‘Delexical Verb + Noun’ Phrases in Monolingual English Learners’ Dictionaries

By November 17, 2016,
Page 939-949
Author Stephen Coffey
Title ‘Delexical Verb + Noun’ Phrases in Monolingual English Learners’ Dictionaries
Abstract This paper discusses the optimal lexicographical treatment of certain types of collocation in English monolingual learners' dictionaries. The phrases involved are those which have the grammatical structure VERB + NOUN, and in which the verbal component is a high-frequency delexicalized verb, specifically do, give, have, make or take. The phrases themselves incorporate one of the usual meanings of the noun, as in make an effort and have a wash, rather than being semantically opaque. Suggested optimal dictionary coverage is compared with actual dictionary presentation in the latest print (but not electronic) editions of the five major advanced-level dictionaries. Topics discussed include: where and how phrases are presented (in terms of both dictionary macro-structure and entry micro-structure); optimal presentation seen in terms of probable look-up tasks; quantitative coverage of the phrases; and the raising of learner awareness of this particular phrasal type and, more generally, of high-frequency delexica verbs.
author = {Stephen Coffey},
title = {'Delexical Verb + Noun' Phrases in Monolingual English Learners' Dictionaries },
pages = {939-949},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 12th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2006},
month = {sep},
date = {6-9},
address = {Torino, Italy},
editor = {Elisa Corino, Carla Marello, Cristina Onesti},
publisher = {Edizioni dell'Orso},
isbn = {88-7694-918-6},