: whereas independence is given as a separate member of the defining vocabulary in OALD, this word is not part of the LDOCE list but may still be used in that dictionary because it can be constructed from its elements (in- + depend+ -ence). Nevertheless, OALD seems to appeal to a much larger vocabulary knowledge on the part of its users and therefore seems to address itself to more advanced learners than any of the other dictionaries. This may be due to the fact that the words in the list were not only chosen according to their frequency, but also according to "their value to students as a 'core vocabulary' of English" (p. 1417). These two criteria do not seem to necessarily lead to the choice of the same elements. What is more, their combination implies that knowledge of elements that should become part of the learners' vocabulary is assumed to be already present in that vocabulary. Words like impulse, inflict, inherit or jelly do not seem to be very frequent nor to be essential for defining purposes. As they will cause problems to many advanced learners, they should not be part of a defining vocabulary.

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290 Paul Bogaards CIDE presents a defining vocabulary containing less than 2,000 words. This vocabulary is claimed (p. 1702) to be easy for learners to understand avoid old-fashioned words avoid words which are often confused with other words in English avoid words which are often confused with foreign words contain words useful for explaining other words use common words of high frequency use words which have the same meaning in British and American English. Some of these statements require some qualification. For every polysemous word it is indicated in which particular meaning(s) it may be used, e.g. care in the meanings of [PROTECTION [ and [ATTENTION 1, not in those of |WORRY] or [WANT]. This restrains the number of possible lexical units in an important way. On the other hand, all selected meanings are taken with all their related forms, e.g. care for, carer and caring for care [PROTECTION], and careful, carefully, careless, carelessly and carelessness for care [ATTENTION ]. This has led to the inclusion of such rather infrequent items as inconveniently, inventor, jokey and keyboard. In CIDE all the different uses of e.g. care as well as its derivatives are counted as only one word in the list (p. 1702-1707). If one counts all different forms, the total number of items is much higher, adding up to about 4,000. In itself it is an attractive idea to avoid the use of words which are often confused with other words, as proposed by CIDE. It is not totally clear, however, whether one succeeds in doing so by using only one word of a confusing pair. For instance, one may wonder whether learners who are bound to confuse economic and economical are helped if only the former is used. As to the so called false friends, the compilers of CIDE have not been able to avoid all of them: inconvenient, industry, information, injure and intelligent which, according to data given in this dictionary (see below), cause particular problems to Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Japanese and Russian learners of English, are all part of the defining vocabulary. COBUILD is less explicit as to the vocabulary that may be used in definitions, but it is stated (p. xviii) that "most words in our definitions [are] amongst the 2,500 commonest words of English". COBUILD indicates the frequency of words by giving a number of black diamonds next to each entry, five diamonds for the 700 most frequent words, one for the words between 6,500 and 15,000 words. There is no special level for words up to 2,500. The only conclusion one can draw is that the denning vocabulary should have at least three black diamonds (up to approximately 3,500 words). In order to see how these principles work out in a concrete sample, I have analysed all the definitions given from pocket to point. OALD seems to stick most strictly to its own policy: all outsiders, i.e. words outside the defining vocabulary, are printed in small capitals, except for two cases where words that are not part of the list, at least not in the given word class, were used in normal print: string was only to be used as a noun, whereas in "string bags" in pocket 5 it is an adjective; decimal in point 3 (a) is used as a noun whereas

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 291 in the list it is only an adjective. It should be remembered, however, that OALD's defining vocabulary is rather large, allowing words like ballet, garment and solemn to be used without special treatment. LDOCE seems to be less in control of its defining policy. In the same sample one can find, without special marking, outsiders like sewn (in pocket 1), appointed, grace, score and decimals, none of which are in the list given at the end of the dictionary. On the other hand, outsiders which are marked as such are sometimes explained between brackets so as to give a definition within a definition (e.g. BET in each way). Further, in order to define points (for railways) a phrasal verb (cross over) is used which is not even explained in this dictionary. This rather undesirable situation can be found more often in CIDE. A pockmark is defined as "a small hollow on your skin . . . " . As only hollow [EMPTY] is in the defining vocabulary, a learner might look up hollow as a noun, where he will find that a "hollow (. ..) is a valley". A pod is defined as "a usually thick-skinned long narrow flat part of particular plants . . . " , whereas it is said that "Someone who is thick-skinned does not appear to be easily hurt by criticism". "A point of land is a long thin area of land that stretches out into the sea"; looking for a relevant definition of the phrasal verb stretch out, one comes home empty-handed. Finally, COBUILD probably uses far more outsiders than the other dictionaries. For the definition of 73 lexical units from pocket to point, I counted 19 defining words which did not have at least three black diamonds in this dictionary. As there are one thousand words between this criterion and the 2,500 defining words claimed by COBUILD, the real number may even be higher. These figures should be compared to 21 outsiders (15 of which are marked as such) for 130 lexical units in LDOCE, 16 outsiders (14 marked) for 106 lexical units in OALD and 13 outsiders (10 marked) for 116 lexical units in CIDE. The use of familiar words for the explanation of unknown elements is an essential criterion for judging the quality of definitions in a learner's dictionary. But it is not the only one. The precision of the definitions and the defining style also play an important role. In order to check the precision of definitions I have compared the means used to define some near synonyms. A L2 reader who comes across verbs like knock down, demolish, wreck, destroy, devastate and obliterate and who knows or finds out that they all mean cause damage, may be interested in finding more information on the particular meaning of one or more of these words. Most of the differences between the six verbs have to do with the violence of the process and/or with the decisiveness of the result, knock down being least violent and obliterate most total. These differences are best rendered, it seems to me, by LDOCE, where knock down is defined as "to destroy a building or part of a building" and obliterate as "to destroy sth. so completely that no sign of it remains". CIDE is about as clear on this point and OALD only slightly less. COBUILD, on the other hand, uses essentially a combination of destroy and completely or totally to define demolish, wreck, devastate as well as obliterate, reducing all differences in violence or resulting effect. This lack of discrimination also presents itself for grubby, grimy and filthy, which are

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292 Paul Bogaards denned by COBUILD as "rather dirty", "very dirty" and "very dirty indeed" respectively, whereas LDOCE, OALD and CIDE define filthy as "extremely dirty", "dirty in a disgusting way" and "extremely or unpleasantly dirty". Again, for understanding, sympathy, pity and compassion, the definitions in COBUILD are too close to each other and do not really underline the strength of the feeling expressed by the last word. In a series such as picture, painting, drawing, sketch and illustration, only LDOCE succeeds in discriminating the last word in relation to the others by defining it as "a picture in a book, article etc, especially one that helps you understand it". Comparisons such as these are complicated by the fact that as a rule CIDE does not define derived words like dirty, grimy, muddy and dusty, or drawing and illustration. Fortunately, explanatory notes are sometimes given in brackets in the context of examples. Although this may allow for better contextual adequacy, the explanations given sometimes lack sufficient discriminatory power, as is the case in grimy The child's face was grimy (=dirty) and streaked with tears. What can be appreciated in COBUILD is that it sometimes gives useful cultural information. For instance, it mentions the difference in position between poets laureate in Britain and in the United States, and it adds to poinsettia that it is very popular as a house plant in Britain. Stating that "Artists often use sketches as a preparation for a more detailed painting or drawing" seems also to be useful to learners grasping for the exact meaning of sketch. As to defining styles, LDOCE and OALD maintain the traditional format of definitions as phrases where nouns are replaced with nouns, verbs with verbs, etc. LDOCE sometimes gives explanations as short notes in brackets after fixed expressions such as from/out of your own pocket or have deep pockets. Every now and then, OALD still features such old-fashioned turns of phrase as in pocket 5: "any of the holes . . . " , instead of a hole just like "a small piece of material . . . " as in pocket l(a). It also quite often gives crossreferences instead of definitions, as in pocket 4 (=AIR POCKET), pocket knife (= PENKNIFE) and pocketbook 2(a) (=WALLET). This is a spacesaving device which will not always be welcomed by those who are trying to understand the text they are reading. COBUILD always gives definitions in complete sentences, which contain lots of information about how the word is normally used. For a reader, however, this emergent 'word story' could be a negative feature, since it may have little to do with the text he is reading. The information the reader is looking for has thus to be extracted from a setting that is often more or less redundant and that is not always relevant to him. If a reader is presented with a text like This trip will make a serious demand on my pocket and if he wants to verify the meaning of the last word, the rest of the utterance being quite clear to him, he will find in COBUILD: "You can use pocket in a lot of different ways to refer to money that people have, get, or spend. .. .". It is evident that the first part of the sentence, up to the word "money", does not give him any valuable information. CIDE has a mixed style: phrases, sentences and notes or single words are used. As can be seen in figure 4, phrases are used for the first meaning of an

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 293 entry, sentences for following meanings; as already stated, notes or single words are used in brackets for uses and (fixed) expressions that are presented in the form of examples. Sometimes, entries contain only a cross-reference and no definition, as in pocketknife (a PENKNIFE). In spite of the criticisms formulated, it is difficult to say anything definitive about which type of definition is most profitable for L2 learners. Very little research has been done on this topic. Indeed, whatever research there has been done leads to the conclusion that the dictionary does not seem to contribute in a significant way to a better understanding of written texts. MacFarquhar & Richards (1983) report that their subjects, learners of English as a second language (ESL), preferred the definitions of LDOCE, since they were written using a defining vocabulary, to those written without such a restricted vocabulary, but the authors did not check the actual comprehension of either type. In the same vein, Cumming & al. (1994) found that 71% of their subjects, again ESL learners, preferred COBUILD-type definitions, against 27% who preferred the more traditional type (with truncated sentences). In both cases the subjects liked to have examples with the given definitions; however, the authors were unable to find any influence of this preference on the results of their subjects on other tests. 3.2.2 Illustrations and other meaning clarification devices. As is suggested by the findings of Cumming & al. (1994), definitions are not always sufficient for an adequate understanding of the meaning of a word or expression. Fortunately, there are other means of making the meaning of words clear. Ilson (1986), for instance, mentions illustration, exemplification and discussion in addition to definition. In this section I will analyse what the four dictionaries offer by way of illustrations, tables, diagrams, etc., as well as notes, crossreferences and any other means which may (further) explain the meaning of words and expressions. In the following section (3.2.3) I will come to the role examples can play in the context of reading in ESL. With the exception of COBUILD, the learner's dictionaries taken into account here also give illustrations in the form of pictures, drawings or sketches. In none of the dictionaries is there any justification of the choice of items to be explained in this way. This choice certainly depends on what can be shown by pictures, but this does not explain why so different items are chosen for a visual treatment (see Stein 1991 for an overview of illustrations in learner's dictionaries). For the letter E, for instance, illustrations can be found at earth, eavesdrop, edge, engine, enough, escalator, examine and eye in LDOCE, at eagle, ear, egg and eye in OALD, and at edge, emergency services, energy and eye in CIDE. Besides, there are sometimes cross-references to pictures which are elsewhere in the dictionary, e.g. from ear to head in LDOCE, from earthworm to worm in OALD and from earflaps to hats in CIDE. The latter dictionary gives by far the most cross-references of this type. What may be surprising is that most of the illustrated words just cited belong to the defining vocabulary of the three dictionaries and therefore may be assumed not to be problematic for the users, at least as far as comprehension is concerned. The reason for the presence of illustrations for these words has

