Selection and Ordering of Number Entries in Four English Advanced Learner’s Dictionaries

  •  Yan Chen    


This paper, by surveying the number entries in four English advanced learner’s dictionaries, reveals some principles for their selection and ordering, as well as some problems to be reconsidered. It is found that besides the shift in grammatical function from numeral to other parts of speech, an overriding principle for inclusion is acquisition of new meaning, based on but extended or transferred from their cardinal or ordinal utility. Another principle, concerning numbers used in emails and text messages, seems to be neat phonetic correspondence between numbers and the words or word parts they stand for. To determine the eligibility for inclusion of the latter type of numbers, lexicographers may need to establish a frequency-formality criterion. The arrangement of number entries is typically represented by the ordering in LDOCE5 and that in CALD3. An experiment has shown that the ordering in LDOCE5 is more user-friendly.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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h-index (February 2018): 13

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