The status of adverbs in British monolingual learner’s dictionaries: Lemmata or run-ons

Alenka Vrbinc 1  and Marjeta Vrbinc 1
  • 1 University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia


Strict alphabetical ordering of lemmata in a dictionary may be interrupted by the nesting of derivatives as run-ons at the end of the entry for the lemma. This practice can also be found in most monolingual dictionaries. The focus of this article is, therefore, on the presentation of word-formations, or more precisely on adverbs. For the purpose of our research, a database was compiled consisting of all the adverbs regardless of their status that can be found in OALD8 in random stretches from the letters C and S. One hundred and twenty-eight adverbs included in OALD8 were then checked in LDOCE5, MED2, CALD3 and COBUILD5 to see whether the same adverbs are also dealt with in these dictionaries and to establish the similarities and differences in the treatment of these adverbs in all five dictionaries. As is evident from the results, less than half the adverbs are included as entries, the others being undefined run-ons. The latter are hidden within the microstructure and consequently more difficult to spot, which means that the dictionary user must either be trained in dictionary use or retrieve this information from the front matter of the dictionary s/he is using.

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Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics publishes high-quality articles representative of theory-based empirical research in contemporary synchronic linguistics and interdisciplinary studies of language from various perspectives. The journal serves as a forum for modern developments and trends in linguistics, with contributions from the world’s leading linguistic labs.