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294 Paul Bogaards therefore to be sought on the productive side of dictionary use; I will come back to them later on (section 4.1.1). Of the words mentioned, only eagle, eavesdrop and escalator may have been chosen for illustration for reasons that have to do with receptive use. It is not entirely clear, however, why OALD has an illustration at eagle as well as at peacock, pheasant and pigeon, but not e.g. at dove, robin, toucan or canary. As a matter of fact, CIDE happens to have cross-references to an illustration grouping some twenty different birds from the same four birds as OALD, whereas the other birds mentioned have again only definitions. LDOCE does not depict any of these birds. As to eavesdrop, the illustration does not really add to the definition, which seems perfectly clear: "to listen secretly to other people's conversations". The same may apply, but perhaps to a lesser degree because of the technicality of the definition, to escalator; there are no illustrations, however, at the equally technical words elevator or lift. The three dictionaries each have a type of picture where a number of elements of a given set are brought together. LDOCE has 24 coloured fullpage illustrations as well as a number of black and white pictures illustrating such different sets as Fruit, Office, Physical contact, Driving or Clean. CIDE also has a substantial number of these collective pictures, all in black and white, showing aspects of Playground, Jewellery, Motorway or Winter sports, and it fairly often gives pictures showing different meanings of words like column, jack or rail. OALD has far fewer pictures, most of them being illustrations of one (meaning of a) word, but some more comprehensive pictures can be found, all in black and white, e.g. for nut, mountain or dog. It is interesting to note that most pictures illustrate nouns. In CIDE some verbs are illustrated at Food preparation, in OALD at kneel. But LDOCE has by far the greatest variety: Physical contact illustrates verbs like punch, slap, hug, stroke, etc.; Types of walk gives to creep, to shuffle, to paddle, etc.; adjectives are used in Describing people and in Adjectives: broken; prepositions are illustrated in Positions and directions. Now, for the reader all these riches, except for those which are on-the-spot illustrations of the word he is looking up, are not always immediately available. There have to be, therefore, cross-references from the entries of these words to the elements depicted at other places in the dictionary. This seems to have been well implemented for the relatively small number of illustrations in OALD, but somewhat less in LDOCE and CIDE. In LDOCE, there are crossreferences to Vegetables from, among other things, Chinese leaves, butter bean, green bean and pepper, but not from red pepper or green onion. There are also several elements of the very nice Describing people which could have been better exploited: hazel (with the example "hazel eyes"), five o'clock (shadow) and (center) part have no cross-references to this page. As the Sounds of p. 1437 are taken as nouns, there are only cross-references from nouns like fizz, hiss, jingle, rustle, etc. (the first two with wrong page numbers), whereas the illustrations could be used equally well with the corresponding verbs. For some of the verbs of cleaning (p. 238) the reverse is the case. In CIDE cross-references are lacking, for instance, from drawstring, eyelet, toggle and tooth to Dressing and undressing. There is no cross-reference from willow to Trees, only from

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 295 weeping willow, although the tree described at willow is indeed a weeping willow. The cross-reference from plane to Tools is mistakingly at plane(tree), not at plane [TOOL]. In spite of these errors it is clear that in many cases users can profit from illustrations which are elsewhere in the dictionary if they need extra information on the meanings of unknown words. Discussion, according to Ilson (1986: 217), "is just what its name implies: talking about words". This can be done in varying, more or less explicit ways. Synonyms or antonyms given in addition to other elements may help understand the meaning of a given word. References to tables or diagrams may be as helpful. Discussing contrast with near synonyms or confusing words may in some cases even be the sole means of really clarifying a particular meaning. It is therefore important to examine what the four dictionaries have to offer on this point. LDOCE has several means of drawing attention to words related to a given element. In the first place there are the indications see also and compare. It is not very clear, however, what specific types of relationships are described in each of these two categories. Both may contain (near) synonyms, (e.g. eatable see also EDIBLE, emblem compare SYMBOL), compounds or morphologically related words, (e.g. effect see also SOUND EFFECT, SPECIAL EFFECT, breakfast compare CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST), as well as more loosely meaning-related words (e.g. each see also ALL, EVERY, eavesdrop compare OVERHEAR). After compare, but not after see also, antonyms like eccentric compare CONCENTRIC or elder compare YOUNGER can be found. But there are also other means to present synonyms and antonyms. Synonyms are sometimes given after the definition of a meaning, e.g. "economic . . . 2 an economic process, activity etc. produces enough profit for it to continue; PROFITABLE" (cf. pocketbook and pocket money in fig. 1). Antonyms can be found in the same place, preceded by the indication opposite, e.g. "ebb . . . the flow of the sea away from the shore, when the TIDE(. ..) goes out - opposite FLOOD TIDE". Finally, one can find in the same place British or American synonyms like AUBERGINE BrE at eggplant or BAND-AID AmE at Elastoplast. This does not seem to be a very satisfactory situation, especially for the categories see also and compare, because the learner cannot know in advance which type of relationship the words cited there will have with the word he was looking up or whether his excursion to those words will really help him in better understanding his problem word. A reader who comes across the word emigrant and sees in the dictionary entry "compare IMMIGRANT", may very well think that emigrant and immigrant mean about the same thing, and continue his reading. In other words, indications about relationships between word meanings should be much more straightforward, using unambiguous labels for words with the same, opposite or analogous meanings as well as for words which have only formal relationships with each other. As to the presentation of infrequent synonyms and of American or British variants, these may give valuable information to L2 readers who happen to know these words, but this will not be the case very often. The same remarks and criticisms apply more or less to OALD, although in this dictionary "related words", after see also, and "contrasted words", after

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296 Paul Bogaards compare, are somewhat better distinguished. This means that, although both categories may present associatively or morphologically related words, e.g. edition see also IMPRESSION, REPRINT; embassy compare CONSULATE, HIGH COMMISSION, all words with opposite meanings are preceded by compare, whereas synonyms may be found after see also or following a definition, e.g. eatable see also EDIBLE; ejaculation . . 2 . . a sudden expression of anger, surprise, etc;
a n EXCLAMATION.

CIDE also has cross-references introduced by see also or compare. In this case the former indication is restricted to form-related words, e.g. earth see also EARTHEN, the latter to all types of meaning-related words: synonyms (e.g. envious compare JEALOUS), antonyms (e.g. entrance compare EXIT), and other meaning relations (e.g. empathy compare SYMPATHY). Only occasionally does one find a synonym after a definition, for instance at epicure, where one finds "a GOURMET". It goes without saying that here again the users do not have sufficient information about the type of relationship at hand. COBUILD has a simpler and more direct system of indicating meaningrelated words. In its famous extra column one can find the symbols = and # for synonyms and antonyms respectively, e.g. easy 1 = simple, # difficult. Although less numerous and less varied than in the first edition, this type of indication is far greater in number than in any of the three other dictionaries. Unfortunately the cross-references are only to word forms, not to particular senses of words, which is done in the other dictionaries and which might have been more effective and helpful for L2 readers. The category see also contains only compounds or form-related words like economics see also home economics. This category, which is not used very often, is mostly presented as a separate meaning with a number, but is sometimes introduced by a simple dot. Comparing the four dictionaries on this point it becomes clear that the choice of related words to be given with a particular meaning is as unforeseeable as was the case with illustrations. Although COBUILD has the most crossreferences of this type, rather straightforward antonyms like flow or flood tide for ebb are missing. For eavesdrop, LDOCE gives overhear, COBUILD gives listen in, the other two dictionaries remaining silent on this particular point. LDOCE and OALD have also cross-references to appendices. Those that seem to me to be helpful for receptive purposes concern Weights and measures and Military ranks in LDOCE, Family relationships and Ranks in the armed forces and some parts of Numbers in OALD. CIDE gives some tables in the A-to-Z section, e.g. Relationships or Units of measurement. For military ranks this type of table seems absolutely necessary. COBUILD and CIDE, which only give definitions for this type of items, are far less precise. A graphic representation of frequency adverbs like usually, often, occasionally, as given by LDOCE, can only add to a more precise understanding of these items. Genealogical trees as given by LDOCE, OALD and CIDE in order to illustrate family relationships seem to be especially useful for non-western L2 readers. In addition to these more or less implicit indications, LDOCE, OALD and CIDE have more explicit discussions of meaning-related or confusing words. These discussions are called USAGE NOTE in LDOCE, NOTE in OALD, and LANGUAGE PORTRAIT in CIDE. The choice of the words to be

