Enhancing the Learnability of Chinese–English Dictionaries for Chinese as a Foreign Language Learners: The Neglected Legacy of Robert Morrison in His Compilation of Wuche Yunfu (1819)

Ying Ye, Xiangqing Wei, Wenlong Sun

Abstract


In previous studies on learner lexicography, design features of both the content and presentation of learner's dictionaries are the two major research concerns. The quality assessment of learner's dictionaries also covers the two dimensions. Terms used for evaluating them are respectively "usability" or "availability" for the former and "findability" or "accessibility" for the latter. However, the lexicographical construction of "learnability", which takes into account the users' reference and learning needs, remains virtually unexplored either theoretically or practically. Compared to the features of dictionary design mentioned above, "learnability" as the design philosophy of learner lexicography is worth more serious consideration. The present paper aims at exploring the lexicographical notion of "learnability" by way of introducing the neglected legacy of Robert Morrison in his compilation of Wuche Yunfu (五车韵府) (1819), which is characterized by a high degree of learnability illustrated in the dictionary entries. Morrison's pioneering efforts may help with the conceptual clarification of "learnability" in compiling learner's dictionaries, bilingual ones in particular. Moreover, it is hoped that the recognition of Morrison's lexicographical practice will be beneficial to the future production of better Chinese–English dictionaries for non-native Chinese learners.


Keywords


learnerability; learner lexicography; Chinese as a Foreign Language learners; Wuche Yunfu; Chinese–English dictionaries; bilingual dictionaries; lexicographical practice; lexicographical notion; learning load; learners' needs

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/28-1-1471

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.



ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0


Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2011.


Disclaimer:

This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help