The Inclusion of Word Formation in OALD8: The Case of Undefined Run-ons

  • Alenka Vrbinc Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Marjeta Vrbinc Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Keywords: monolingual learner's dictionaries, oald8, lemmata, secondary lemmata, undefined run-ons, proportion of run-ons to entries, examples of use, derivatives, suffixes, part-of-speech labels, grammatical information


The study presented in this contribution aims to investigate whether the print edition of OALD8 still sticks to the tradition of including many derivatives as run-on entries. For the purpose of the study, a database was compiled consisting of 1,200 lemmata with full entry status, and in this lemma range, 145 run-ons were found. The parts of speech of the lemma under which a run-on could be found were closely studied, and so were the illustrative examples. Nouns are most commonly included as run-ons, followed by adverbs, adjectives and verbs. The problem of polysemous entries at the end of which undefined run-ons can be found is also discussed. When it is difficult to draw parallels between the sense(s) of the lemma and the run-on deriving from it, it would be much better to include the run-on as the lemma and to define all its senses separately or to include undefined run-ons at the end of each individual sense of the lemma. Finally, it should be clear to the user when and why a certain word is included as a run-on and not as a lemma, and how s/he can establish a relation between the meaning of the lemma and the run-on.
How to Cite
Vrbinc, A., & Vrbinc, M. (2014). The Inclusion of Word Formation in OALD8: The Case of Undefined Run-ons. Lexikos, 24(1).