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 297 discussed in this way is almost as unpredictable as was the case of illustrations and of related words. Only where grammatical words like each, every, few, etc. are concerned, do all three dictionaries pay explicit attention to the difficulties the L2 learner may experience. Sometimes the necessary information is given in a note, but the absence of such a note does not necessarily mean that nothing is said about a particular problem: LDOCE and OALD discuss the difference between first floor and ground floor in a note; CIDE gives the same information in a regular entry. In most cases, however, any given set of words is discussed in only one of the dictionaries. LDOCE compares adjectives like famous, well-known, distinguished etc., OALD discusses differences between to giggle, to snigger and to titter, and CIDE tries to make clear distinctions between expensive, costly, dear, etc., while the other dictionaries pay no particular attention at all to these near synonyms. In all these cases users of COBUILD have to find out for themselves, exploiting all the synonyms given in the extra column. As many definitions given for near synonyms resemble each other a lot in this dictionary, however (see 3.2.1), it will not be very easy for the L2 user to tell them apart. As may be seen from the examples given, most of the usage notes are devoted to words belonging to the respective defining vocabularies, but in many cases they may nevertheless be very helpful for readers who try to understand all the details of a text. LDOCE and OALD, in that order, give a fair amount of this type of discussion, paying attention to semantic differences as well as to particularities in grammar or in use. CIDE's "language portraits" are less numerous; as they pay less attention to semantic distinctions between more or less similar words, and contain more grammatical or morphological information, they seem to be less useful for the L2 reader. Another feature of CIDE should be mentioned in the context of L2 reading, however: the lists of "false friends". For sixteen languages, a list of false friends is presented in the A-to-Z section, under the letter of the nationality signs which can be found on vehicles from each country: F for French, P for Portuguese, T for Thai, etc. All the words of these lists are marked with that sign in the relevant entries. Thus, an Italian speaker is warned that invidious as a false friend does not mean the same as Italian invidioso, as he might tend to think. In the list at the beginning of letter I, he can find that the latter word is translated with envious. This may indeed be valuable information, provided of course that he is willing to consult the dictionary. What is less clear is how the false friends have been collected. For French some 150 words have been selected, whereas according to Hammer & Monod (1976) English and French share some 11,000 words, very many of which have one or more different meanings in the two languages. One may wonder why many real faux amis are not listed, e.g. words like fabric, facile, fail or fastidious, the meanings of which do not correspond at all to those of their formal French counterparts fabrique, facile, faillir and fastidieux. Many partial false friends like face or facility are missing, whereas similar cases like figure or flipper are mentioned. On the other hand one is surprised to find in the list words like fete or herb, which can almost always be translated with fete and herbe. In the list for Dutch, one can find the same kind of mentions and omissions.

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298 Paul Bogaards I think few Dutch learners are bound to confuse fail with falen. If they were, why are bail/balen, hail/halen and tail/talen absent from the list? On the other hand many well-known and persistent faux amis are missing, e.g. eventually/ eventueel, acrually/acrueel and occasion/occasion ('second hand', a French word normally pronounced as if it were English). But the most astonishing element in the lists of faux amis, an element which seems to be a problem for speakers of at least six different languages, because of its resemblance to the local names for Iceland, is the word island. I am quite sure, as far as Dutch is concerned, that not one learner has ever had any kind of difficulty with this "confusing pair". All in all one can safely say that there is much room for improvement on this point. 3.2.3 Examples for receptive purposes. For those L2 readers who, in spite of definitions, illustrations or discussions, might not have got a clear picture of the meaning of a word, examples could be helpful. According to COBUILD (p. xxii), some users prefer even to read the examples before they go to the definition. In both cases the examples given should be as clear as possible. Actually, however, it is not easy to know what makes an example clear to someone who does not know the meaning of the word that is exemplified. To get an idea of the problems a learner may have to struggle with, I will give all the examples which can be found in the four dictionaries for a given meaning, replacing the problem word with a question mark and outsiders (i.e. words not in the defining vocabulary of the dictionary concerned) with the indication of their part of speech: LDOCE: OALD: COBUILD: CIDE: He was a strange man who (Verb) in the ? He's interested in the ? However, interest in the ? tended more towards (Adj.) magic rather than (Noun) . . . books dealing with the ? She became interested in the ? and magic when she was in her twenties
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A learner who is prepared to spend time on his problem word could find out the meanings of the verb (to dabble), the adjective (ceremonial) and the noun (witchcraft), depending on the dictionary he is using, but could still not have the impression that he got nearer to the meaning he is longing for. If examples have a role to play in receptive dictionary use, as I think they indeed have, one might wonder why learner's dictionaries do not restrict the vocabulary used in examples, or at least in those examples which are given with the intention of helping L2 users understand the exact meaning of a word, in a similar way as they do for their definitions. All four dictionaries use outsiders in their examples, albeit not in similar quantities. LDOCE and OALD both use relatively few outsiders, but it must be kept in mind that the defining vocabulary used in OALD is considerably larger than LDOCE's. Although it is stated in OALD (p. xvi) that some examples "have been changed slightly from the corpus to remove difficult words", this does not prevent words like relish, plight or solicitor from appearing in examples in this dictionary. CIDE and especially COBUILD use many more outsiders, COBUILD even using such very infrequent words as paganism or filing cabinets. Examples in the two latter dictionaries tend to be longer and less stereotyped than the ones presented in LDOCE and OALD.

Dictionaries for Learners of English 299 Traditionally, examples were made up by lexicographers, whereas more recently, thanks to work on corpora, more so-called authentic examples are put in the dictionary. Many of the examples in LDOCE and in OALD stem from the lexicographic tradition, COBUILD is a typical example of corpus work, while CIDE is a mixed case. As was indicated in table 3, CIDE gives the most examples, but as was mentioned earlier on, this dictionary presents many fixed expressions in the form of examples, with an explanation in brackets often interrupting the sentence. Next comes COBUILD, then OALD; LDOCE gives considerably fewer examples. As was stated by Minaeva (1992: 78), users of learner's dictionaries "should possess a considerable amount of background knowledge because illustrative word-combinations and sentences abound in sociolinguistic information". The author goes on to give examples where proper names like Muriel Spark, Devon, (Laurence) Olivier or the Ford Foundation are used, or where typical institutions like the Post Office or pawnbroker's shops are mentioned. She could have gone even farther by evoking cases where no explicit reference is made to any specific context, but where knowledge of that context is important for the correct understanding of a given example. Such is the case with "Expect occasional showers today" or "There will be occasional showers during the day" (at occasional in LDOCE and OALD, respectively), which are easily recognised as utterances taken from some weather forecast by those who know the language well, but not necessarily by learners. Compare also cases like "The crash occurred when the crew shut down the wrong engine" (at occur in COBUILD) or "Out of (.. .) compassion for her terrible suffering they allowed her to stay" (at compassion in OALD). Sometimes the examples are too short or too general to give any additional information about the content of an item, as in two of the examples given above: "He is interested in . . . " and "books dealing with . . . " . (By the way, the ? in these examples replaced the noun occult.) By contrast, examples are also often quite long or confusing. This danger occurs most in the case of authentic examples like the following ones taken from COBUILD: "I suppose I was looking for an occupation which was going to be an adventure" (at occupation); "There were over 40 tenants, all occupying one wing of the hospital" (at occupy). In CIDE "[w]ell-known phrases from popular songs, television, films, books, plays, and sayings by famous people are sometimes included after the examples" (p. X). Thus one may find "Elementary, my dear Watson" (Sherlock Holmes), "What kind of fool am I?" (song), and "What's good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice versa" (C. E. Wilson, 1953) (see also figure 4). These cultural references could be profitable to L2 learners who come across these elements without the source being indicated. But it would also be interesting to know whether and to what extent L2 readers really use this type of information. It goes without saying that the crucial question in this matter is, again, what type of example is most useful for the L2 reader. This question has been addressed by Laufer (1992). She presented 57 adult Israelian EFL learners with 20 unfamiliar English words, 10 words with authentic examples, 10 with

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300 Paul Bogaards lexicographer examples. There were two conditions: 'example only' and 'definition+example'. As far as the receptive part of this experiment is concerned, the subjects were asked to give a translation in their mother tongue. These translations were scored 0 points for an incorrect translation, 1 point for an approximate translation, and 2 points for a correct translation. In the 'example only' condition, the results were quite low, but the scores for lexicographer examples were significantly better than for authentic examples (means: 2.15 and 4.15, p = .007). In the 'definition-(-example' condition, the results were considerably higher, but the difference was again significant in favour of the lexicographer example (means: 9.32 and 10.45, p = .O38). Laufer (1992: 75) concludes that "even if the new word is defined, the additional information which is provided by the lexicographer's example will contribute to the understanding of the word significantly more than the information provided in the authentic example". This experiment, as well as other ones run by Laufer, show also that "an example alone cannot be expected to provide as much information as a definition with an example" and that "examples alone provide less information than definitions alone". Finally, Laufer states that "the possible benefit from lexicographer's examples is less dependent on [the] vocabulary level of the dictionary user than the benefit from authentic examples".

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4. The use of learner's dictionaries for productive purposes 4.1 Findability 4.1.1 Finding unknown meanings [lexical units/itemsEd.]. Producing in a foreign language may profit greatly from the use of learner's dictionaries. However, the first difficulty the L2 user is confronted with is the fact that, due to the alphabetical ordering of the words, the elements he needs will seldom be presented together. This is a real handicap when strict translations are required; in these cases the use of a bilingual dictionary, instead of or in addition to a monolingual one, will be in order. But even when the writer is allowed to adapt his text to his knowledge, he will very often need words or expressions that he does not know or cannot remember. To make the point at issue clear, let us imagine an ESL learner who has acquired the 2,000 most frequent words of English and who wants to write a story about some everyday events. This could be something like the following, where the words he needs to find in the dictionary are given in Dutch and French. Last week I was invited to dinner by my good friend Charles. He had made a verrukkelijk/delicieux meal, something with gehakte/hache vegetables in a deeg/pate. He complained about the gootsteen/evier which was verstopt/bouche and for which he needed a loodgieter/plombier. I told him that I needed a monteur/mecanicien in order to repair the remmen/freins of my car because I had difficulties whenever I had to voorrang geven/donner la priorite and sometimes to stop in time in front of the verkeerslichten/feux. We talked a lot about our hobbies/passe-temps favoris, one of which is politiek/politique. Weare both links/de gauche and are very interested in a new wetsontwerp/projet de loi about which much overleg/deliberations is going on.

