Grammar Labels for Verbs in English Monolingual Learners’ Dictionaries

Dominic Stewart

Abstract


The labels ‘passive’ and ‘progressive,’ as well as ‘not passive’ and ‘not progressive,’ are those most commonly adopted in English monolingual learners’ dictionaries to indicate the grammatical category of verb headwords. However, it can happen that for specific verbs very different indications are provided from one dictionary to the next, a fact which would appear to derive primarily from diverging interpretations of corpus data on the part of lexicographers, and more specifically, from diverging interpretations of which corpus occurrences qualify as passive and progressive respectively for any given verb. This will lead to the discussion of a suggested conflict of form and function in corpus lexicography. Further, it is striking that the labels passive and progressive are prioritised at the expense of other verb labels such as imperative–used very sparingly in dictionaries–simple present, perfective and first person, which are not used at all. The corpus consulted is primarily the British Web 2007 (ukWac), but comparisons will be made with data from the British National Corpus.


Keywords


lexicography, corpus linguistics, learners’ dictionaries, frequency of verbs, grammatical categories, passive

Full Text:

PDF

References


Atkins, Sue and Michael Rundell. The Oxford Guide to Practical Lexicography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Biber, Douglas. “Register as a Predictor of Linguistic Variation.” Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 3.2 (2012): 9-37.

Biber, Douglas, et al. Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman, 1999.

Bogaards, Paul and Willem A. Van der Kloot. “The Use of Grammatical Information in Learners’ Dictionaries.” International Journal of Lexicography 14.2 (2001): 97–121.

Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary Online. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/it/dizionario/learner-inglese. Last visited 02/07/20.

Collins Cobuild Reverso Dictionary. https://dictionary.reverso.net/english-cobuild. Last visited 02/07/20.

Dziemianko, Anna. User-friendliness of Verb Syntax in Pedagogical Dictionaries of English. Tübingen: De Gruyter, 2006.

Hands, Penny. Collins Cobuild English Grammar. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 2017.

Hanks, Patrick. “The Corpus Revolution in Lexicography.” International Journal of Lexicography 25.4 (2012): 398–436.

Jackson, Howard. Lexicography: An Introduction. London: Routledge, 2002.

Jones, Christian and Daniel Waller. Corpus Linguistics for Grammar: a Guide for Research. London: Routledge, 2015.

Kilgarriff, Adam. “Putting Frequencies in the Dictionary.” International Journal of

Lexicography 10.2 (1997): 135–155.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online. https://www.ldoceonline.com. Last visited 02/07/20.

Macmillan Dictionary Online. https://www.macmillandictionary.com. Last visited 02/07/20.

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Online. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/?cc=it. Last visited 02/07/20.

Rundell, Michael. “More Than One Way to Skin a Cat: Why Full-Sentence Definitions Have Not Been Universally Adopted.” 2008a. Practical Lexicography: A Reader. Edited by Thierry Fontenelle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. 197-209.

---. “Recent Trends in English Pedagogical Lexicography.” 2008b. Practical Lexicography: A Reader. Edited by Thierry Fontenelle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. 221-243.

Sinclair, John M. “Grammar in the dictionary.” Looking Up: An Account of the COBUILD Project in Lexical Computing. London: Collins ELT, 1987. 104–115.

---. Trust the Text: Language, Corpus and Discourse. London: Routledge, 2004.

Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.13136/2281-4582/2020.i16.921

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.