Differences in the Inclusion and Treatment of Terminology in OALD3, OALD4 and OALD8

Marjeta Vrbinc, Alenka Vrbinc


This article deals with the inclusion and treatment of scientific and technical vocabu­lary in the third, fourth and eighth editions of Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. The comparison of these editions is based on a random sample of 50 pages from OALD8 from the lemma foot to gimmick. The same lemma range was also studied in OALD3 and OALD4. First, dif­ferent ways of indicating terminology were identified: i.e., subject-field labels, definitions and short cuts. Then all the lemmata or their senses marked with a subject-field label were found and a list of all subject-field labels used in this lemma range was compiled to see similarities and differences between individual editions. The comparison showed that the number of subject-field labels in all three editions is almost identical, but the subject-field labels differ from edition to edition. The issue of overly specific labels (e.g., 'anatomy', 'phonetics') and labels that are too broad (e.g., 'science', 'tech­nical') is addressed. The next part of the article is devoted to the changes in the treat­ment of LSP lexical items in these three editions of OALD, from missing labels to changes in labels and ways of indicating terminology by means of definitions and/or short cuts. The conclusion suggests improvements in the subject-field labels themselves, a more consistent way of including subject-field labels even when the definitions indicate the subject field and an improved use of short cuts when the reference is to a certain subject field.


definitions, general dictionaries, lemma, monolingual learn­er's dictionaries, oald3, oald4, oald8, scientific vocabulary, sense indica­tor, short cuts, subject-field labels, technical vocabulary

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/23-1-1224


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