Dictionaries for Learners of English 301 What have the four dictionaries to offer so that our ESL learner can finish this text using an acceptable or even correct and varied vocabulary? As to the first word, none of the dictionaries has any means of finding a word like delicious. There are no more or less synonymous words given at good; looking up taste may lead to tasty, but there are no cross-references to different kinds of taste or to expressions one might need in order to make compliments to the cook. For the other words about food and eating, OALD has a note at to cut which leads to to chop (hakken/hacher). LDOCE does not refer from to cut to other verbs, but the user may remember p. 690 Verbs in the kitchen, where he finds to chop as well as to knead, and the lemma of the latter verb happens to contain an example with the word dough (deeg/pate). Nothing of the kind can be found in COBUILD or CIDE. For a translation of gootsteen/evier one might search at kitchen. LDOCE does not refer from this entry to the picture on p. 689 where a sink can be found. OALD refers to a nonexistent picture; CIDE has a picture on the next page but it does not feature a sink. As to the problem with this sink, I have not been able to find paths that could have led me to choked or clogged up. Unfortunately, this misfortune had not been depicted on p. 1180 Adjectives: Broken in LDOCE. In order to repair the sink as well as the car, the learner needs some professionals. The words needed are not under work, job or profession in any of the dictionaries, but COBUILD and CIDE happen to give examples under to repair where plumbers are mentioned but not (motor) mechanics. Parts of cars, like brakes or exhaust pipes, can be found in pictures in LDOCE, OALD and CIDE. With regard to the vocabulary of traffic, all four dictionaries mention stoplights with a cross-reference to British traffic lights under to stop. I have not been able, however, to find an equivalent for voorrang geven/donner la priorite (give way). In order to find hobby, looking up words like stamp and fishing led to examples containing this word. The same goes for politics, which is referred to in entries like party or left, or rather left (-) wing, which could be found in the latter entry. Again, bill and deliberation were not findable starting from a vocabulary of 2,000 frequent elements. From a list of 27 words and expressions I was able, starting from all related words I could think of and looking up all types of cross-references, to find satisfying equivalents for from 9 (COBUILD) to 13 (LDOCE) items. As can be seen in the examples given, in several cases these equivalents are quite near to the Dutch or the French words. It seems likely, however, that only in cases where learners suppose some sort of cognate relationship, will they look up such equivalents. On the other hand, not all learners are prepared to look up more than one or two words in order to find an equivalent. So, with the help of these dictionaries, it seems possible to access unknown meanings in certainly not more than half of the cases. This is a score that will not encourage every learner. As was noted in section 3.2.2, illustrations representing the meanings of very frequent words might be useful for finding the names of their parts or those of related objects. This is true for instance for the illustrations given at engine in LDOCE, egg in OALD and energy in CIDE. Sometimes, however, the

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302 Paul Bogaards words given are too technical, e.g. conjunctiva at eye in LDOCE or anvil at ear in OALD, whereas words like glasses or deafness are lacking in these entries. CIDE sometimes makes a happy combination of scientific information and conceptual relationships, such as in the "Language Portrait" Eye, eyesight and seeing where the parts of the eye are given next to words like vision, shortsighted and contact lenses, and next to a grid explaining the uses of look, watch and see. A word about the Longman Language Activator (LLA) seems to be in order here as this dictionary is announced as "The world's first production dictionary" [Reviewed by E. A. Nida in IJL 8/2 Summer 1995, pp. 143-6 Ed.]. Taking the same list of 27 items under the same conditions, I was able to find 11 satisfactory equivalents, which is about the same result as for the four learner's dictionaries. This is mainly due to the absence of all concrete nouns like sink, brakes, plumber, etc. A word like party is only treated in the sense of a social event, and it is only thanks to the expression party politics that one can find the entry for politics, adjectives like left and right not being treated at all. With this dictionary it was possible, however, to find words like bill, deliberate, negotiate and compromise which were not findable in any of the other dictionaries. The value of this dictionary seems indeed to be more on the side of abstract than of concrete vocabulary. Conversely this means that the learner's dictionaries still can improve on the quality and the quantity of cross-references, even if they are not willing to include such elaborate comments as can be found in LLA. Apart from giving more tables (e.g. of professions) and still more pictures showing details of wellknown things or situations (as has already been partly realised in LDOCE), presenting more words associated with domains like politics, decision making or traffic could be helpful, especially for the learner who wants to produce texts in the foreign language. 4.1.2 Choosing between options. Learners who are writing a text quite often wonder whether the words they happen to know or those they managed to find in the dictionary really are the ones they need, or whether other words exist that have about the same meaning but which are more precise or, as the case may be, somewhat less negative, a bit stronger or more colourful. Or else they are not sure whether the word they found in some text can be used in the context of their writings. Should they say that something was done deliberately, or are there other, better ways of saying that what happened was not due to chance? How should a given event be qualified if it was something in between a street row and a revolution? In other words, learners are often looking for information which allows them to compare alternatives and to choose the word which best expresses their intention. The question here is thus what the dictionaries do in order to draw attention to other possibilities and how they discriminate between the possibilities offered. As was stated above (section 3.2.2), cross-references to other words are not systematic, not very well organised and not very numerous, even though some of these critical remarks pertain less .to COBUILD than to the others. This impression is confirmed by an analysis of all information that could be useful

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 303 in the context of L2 production for the words from N to nay. Only one word, narrow, is related to other words (wide, broad) in all four dictionaries; and two others, nasty and nationalise, are treated in analogous ways in three of the four dictionaries. This means that all dictionaries have their own particular networks of relationships. But these networks do not have the same density, nor the same quality. CIDE has the fewest possibilities for making choices between alternatives. Apart from a number of antonyms like nadir/zenith, there are only two cases where attention is drawn to other possibilities. The first is a mutual crossreferencing between narrow and broad, where the latter term is simply defined as "very wide". The second concerns the terms narrow boat, canal boat and barge, which seem to be synonyms according to the definitions, but which have different referents in the picture at canal. OALD and LDOCE offer more choices, amongst other things by giving usage notes and pictures illustrating the exact meaning of words like narrow, broad, wide and thin. These notes seem to be extremely welcome because, even when they treat words which belong to the defining vocabulary and which may therefore be assumed to be known, they can resolve many problems even for advanced learners who want to use such words productively. In addition, learners can profit from words mentioned after see also or compare, as well as from words cited as synonyms or opposites after the definitions. Unfortunately, the contrasts that should characterise the relationships between the entry word and words given after compare in OALD are not always very clear, e.g. nationalism compare PATRIOTISM, where nationalism is defined as "a strong feeling of love and pride in one's own country" and patriotism as "love of one's country and willingness to defend it" (see also nap2/pik 4). In other cases one may wonder whether the meanings of words presented as synonyms are really close enough. For instance, natural 3b is defined as "(of qualities, etc) with which one is born; INHERENT" and is illustrated by the example "He has a natural talent for music"; inherent is defined as "existing as a natural or permanent feature or quality of sth/sb" and is illustrated by phrases like "an inherent distrust of foreigners, an inherent weakness in a design". As may be seen it is not always possible to replace natural by inherent, nor the other way round. Even if one may think that learners will be served by this type of complementary information, it is not certain that they will always be able to put it to an adequate use. One sometimes can have the same kind of doubts about relationships that are suggested in LDOCE. Is malicious, defined as "showing a desire to harm or hurt someone", really synonymous with nasty in the sense of "extremely unkind and unpleasant"? And why is name 3 denned as "the opinion that people have about a person or organization", whereas its synonym reputation is defined as "the opinion that people have about a particular person or thing because of what has happened in the past"? How can learners make sure that the differences in the two definitions stand for substantial differences in meaning or use, or that they correspond to shades of meaning which may be neglected? On the other hand, LDOCE makes it sometimes rather difficult to discover some part of a semantic network. For instance, at narrow 5 (narrow ideas/ attitudes) one finds a cross-reference to narrow-minded; at narrow-minded there

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304 Paul Bogaards are cross-references to prejudiced and to broadminded; at the latter entry mention is made of small-minded; finally, looking up this word one finds petty. Although all these words may open new horizons to the learner or bring him nearer to the perfect solution of his communicative problem, the way he has to go seems rather long and complicated. As already stated, COBUILD gives by far the most synonyms and antonyms which may suggest alternative possibilities, and it does so in a quite straightforward manner. For instance, four different senses of naked and six uses of name are presented with related words. In all these cases the learner has to verify for himself whether the words suggested can be used in the context he had in mind. It is also a pity that the cross-references are not to numbered meanings but to head words only. In several cases, however, the verification process turns out to be a rather disappointing task because not all words given in the extra column are entries in the dictionary (e.g. moaning at nagging, overoptimistic at naive, chin wag at natter). In cases where learners are looking for a neutral word to replace an (in)formal one, or the other way round, the four dictionaries offer satisfactory solutions only very occasionally. Next to natter and to snooze, which are characterised as informal words, COBUILD gives chat, gossip and nap respectively; at stoolpigeon and at nab, LDOCE gives informer and arrest. But this type of synonymous element belonging to different registers is very rare. For the same verb nab, COBUILD gives only collar (and there grab), without the learner being guided to arrest. The converse, cross-references from neutral words to words belonging to formal or informal registers, seems to be totally absent from the four dictionaries. The four dictionaries are better in giving the American or British equivalents for words which belong to only one of these types of English. Except for OALD, they all mention American diaper next to British nappy. One may wonder, however, in which cases this type of information will be useful for the productive (or, for that matter, receptive) user. 4.2 Usability 4.2.1 Grammatical information. Once the learner feels he has found the right lexical item, he faces the problem of creating or adapting the context. Starting from a basic knowledge of the grammatical rules and regularities, he consults the dictionary in the hope of finding clear and explicit guidance as to which syntactic and morphological treatment should apply in what particular way to each individual lexical unit. As can be seen in figures 1 to 4, the four dictionaries give this grammatical information in rather different formats. In order to indicate that to pocket is a transitive verb, LDOCE places a [T], CIDE first states that an object is obligatory (pbj) and then adds a [T], whereas OALD and COBUILD indicate for each meaning that the verb is constructed with a noun (Vn). In simple cases like to pocket, these marking systems may be thought to be equivalent, one system giving neither more nor less guidance to the learner than the other. In somewhat more complex cases, however, important differences appear, as for instance for the verb to concede (see figures 5 to 8).

