Dictionary POS

LanDi Liu strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 15 17:49:47 UTC 2008

Why not?  It's becoming more and more possible.  The way I see it,
dictionaries are evolving and are being influenced by corpus linguistics.
Also, dictionaries come in different sizes, so a smaller dictionary doesn't
have to include every usage, but could have a certain usage frequency as a
threshold.  The OED does a pretty good job at giving nearly airtight usage
indications by virtue of its example sentences.  Collins COBUILD does it
more concisely with pattern notations.  Also, more and more dictionaries are
taking advantage of non-paper editions that aren't limited in space.

You're right, it is interesting.  I can't see any reason for dictionaries
not to increase their usefulness by taking advantage of technological
development and linguistic perspective.  Also, who are dictionaries for?  I
think any dictionary publisher wants to maximize its user base.  Adding
dimensions of usefulness certainly can help this happen.

On Tue, 15 Jan 2008 10:57:46 -0600, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU>

>This is interesting.  Is it the task of the dictionary to give airtight (or
nearly airtight) indications for how every individual word should be used?
Is this even possible?  There is great complexity in everyday speech.
>Gerald Cohen
>From: American Dialect Society on behalf of LanDi Liu
>Sent: Tue 1/15/2008 2:33 AM
>My students of course don't make mistakes like that, because I teach them
>determiners and how to use them.  But from my personal experience learning
>Chinese, if I can find the part of speech for a word listed in a Chinese
>dictionary (most of them don't list them), I still have very little idea
>to use the word.  For example, it may say a word is a verb, but I have no
>idea if it is transitive or intransitive.  Example sentences can help, but
>they seldom list all of the possibilities.  Often, even when there are many
>ways to use a word, all of the example sentences illustrate only one way.
>So if I was not a native speaker of English and I looked up "some", while I
>might avoid constructing sentences like the examples I gave, calling "some"
>an adjective bears the implication that it can be used like other
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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