The Treatment of Binomials in Monolingual and Bilingual Dictionaries
International Journal of Arabic-English Studies (IJAES), Vol. 8, 2007
18 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2017 Last revised: 29 Oct 2017
Date Written: 2007
The paper is intended to be a contribution to lexicographical research. In particular it reports on the findings of an exploratory study on how dictionaries treat binomials, e.g. bread and butter, bolts and nuts, etc. A set of 40 binomials from a preliminary larger list of pairs are selected on the basis of their frequency of occurrence in the British National Corpus (BNC).These binomials are looked up in five paper-based dictionaries: three monolingual (English- English) and two bilingual (English-Arabic). The findings reveal that some of the target binomials are absent from the five dictionaries. Moreover, the 'test' dictionaries show some inconsistency in their treatment of binomials, and, more often than not, fall short of meeting the EFL user needs. The findings point to a weak relationship between a binomial’s frequency of occurrence and its probability of being listed in a certain dictionary. However, the findings suggest that opaque and conventional binomials have more chances to be listed than transparent ones.
Keywords: binomials, monolingual dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries
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