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 305 In LDOCE, three uses are classified as [T], one as [I, T] and one does not have any grammatical indication. For the first sense, only the second use is explicitly described (concede (that)). For the second sense, the learner has to find out, by analysing the two examples given, that the verb is not to be used indifferently as intransitive or transitive as this notation has to be interpreted in other cases, but that [I] and [T] refer to two rather distinct uses. The last two uses are described more explicitly: concede sth to. CIDE is slightly more explicit by stating overtly that the verb can be used with a quotation ([+clause]), but most of the structural peculiarities have to be extracted from the examples. In both LDOCE and CIDE, [T] may cover a number of relatively diverse constructions. OALD presents the grammatical information in two ways, first by indicating the frame (~sth (to sb)), and then by giving descriptions in terms of word classes and sequences of different realisations of these frames ([Vnpr], [V.speech], etc.). Not only is the use of rather difficult and often ill-understood notions like transitive and intransitive avoided, but learners can use the verb correctly without being forced to read the examples. The same kind of explicit data are presented in an even clearer and more complete way in COBUILD. In the first place, the frames, which are part of the definition in COBUILD, quite often contain valuable information on the kinds of subjects or objects that are possible or usual with a given verb, e.g. "1 If you concede something . . .", "2 If you concede something to someone . . . " , "5 If you concede a game, contest, or argument...", or "1 If you cannot conceive of something, . ..", "4 When a woman conceives, .. .". In addition, the extra column gives the possible constructions in terms of sequences of word classes, all fixed prepositions being specified: V n t o n , V ofn as n/-ing, etc. The richer and more precise syntactic description given by COBUILD comes clearly to the fore when one compares the explanations given about the grammatical apparatus used in this dictionary to those used in the other ones. Whereas the other dictionaries use some fifteen different categories, COBUILD distinguishes some 75 "word classes". Even if not all of these would be accepted as word classes by the other dictionaries, it is clear that categories like the nouns and the adverbs are further subdivided in COBUILD than in any of the other dictionaries. Regarding verbs, only OALD has anything like as rich a sub-classification as COBUILD. In the case of the notoriously difficult use of phrasal verbs, a clear notation is definitely necessary. As long as no convincing evidence to the contrary is available, I am inclined to think that indications like 'VPn, also VP' (COBUILD) are much more direct than [I, T] (LDOCE) for describing the use of get through in the sense of'passing an examination', or that get through (to sb) (OALD) permits a better understanding of the structural possibilities of this use of the phrasal verb than [I] [+to] (LDOCE) or simply [I] next to an example with and another one without a complement introduced by to (CIDE). Classifying a given word as an adjective or as an adverb will not always be sufficient to guide the learner to the correct use of the item. In many cases more information is necessary. For an adjective like galore, all dictionaries

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306 Paul Bogaards state that it is only used after nouns; with the exception of OALD, this is also the case for concerned. For enough things are more complicated. LDOCE has two entries, one for the adverb and one for the determiner and the pronoun; in addition it gives a usage note on the place of enough in these uses. CIDE has one entry where enough is presented as determiner, pronoun and adverb; halfway through the article it is stated that this word "can be used after an adjective, adverb or verb to mean .. .". OALD again has two entries, one for the indefinite determiner and one for the adverb; in the first entry it is clearly stated that in this case this item is "usu[ally] used in front of plural or uncountable nfounjs", in the second that it is "used after vferbjs, adjfectivejs and adv[erb]s". COBUILD, finally, gives for each use a whole list of possible sequences, like ADV: adj/adv ADV, ADV after v, etc. Most users of English who recognise frankly, unfortunately as well as today as adverbs, will be at the same time aware of the different uses these words may be put to. But because this is not necessarily the case for learners, the dictionaries obviously need to provide some sort of specification. This is not the case in CIDE, which characterises all three words as just adverbs. COBUILD and LDOCE rightly specify that frankly (in one particular sense) and unfortunately are used as adverbs which qualify a sentence or a clause. OALD has a note devoted to this matter at hopeful, but (un) fortunately is not mentioned as being a member of the particular class of sentence adverbs. Whereas three of the dictionaries give the forms of comparatives and superlatives like poorer, poorest, LDOCE does not. For OALD, these forms constitute all this dictionary has to say about gradability and the use of a specific class of accompanying specifiers. CIDE quite often adds "[not gradable]" to adjectives and adverbs, but not in a very systematic way; it can be found e.g. at yesterday, today, tomorrow, concerned and iron, but not at concentric, conceptual or concomitant, where users might have more doubts. Only COBUILD consistently marks all gradable adjectives and adverbs as GRADED. Likewise, this dictionary indicates in a systematic way the attributive and/or predicative use of adjectives like golden, iron, silver or silken, without using this terminology. OALD pays only incidental attention to this problem; CIDE and LDOCE almost never provide any guidance on this point. Sometimes learners may have difficulty in adapting a word to a given context, especially when such a context necessitates, for instance, the use of an adjective or a verb instead of the noun they had in mind. To provide help in these cases, the learner's dictionaries clearly need to present morphological relationships. But in most of the dictionaries this is only the case under very strict conditions, and it is questionable whether these conditions are helpful for those learners who are trying to avoid clumsy sentences when writing in their foreign language. Whereas COBUILD systematically presents all inflected forms of each entry word, even when these forms are strictly regular and do not present any difficulty to advanced learners, it never gives cross-references to other words of the same family. Only when they are formed on the basis of the entry word without major changes in meaning and when they follow the entry word in the alphabetical ordering [Not necessarily. Ed], may related words be given

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 307 in bold face in the entry. This means that genuinely and genuineness are to be found under genuine, and geologist under geology [non-alphabetically. Ed.], but that geographical and geological precede as independent entries those for geography and geology respectively, and that growth conies after unrelated words like growl, without there being any indication of the existence of the noun in the entry for grow. LDOCE and OALD are less strict as to the alphabetical ordering of morphologically related words. They both present geographical, geographically as well as geographer under geography. They both also give, after See also, concession at the end of the entry for concede, but not, for instance, conception under conceive, growth under grow, or factual under fact. Again, they both give greatness at the end of the entry for great, without indicating, however, to which meanings of the adjective this noun corresponds. So, learners may be tempted to conclude that one can speak about the greatness of a house or of an occasion. CIDE has opted for a presentation in what can be called morphological families. So it comes as no surprise that geographer, geographical, geographical and geographically are all to be found under geography. But furthermore growth is mentioned under grow, factual under fact, fatten under fat, etc. What is more, greatness is only mentioned under great [FAMOUS], so that not only the formal link is clear, but the semantic one as well. CIDE could have been still more systematic, however, words like conception or gift not being given under conceive and give. The case of ordinal numbers nicely illustrates this point. If, for any reason, learners want to use these words without being certain about their form, where can they find them? COBUILD does not exploit this type of relationship at all. In LDOCE one finds simple forms like fourth or tenth in the entries for the cardinal numbers, but not in cases where the form is less regularly formed. Much the same is true for OALD, although there is an incidental Compare SECOND at two. Only CIDE makes it almost systematically possible to replace expressions like "number 2" or "number 5" with the corresponding ordinals, sometimes by giving words in a "Language Portrait" (first and second), sometimes by entering the ordinals in the morphological family of the cardinal number (fifth). As was mentioned earlier (section 3.1.1), the four dictionaries have different policies for entering morphological tools. It is difficult to see how and to what extent these tools may improve the written production of learners. Most users, if ever they think of using these tools for productive purposes, will be aware of the risks of constructing words along the lines indicated at the entries for prefixes or suffixes, or in tables like COMBINING FORMS as in CIDE. When it is indicated that -en, -ify and -ize/-ise may be used to form verbs from adjectives or nouns, the limitations of these rules are not given, and so forms like *yellowen or *optionify are not excluded. 4.2.2 Other information on use. Learners who have found the word they want to use and who are aware of its grammatical possibilities still may need other types of information. In the first place, if they are to write texts that are as "natural" as possible, they need to be informed about the frequency of use

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308 Paul Bogaards of words in certain constructions. CIDE does not give any information on this point, OALD only incidentally, as in possess where for the meaning "to control or dominate a person's mind" it is stated that the passive is the dominant form ("esp passive"). Every now and then LDOCE gives bar charts to present information on the use of a word. For instance, at disagree one can see that this verb is used in more than half of the cases with the preposition with and in about 30% of the cases without a preposition, patterns like disagree about, disagree on, disagree (that) and others each being used in less than 10% of the cases. In similar ways, one can see that good or happen are used more frequently in spoken than in written English, that vacation is relatively more frequent in American English than in British English, and one can find out which are the words most commonly used with e.g. idea, information or interest. Although the criteria for the choice of items to be illustrated in this way are not given by the compilers of this dictionary, the presence of this type of information must be positively appreciated, because large parts of it may be helpful for learners producing texts in their L2. In addition, LDOCE gives the examples showing grammar or collocations in frequency order (p. xvii). Although this is an interesting feature for productive users, I am not sure that it is salient enough in practical use. COBUILD is most systematic in giving indications about the frequency of structures used with individual meanings of words. In the extra column three signs are used: usu to signal very frequent patterns, oft for patterns which are relatively frequent, and also for patterns which are less common (with nouns, this indication may also have the meaning of "behaving in a way which is not typical of that category"). This dictionary not only presents the most detailed information about the grammatical possibilities, it also guides the learner to what is normal or natural. Another feature of COBUILD may put an end to hesitations learners might have in using fixed phrases. One of the difficulties here is to know what parts of these expressions may or have to be adapted to the context and which are only to be used in the form given. For instance, in cases like run/take its course or carry the day, learners may wonder whether the nouns may or have to be in the plural form when the subject is plural. In such cases, COBUILD is the only dictionary to give indications. V inflects or N inflects in the extra column draw attention to the fact that only the verb or only the noun has to be adapted to the context. Another kind of information learners of a L2 badly need concerns collocations: which are the words normally accompanying a given meaning? Instead of overusing words like "very" or "heavy", advanced learners should be stimulated to use more typical intensifiers. Looking for an alternative for "heavy rain", learners may find torrential/driving in OALD, or pouring/torrential in CIDE, while LDOCE gives only heavy, and COBUILD nothing at all; wanting to replace "very important" they find very/especially/vitally in OALD, very in CIDE, very/vitally in LDOCE and most in COBUILD. It is not very easy to get a clear view of the collocational riches of each of the four dictionaries.As to the presence of intensifiers, the two examples given above give a fairly good view: although some of the intensifiers mentioned on

