The Treatment of Collocation by Learners' Dictionaries, Collocational Dictionaries and Dictionaries of Business English

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This paper examines the way in which collocation is treated in three different types of dictionary designed for learners of English. It starts by outlining the findings from a corpus-based study of the collocational behaviour of groups of semantically-related nouns (e.g. issue, aspect and factor) and verbs (e.g. run, head and manage) from the domain of business English (a total of eighteen items). The entries in three learners' dictionaries, three collocational dictionaries and two dictionaries of business English for each of the eighteen items were examined and their content compared with the findings from the corpus-based study. The paper presents the results of this examination and discusses the differences between the content of the dictionary entries and the findings from the corpus-based study. The paper concludes by emphasising the need for a more consistent approach to collocation and by making specific recommendations concerning the type of collocations to be included in an entry and the way in which the collocations should be presented.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-299
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Lexicography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009