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

Alenka Vrbinc, Marjeta Vrbinc


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.


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

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

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