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Dictionaries for Learners of English 309 "Study page A4" are absent from the corresponding entries in the dictionary itself, OALD seems to have the greatest variety, while COBUILD is lagging behind. In none of the dictionaries, however, does this point seem to have been given the attention it deserves. Sometimes no intensifier is given, sometimes one can be found in an example, sometimes one or more are presented as real collocations (e.g. in bold face). The same is true for objects with verbs ("which things does one gather?", "which things can be gained?") and for nouns with adjectives ("to what things or people does generous apply?"). OALD gives the most answers, COBUILD the least, LDOCE and CIDE coming in between. One could object here that the questions asked are not those asked most frequently by users. They are more likely indeed to start from nouns and to look for verbs, adjectives or other nouns that may be combined with them. Telling us that a gap may be found in a fence/hedge/wall as well as in a story, conversation, education, etc., and that one may talk of front garden, back garden, herb/rose/vegetable garden, etc., OALD is again the most generous dictionary. Only when it comes to giving the verbs that allow the formation of a verbal expression on the basis of a noun, does LDOCE come first. Although all four dictionaries give a fair number of these verbs (e.g. bath (have/take), call (make), etc.), LDOCE not only gives the most of them, but marks them as such as well. CIDE also marks most of these verbs as having a special relationship with the noun, whereas OALD gives many of them in the context of an example. COBUILD sometimes gives these verbs as part of the definition, sometimes in the context of examples; as a rule they are not marked. 4.2.3 Examples for productive purposes. As was seen earlier on (section 3.2.3), all four dictionaries present examples. In this final section I would like to approach these examples from the point of view of the learner who wants to produce correct texts in his L2. The central question here is thus to what extent the examples given really help learners to understand how the words are to be used. In a productive context examples can be taken to be the fleshing out of the more or less abstract information that is provided by the definitions and/or the grammatical codes. These illustrations are especially important in the case of verbs. Real sentences can show in a practical way how the structural skeleton comes to life. In other words, the examples given provide models to be followed. All four dictionaries always give at least one example illustrating each of the verbal structures mentioned, except for those structures marked as not very common {also .. .) in COBUILD. A striking difference between COBUILD and the other dictionaries, however, is that many of the examples in COBUILD are rather long. As a case in point, one could consider the example given at concede 3 (see fig. 7). In addition, in many cases the examples contain very infrequent words such as shrapnel at gaping, or proper names which are not always clear to the learner, e.g. Nomura's U.S. unit at concede 1 or Kensington Gardens at garden 3. The problem with these examples could be that because of their length as well as of the presence of unfamiliar elements, they do not present in a clear way the structure that was to be illustrated and they cannot easily be taken as models for the learner's own production.

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310 Paul Bogaards This point of critique applies to some extent also to CIDE. As can be seen in the entries presented in figs. 4 and 8, the examples in this dictionary are not only used to explain the grammatical information (as stated on p. xi), but also to present collocations and fixed phrases and, in addition, to give an explanation of the meaning of these items. It is not impossible that this accumulation of functions is damaging for each, as well as for the help they are supposed to provide to the productive L2 learner. LDOCE and OALD have simpler, shorter, lexicographer-made examples containing less unfamiliar words. It is again necessary to stress that only empirical research can give conclusive answers to the question whether this type of example is more helpful for production than the authentic type or not, or whether there is no difference. In the same experiment as described in section 3.2.3, Laufer (1992) asked the subjects who had been presented with a definition and an example to write sentences with the target words. For this 'productive' task the mean score for the lexicographer examples was again higher (8.36) than for the authentic ones (7.36), but this difference was not statistically significant. So, the author concludes that "in production, unlike in comprehension, the subjects' performance was not significantly affected by the different type of examples". This lack of difference between the two types of examples may mean that, although the authentic examples imply the presence of some disturbing information, they are as good as models of use as the more traditional ones. As Laufer does not mention from which dictionaries the test material was taken, nor how much explicit or coded grammatical information there was at the subjects' disposal during the test, more research would be needed to settle this question.

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5. Conclusion
By way of general conclusion I would like to present table 4. In this table all aspects discussed in sections 3 and 4 have been listed and the results of the discussions have been reduced to plusses and minuses. These signs are to be read as a five point scale going from remarkably good (+ +) to remarkably bad ( ). Admittedly, this is a rather crude way of summarising what has been said up to now, but I hope the surveyability of the table will compensate for its lack of subtlety. In many cases it was not easy to decide on the signs to use for a given criterion. After the discussion about defining style, for instance (see section 3.2.1), it was very difficult to make any evaluative judgment at all. The principal aim of table 4, then, is to try and visualise the differences between the four dictionaries discussed. What was clear, however, was that none of the dictionaries deserved very negative judgments on any criterion. All seem to be acceptable learner's dictionaries, their strengths and weaknesses being rather varied. For instance, LDOCE has the most positive values on the receptive side, COBUILD on the productive side. Taking all criteria as equally important and replacing + + by 5 points and by 1, the totals for the four dictionaries

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311

are 81 for LDOCE, 77 for OALD, 72 for COBUILD and 64 for CIDE. The means on this five point scale are 3.5 for LDOCE, 3.3 for OALD, 3.1 for COBUILD and 2.8 for CIDE. On some points, all dictionaries discussed are rather weak. In the first place there is the difficulty of finding unknown meanings [lexical units/itemsEd.]. Although this will remain one of the major drawbacks for monolingual dictionaries as compared to bilingual ones, more thought needs to be given to possibilities to improve this situation. A second point that deserves more attention of researchers and dictionary makers concerns the use of pictures. Third, all four dictionaries could improve on such points as the treatment of irregular forms and the use of distinctive labels and cross-references. Finally, more research needs to be done on the use and utility of different types of examples. References
Augusto, M. C , Bogaards, P., Hannay, M., Martin, W., Slagter, P. J., Venancio, F., Wekker, H., Wijne, C. 1995. Towards a Database for General Translation Dictionaries and Bilingual Learner Dictionaries, with special Reference to Dutch and Portuguese, Den Haag: C L W . Bogaards, P. 1988. 'A propos de l'usage du dictionnaire de langue etrangere.' Cahiers de Lexicologie 52, 131-152. Bogaards, P. 1990. 'Oil cherche-t-on dans le dictionnaire?', International Journal of Lexicography 3, 79-102. Bogaards, P. 1992. 'A la recherche de collocations dans le dictionnaire de langue etrangere.' in R. Lorenzo (ed.), Adas do XIX Congreso Internacional de Linguistica e Filoloxia Romdnicas. A Coruna: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, II 175-185.' Bogaards, P. 1993. 'Models of dictionary use.' Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 46/47 (Dutch Contributions to AILA '93 Selected in Honour of Johan Matter): 17-28. Bogaards, P. 1994. Le vocabulaire dans I'apprentissage des langues etrangeres. Paris: Credif- Hatier/Didier (Coll. LAL). Cruse, D. A. 1986. Lexical Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. dimming, G., Cropp, S., Sussex, R. 1994. 'On-line Lexical Resources for Language Learners: Assessment of some Approaches to Word Definition.' System 22: 369-377. Hammer, P., Monod, M. 1976. English-French Cognate Dictionary. University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. Hausmann, F. J. 1977. Einfuhrung in die Benutzung der neufranzosischen Worterbucher. Tubingen: Niemeyer. Ilson, R. 1986. 'General English Dictionaries for Foreign Learners: Explanatory Techniques in Dictionaries.' Lexicographica 2: 214-222. Laufer, B. 1992. 'Corpus-based versus Lexicographer Examples in Comprehension and Production of New Words' in H. Tommola, K. Varantola (eds.), Euralex '92 Proceedings (Studia Translatologica A 2) Part I: 71-76. MacFarquhar, P. D., Richards, J. C. 1983. 'On Dictionaries and Definitions.' RELC Journal 14: 111-124. Minaeva, L. 1992. 'Dictionary Examples: Friends or Foes?' in H. Tommola, K. Varantola (eds.), Euralex '92 Proceedings {Studia Translatologica A 2) Part I: 77-80. Stein, G. 1991. 'Illustrations in Dictionaries.' International Journal of Lexicography 4: 99-127.

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312 Paul Bogaards

Table 1. Some data about four learner's dictionaries of English.


LDOCE First edition editor(s) edition editor(s) 1978 P. Procter 3/1995 M. Rundell 1644 OALD 1948 A.S. Hornby 5/1995 J. Crowther 1392 COBUILD 1987 J. Sinclair P. Hanks 2/1995 J. Sinclair G. Fox 1951 CIDE 1995 P. Procter 1/1995 P. Procter 1701

Last

No of pages a-z No of other pages No of definitions claimed No of examples claimed Corpuses*

64
> 80 000

78
65000 90000 BNC+OAEC

38
> 75 000 100000

91
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100000 > 100000

LLC + BNC

BE

CLS

*LLC - Longman Lancaster Corpus (30 million words) BNC - British National Corpus (100 million words) OAEC - Oxford American English Corpus (40 million words) BE - Bank of English (200 million words) CLS - Cambridge Language Survey (100 million words)

Dictionaries for Learners of English

313

Table 2. Comparison of POCKET.


LDOCE NOUN - small bag in cloth - small bag in door - amount of money - small area - small amount - air pocket - hole or bag for balls VERB - put in your pocket - steal money - get money in a dishonest way - hit a ball ADJECTIVE - small enough - smaller than usual FIXED EXPRESSIONS be in each other's ~ s be in sb's ~ burn a hole in sb's ~ dig into one's ~ from your own ~ have sb/sth in your ~ - able to control - sure to win have deep ~ s in ~ line sb's ~ live in each other's ~ s out of ~ out of your own ~ pick sb's ~ put your hand in your ~ suit your ~ turn out your ~ Total lexical units (number of non-explained forms) Number of examples OALD COBUILD CIDE

+ + +

+ + + +
m

+ + + + + +

+
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+ + +

+ +
m m

+ + + + m + + + + m +
24 2 18

+ +
m

+ +
m m

20 6 14

14 21

18 36

m mentioned (entered) without explanation

314 Paul Bogaards

Table 3. Numbers of' lexical units and examples in four samples (in brackets: the numbers of non-explained forms included)
LDOCE a. lexical units buckle-bunch ground-guesswork orderly-ouch vacation-vat Totals cross-references Estimated total lexical units b. examples buckle-bunch ground-guesswork orderly-ouch vacation-vat Totals Estimated total examples OALD COBUILD CIDE

282 (22) 263 (15) 216 (23) 196(21) 957(81) 62 100,000

228(12) 205(12) 177(17) 177(21) 787 (62) 61 76,000

241 (9) 202(14) 152(13) 154(19) 749 (55) 48 72,000

207 215 153 113 688 48

(16) (20) (32) (34) (102)


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71,000

131 157 154 93 535 56,000

231 256 205 197 889 86,000

261 271 241 231 1004 96,000

233 253 287 271 1044 107,000

Dictionaries for Learners of English 315

Table 4. Evaluative comparison of four learner's dictionaries of English.


