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n Lexikos - don't always : user problems in identifying headwords in online English learner's dictionaries

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1684-4904
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Abstract

Idioms, sayings and proverbs (referred to here as 'phrasemes'), are a central part of the English language. However, it is often difficult for learners of English as an Additional Language (EAL) to choose the correct headword when looking for such expressions in a dictionary. Learners may not recognise a word as belonging to a phraseme, and so may not look under a single, 'important' word. Moreover, their choice of a salient word may not accord with the lexicographer's. Thirdly, they may not recognise phraseme variants, such as . They may therefore often fail to find the phraseme altogether.


A study of 84 phrasemes in five online English learner's dictionaries ( and ) revealed a lack of uniformity across and often within dictionaries. This paper is based on 14 of these phrasemes, which appear in one or more of these dictionaries and include proper nouns and/or variable words.
To make learner's dictionaries more user friendly (Zgusta 1971), it is argued that they need greater consistency in their choice of phraseme headwords, both within and between dictionaries, and that greater cross-referencing is necessary within a single dictionary. Five strategies are presented to help learners with their dictionary searches.


Idiome, segswyses en spreekwoorde (hier na verwys as 'fraseme') vorm 'n sentrale deel van die Engelse taal. Dit is egter dikwels moeilik vir aanleerders van Engels as 'n Addisionele Taal (EAT) om die regte trefwoord te kies wanneer daar na uitdrukkings in 'n woordeboek gesoek word. Aanleerders kan dalk nie 'n woord herken as behorende tot 'n fraseem nie, en kan derhalwe nie onder een enkele 'belangrike' woord kyk nie. Meer nog, hulle keuse van 'n opvallende woord kan nie ooreenstem met dié van die leksikograaf nie. Derdens, hulle kan dalk nie fraseemvariante, soos , herken nie. Hulle kan derhalwe dikwels glad nie daarin slaag om die fraseem te vind nie.
'n Studie van 84 fraseme in vyf aanlyn Engelse aanleerderswoordeboeke ( and ) het 'n gebrek aan eenvormigheid tussen en dikwels binne woordeboeke getoon. Hierdie artikel is gebaseer op 14 van hierdie fraseme wat in een of meer van hierdie woordeboeke verskyn en sluit eiename en/of variante woorde in.
Om aanleerderswoordeboeke meer gebruikersvriendelik (Zgusta 1971) te maak, word daar bepleit dat hulle groter konsekwensie in hul keuse van fraseemtrefwoorde nodig het, sowel binne as tussen woordeboeke, en dat groter kruisverwysing nodig is binne 'n enkele woordeboek. Vyf strategieë word aangebied om aanleerders te help met hul woordeboeksoektogte.

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/content/lexikos/23/1/EJC146572
2013-01-01
2016-12-09

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