LDOCE RECEPTION Findability 1. Number of meanings explained - morphological tools 2. Accessibility of forms: - meaning related forms - irregular forms 3. Accessibility of multiword expressions 4. Structure of entries: - use of labels - guiding principles - general lay-out Comprehensibility 5. Definitions: - defining vocabulary - precision - defining style 6. Illustrations etc.: - pictures - synonyms etc. - notes etc. 7. Examples PRODUCTION Findability 8. Finding unknown meanings [items Ed.] 9. Choosing between alternatives Usability 10. Grammatical information - syntax - morphology 11. Other information - frequency - inflection - collocations 12. Examples OALD COBUILD CIDE

++ + ++ + ++

+ + + + + + +

+ + + +

+ +
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+ ++ + + +

+ + + +

+ + +

+ + + +

++ + ++ +

316 Paul Bogaards


9 put your hand in your pocket to give money to someGQi pocket 1 /1pokjt|'pa:kjt/n|C] 08 1 IN CLOTHES < a small bag sewn onto or into a one who needs it or in order to helpsomeone: Ihopeeverycoat, trousers etc so that you can put things such as one will put their hands in their pockets and give money or keys into it: Joseph always stands with his generously to the fund. hands in his pockets. |coat/trouser/jacket etc 10 FOR BALLS 4 a small net bag fastened to a BILpocket The keys are in my coat pocket. | turn out your LIARD or SNOOKER table which you have to hit the ball into AIRPOCKET line your own pockets (UNE' (4)) pockets (=empty your pockets) see picture on page see also pocket 1 o(T] 1 to put something into your pocket: Roy 984 2 MONEY* the amount of money available for you pocketed his wallet and car keys and left the house. 2 to spend: When will the new taxes start hitting people's a) to steal money, especially money that you are responpockets?. | suit every pocket We offer a range of repay- sible for. The society's treasurer was accused ofpocketing ment plans to suit every pocket | from/out of your own some of the profits, b) to get money in a slightly dispocket (=uslng your own money instead of money from honest way: It's simple - we buy them for S5, sell them for your company, the government etc) The prince offered to S8. and pocket the difference. 3 to hit a ball into a pocket pay for the restoration out of his own pocket. | have deep in games such as BILLIARDS pockets (=have a lot of money) pocket' ad) [only before noun) small enough to be carried in your pocket: a pocket dictionary 3 IN A BAG/DOOR ETC 4 a small bag or piece of material fastened to an object so that you can put small pocket bat-tie-ship /,/ n [C] a fairly small fighting things into it: All passengers should read the air safety ship card in the pocket of the seat in front. pocket-book /'pDkJtbokl'po:-/ n [C] 1 AmE a small 4 SMALL AREA/AMOUNT 4 a) a small area Oat case for holding papers and paper money; WALLET where the situation is very different from the area sur2 a small NOTEBOOK 3 AmE old-fashioned a woman's rounding it: Apart from a few pockets of resistance, the HANDBAG, especially one without a STRAP1 new government is firmly established.\a poor country dot-pocket c a l c u l a t o r / , / n [ C ] a small piece of elected with pockets of wealth b) a small amount of some- tronic equipment which you use to do calculations thing that is different from what surrounds it: The mine pock-etful /pokjlfulfpa:-/ n [CJ the amount that a has a few remaining pockets of iron ore. pocket will hold: [+ of| o pocketful ofpebbles 5 be/live in each other's pockets informal, especially pocket handkerchief /,- / n [C] old-fashioned a BrE if two people are in each other's pockets, they are handkerchief made of cloth not of paper together too much 6 have sb/sth in your pocket a) to be able to control pocket-handkerchief adj informal, especially BrE small and square in shape: a pocket-handkerchief garden someone such as a police officer or politician, by threatening them, paying them money etc: a powerful organ- pocket knife f-jnplural pocket knives /-naivz/[C]a small knife with one or more blades that fold into the hanization with many local politicians in Us pockets b) to be very sure that you are going to win something such as dle see picture at KNIFE' a competition or election: /(looks like the Democrats have pocket m o n e y / ,-/n [U] 1 especially BrE money this election in their pockets already. given regularly to a child by its parents to spend on small 7 be out of pocket BrE informal to have less money things: ALLOWANCE (4) AmE: Sophie spends her pocket than you should have, after some form of exchange or money on sweets and magazines. 2 informal a small business deal: Unless you handle the deal carefully, you amount of money that you can use to buy small things: could be badly out of pocket. | 10/50 etc out of pocket Gavin gives private lessons to earn himself a bit ofpocket Selling the car so cheaply left her 100 out ofpocket. money. 8 pick sb's pocket to steal from someone by taking pocket ve-to /,/ n (C) a method used by the US President to stop a BILL (=proposal for a new law), by keeping it without signing it until Congress is no longer working

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Fig 1. LDOCE

p o c k e t /'pokit/ n 1(a) a small piece of material sewn into or onto a garment and forming a small bag for carrying things in: a coat I jacket! trouser pocket o He picked up his keys and put them in his pocket o a pocket dictionary/calculator/guide (ie one small enough to fit in a pocket), (b) a container resembling this, eg on the inside of a car door or a SUITCASE: YOU will find information about safety procedures in the pocket in front of you (eg on an aircraft). 2 (usu sing) money that one has available for spending; financial means: prices to suit every pocket o The expedition was a drain on her pocket. 3 a small isolated group or area: pockets of unemployment o a few isolated pockets of opposition/resistance to the new regime. 4 = AIR POCKET. 5 Uport) any of the holes or string bags beneath them situated round the edges of a table for pooP(3), SNOOKER or BILLIARDS, o picture at SNOOKER. fEE3 be in sb's 'pocket to be controlled or strongly influenced by sb. be/live in each other's 'pockets to be (too) close to or spend (too) much time with each other, dig into one's pocket(s) o DIG. have s b in one's 'pocket to have influence or power over sb. ,in/,out of 'pocket having gained/lost money as a result of sth: Even after paying all our expenses, we were still over 100 in pocket. His mistake left us all out of

pocket, o ,out-of pocket expenses (ie money that one has spent and which will be returned, eg by one's employer), line one's/sb's pocket o LINE3. money bums a hole in sb's pocket O MONEY. pick sb's pocket o PICK', put one's hand in one's pocket o HAND1. pocket v 1 to put sth into one's pocket [Vn] She quickly pocketed the note without reading it. 2 to keep or take sth for oneself, esp dishonestly: [Vn] She pays J2 for them, sells them for S4 and pockets the difference. He was given 20 for expenses, but pocketed most of it. 3 [Vn] (eg in BILLIARDS) to hit a ball into a pocket(5). pocketful Aful/ n (pi -fills) the amount a pocket holds: a pocketful of coins. m 'pocket knife n (esp US) - PENKNIFE, O picture at
KNIFE.

'pocket money n [U] (a) (Brit) a small amount of money given to a child by its parents, esp on a regular basis, (b) money for small expenses. p o c k e t b o o k /'pDkitbuk/ n 1 a small book for writing in. 2(a) = WALLET, (b) (US) a PURSEKD or small

bag for a woman.

Fig 2. OALD

Dictionaries for Learners of English 317


pocket /pokn/pockets, pocketing, pocketed C O 1 A pocket is a kind of small bag which forms pan M-COUNT: of a piece of clothing, and which is used for cany- OtpossK. ing small things such as money or a handkerchief. He took his flashlight from his jacket pocket and switched it on... The man stood with his hands in his pockets. 2 You can use pocket in a lot of different ways to refer to money that people have, get, or spend. For example, if someone gives or pays a lot of money, you can say that they dig deep into their pocket. If you approve of something because it is very cheap to buy, you can say that it suits people's pockets. When you come to choosing a dining table, it realty is worth digging deep into your pocket for the best you can afford. ...ladies' fashions to suit all shapes, sizes and pockets... You would be buying a piece of history as well as a boat, if you put your hand in your pocket for this one... We don't believe that they have the economic reforms in place which would justify putting huge sums of Western money into their pockets. 3 You use pocket to describe something that is small enough to fit into a pocket, often something that is a smaller version of a larger item. ...a pocket calculator. ...my pocket edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. 4 A pocket of something is a small area where something is happening, or a small area which has a particular qualify, and which is different from the other areas around it Trapped in a pocket of air. they had only 40 minutes before the tide flooded the chamber... The newly established government controls the bulk of the city apart from a few pockets of resistance. 5 If someone who is in possession of something valuable such as a sum of money pockets it, they steal it or take it for themselves, even though it does not belong to them. Dishonest importers would be able to pocket the VAT collected from customers. 6 If you say that someone pockets something such as a prize or sum of money, you mean that they win or obtain it, often without needing to make much effort or in a way that seems unfair; used in journalism. He pocketed more money from this tournament than in his entire three years as a professional 7 If someone pockets something, they put it in their pocket, for example because they want to steal it or hide it Anthony snatched his letters and pocketed them... He pocketed a wallet containing 40 cash from the bedside ofa dead man. 6 If you say that some money Is burning a hole In someone's pocket, you mean that they want to spend It as soon as possible. It's Saturday, you're down the high street and you've got a few quid burning a hole in your pocket. 9 If you say that someone is In someone else's pocket, you disapprove of the fact that the first I w u s m n o l person is willing to do whatever the second person tells them, for example because the first person is weak or is being paid by the second person. The board of directors must surely have been in Johnstone's pocket. 10 If you say that someone Is lining their own or someone else's pockets, you disapprove of them because they are making money dishonestly or unfairly for themselves or for someone else. It is estimated that 5.000 bank staff could be lining their own pockets from customer accounts. ...a government that ignores the needs of the majority in order to line the pockets of the favoured feu: 11 If you are out of pocket, you have less money than you should have or than you intended, for example because you have spent too much or because of a mistake. They were well out of pocket they had spent far more in Hollywood than he had earned... Statements with errors could still be going out. but customers who notify us will not be left out of pocket. See also out-of-pocket. 12 If someone picks your pocket, they steal something from your pocket, usually without you noticing. They were more in danger of having their pockets picked than being shot at. pocketbook /pokubuk/ pocketbooks 1 In American English, you can use pocketbook to refer to people's concerns about the money they have or hope to earn: used in journalism. People feel pinched in their pocketbooks and insecure about their futures. ...the voters' concerns over pocketbook issues. 2 In American English, a pocketbook is a small bag which a woman uses to cany things such as her money and keys in when she goes out. The usual British word is handbag. 3 In American English, a pocketbook is the same as a wallet. pocketknife. A pocket knife is a small knife with .oenkntic several blades which fold into the handle so that you can cany it around with you safely. p o c k e t m o n e y ; also spelled pocket-money. OOOO 1 Pocket money is money which children are given N-UNCOUMT by their parents, usually every week; used mainly in British English. We agreed to give her 6 a week pocket money. 2 Pocket money is a small amount of money which you earn, and which you can use for buying the things that you want; used mainly in British English. Volunteers receive 21 pocket money each week, accommodation and expenses. p o c k e t - s i z e d ; also spelled pocket-size. If you describe something as pocket-sized, you approve of it because it is small enough to fit in your pocket. ...a handy pocket-sized reference book.

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pocket knife, pocket knives; also spelled

N-COUKT

Fig 3. COBUILD

318 PaulBogaards
pocfc-et [BAG: / e ' p o k i t . J ' p a : kit/ n [C] a small bag for ca Tying things in which is made of cloth and sewn esp. into the inside or onto the outside of a piece of clothing a jacket/trouser/coat pocket m a hip/breast/back pocket a skirt with two patch pockets {=squares of material sewn onto the outside of a piece of clothing to form containers) / lost my keys when they fell out of a hole in my pocket. She walked along with her collar turned up and her hands thrust deep in/into her pockets. He took some coins from/ out of his pocket. A pocket is also a container, often made of cloth, which is sewn into or onto a bag or fixed to a seat in a car or on an aircraft Sarah put her maps in the outside pocket of her rucksack, o I want to get one of those bags with lots of zip pockets on it o The flight attendant said that we would find the safety instructions in the pocket of the seat in
front of us. The pockets on a BILLIARD, SNOOKER or POOL

table are the holes around the edge of the table and the small net bags under them into which the balls are hit. (infml) Your pocket is also the amount of money that you have for spending: These new tax increases will be hard on our pocket (= will be bad for us financially), o It helps to have deep pockets ( = a lot of money) when you're involved in a long law suit like this, o I paid for my ticket out of my own pocket (= with my own money), but I can claim the cost of it back from my employer. (disapproving) I don't think it's healthy the way you two are/live in each other's pockets (= are with each other all the time and are very dependent on each other). (disapproving) The head teacher has the school governors completely in her pocket/The school governors are completely in the head teacher's pocket (= she has power and control over them), so she can do exactly what she wants. Last year's winners again have the championship firmly in their pocket (=are certain to succeed in winning it). If you are in pocket or out of pocket after an exchange involving money, you have more or less money than you started with: By the time we've paid all our expenses, we should still be (several hundred pounds) in pocket, o The last time I went to the pub with you, I ended up seriously out of pocket! All your out-of-pocket expenses (= money you have to pay yourself for things such as food and travel while you are doing a job for someone else) will be paid when you get back to the office. Pocket-handkerchief is fml or dated for HANDKERCHIEF: (Br infml) We have a tiny pocket-handkerchief (= very small and usually square in shape) garden. My mum gives me 1 a week pocket money (also spending money Am also allowance; <= money given by a parent to a child every week or month, which the child can spend himself or herself). Our hotel and food are included in the cost of our holiday, soaliwe need to take with us is pocket money (also spending money; (= money for spending on personal things). Pocket money can also mean not very much money: / work really hard at this job, and all I get paid is

pocket money, o Cf course, 20000 is just pocket money to someone like Charles. You can now get pocket-sized televisions (~ televisions that are very small). (infml) I'm not going to be told what to do by some pocket-sized (= small) kid. (Am) The president's pocket veto (= failure to approve a suggested law before the government completes its business for the year) avoided a confrontation with Congress before the summer break. "Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?" (Mae West in the film My Little Chickadee. 1939) p o c k - e t o i y /E'pDkit. J ' p a : kit/ v [7] He carefully pocketed his change (= put it in his pocket). /'// tell them I sold it for 20. not 25. then lean pocket (= take for myself, esp. dishonestly) the rest. I expect the Council wilt just pocket the proceeds of the sale, not spend it on making improvements to the town. Davis pocketed the black (= hit the black ball into the pocket) to win the game. p o c k - e t / E ' p o k - i i , J'po:-kit/ adj(beforen;not gradable] If you describe something as pocket, it means that it is small enough to put in your pocket, or that you regularly carry it in your pocket a pocket dictionary a pocket travel guide a pocket edition of a book a pocket diary a pocket calculator a pocket phone a pocket video game a pocket watch Pocket can also mean smaller than usual: a pocket battleship pocket*fiil/'pnk-itful. $'pa:kit-/ n JC] She always takes a pocketful of tissues (=as many as a pocket will hold) with her when she goes out with her children. If you say someone has a pocketful or has pocketfuls (of money), it means they have a lot of money: They won pocketfuls of money playing cards. POCk-et IGROUP/AREAI / ' p D k i t , $ ' p a : k i t / n [C] a group, area or mass of something which is separate and different from what surrounds it Among the staff there are some pockets of resistance (=some small groups of them are opposed) to the planned changes. Although the President is deeply unpopular, there are a still a few pockets of support for him. Within the city, there are a few pockets of greenery (= small areas where plants, trees, etc. grow). The captain told us to fasten our seat belts because we were going to encounter a pocket of turbulence (=an area of violently moving air). pock-et-book /C'pok-itbuk, $'pa:kM-/ n |C) Am a woman's HANDBAG / want to get a new pocketbook to go with these shoes. If you say that something has an effect on someone's pocketbook. or that they decide something with their pocketbook, it means that their personal finances are involved: These new tax arrangements will hit everyone's pocketbook. o In this election, people are expected to vote with their pocketbooks. pocfc-eMcnffe /E'pok it-naif, S'po:kit-/ n (C) p/pocfcetfcnlv*s/'pDk-it-naivz. $'pa:kit-/ a PENKNIFE fPJC> Knife

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Fig 4. CIDE

Dictionaries for Learners of English 319


con-cede /kan'si:d/ v 1 ADMIT STH IS TRUE [T] to admit that something is true or correct although you wish it was not true: "You could be right I suppose". Sheila conceded. \ concede (that) / concede that he s a good runner, but I still think I can beat him. 2 ADMIT DEFEAT * [I.T] to admit that you are not going to win a battle, argument, or game because you are not strong enough or good enough to win: The army conceded and the enemy claimed victory. | concede defeat Matthew kept on arguing, unwilling to concede defeat. 3 concede a goal/point etc to not be able to stop your opponent from getting a goal, point etc during a game: Manchester United were unlucky to concede a goal before half-time. 4 GIVE STH AS A RIGHT [T] to give something to someone as a right or PRIVILEGE (1): concede s t h to The richer nations will never concede equal status to the poorer countries. 5 GIVE STH UNWILLINGLY * [T] to give something to someone unwillingly after trying to keep it: concede sth to After the First World War Germany conceded a lot of land to her neighbours. see also CONCESSION

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Fig 5. LDOCE

c o n c e d e /kan'sfcd/ v 1 - sth (to sb) to admit that sth is true, valid, proper, etc: [Vnpr] concede a point to sb in an argument [Vn] She grudgingly had to concede defeat (ie admit that she had lost). (V.speech] 'OK. I might have been wrong,' he conceded. [V.that] I was forced to concede that she might be right. [Vnn] / concede you that point, but it doesn 't disprove my argument. 2 ~ sth (to sb) to give sth away; to allow sb else to have sth: [Vn] We must not concede any of our territory (ie allow another country to have it). [Vnpr] England conceded a goal to their opponents in the first minute. 3 to admit that one has lost a game, an election, etc: [V,Vn] After losing her queen she was forced to concede (the game). See also CONCESSION 1.

Fig 6. OALD

320 Paul Bogaards


concede /ksnsjid/ concedes, conceding, conceded 1 If you concede something, you admit, often un- VERB willingly, that it is true or correct. Bess finally con- vttut ceded that Nancy was right... Well,'he conceded, 7 J"**"" do sometimes mumble a bit.'... Mr. Chapman con- tsovnn ceded the need for Nomura's U.S. unit to improve its tradingskills. 2 If you concede something to someone, you allow VERB them to have it as a right or privilege. Poland's ff Communist government conceded the right to es- vmon tablish independent trade unions... Facing total de- so v n n feat in Vietnam, the French subsequently conceded full independence to Laos. 3 If you concede something you give it to the per- VERB son who has been trying to get it from you. A strike v n by some ten thousand bank employees has ended after the government conceded some of their demands. 4 In sport, if you concede goals or points, you are VERB unable to prevent your opponent from scoring them. They conceded four goals to Leeds United... vn un Luton conceded a pee kick on the edge of the penal- v" Tyarea. 5 If you concede a game, contest, or argument, you VERB end it by admitting that you can no longer win. vnran Reiner, 56, has all but conceded the race to his ri- Vn vaL.. Alain Prost finished third and virtually conceded the world championship. 6 If you concede defeat, you accept that you have VERB lost a struggle. Ainours conceded defeat in its at- J^"1"' tempt to take control ofholiday industry rival Owners Abroad.

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Fig 7. COBUILD

con-cede <obj) /kan'siid/ v to admit, often unwillingly, (that something is true), or to allow (something) The Government has conceded (that) the new tax policy has been a disaster. [+ (f/w<) clause) /concede (that) he s clever, but I still think that he's boring. [+ (that) clause] "It won't be easy," he conceded. 1+ clause) The president is not expected to concede (=allow) these reforms. [D He is not willing to concede (- allow anyone else to have) any of his power/ authority. (T| Britain conceded (=allowed) independence to India in 1943. IT] With two players injured and three others removed from the game, the football team conceded (=admitted) defeat m If you concede, you admit that you have lost in a competition: She conceded even before all the votes had been counted. [I] If a team or a person concedes a point or a game, it means that they allow the other team or person to win the point or game: The team conceded two goals (to the other side) in the first five minutes of the game. [T] If a country concedes land, it gives it to another country: After the war, the country was forced to concede a lot of their territory. (Tl See also CONCESSION.

Fig 8. CIDE