Aspects of the learner's dictionary with special reference to advanced Pakistani learners of English

  • Zafar Iqbal

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The present work is an empirical investigation into the lq`reference skills' of Pakistani learners and their language needs on semantic, phonetic, lexical and pragmatic levels in the dictionary. The introductory chapter discusses the relatively problematic nature of lexis in comparison with the other aspects in EFL learning and spells out the aim of this study. Chapter two provides an analytical survey of the various types of research undertaken in different contexts of the dictionary and explains the eclectic approach adopted in the present work. Chapter three studies the `reference skills' of this category of learners in the background of highly sophisticated information structure of learners' dictionaries under evaluation and suggests some measures for improvement in this context. Chapter four considers various criteria, eg. pedagogic, linguistic and sociolinguistic for determining the macro-structure of learner's dictionary with a focus on specific Ll speakers. Chapter five is concerned with various aspects of the semantic information provided in the dictionaries matched against the needs of Pakistani learners with regard to both comprehension and production. The type, scale and presentation of grammatical information in the dictionary is analysed in chapter six with the object of discovering their role and utility for the learner. Chapter seven explores the rationale for providing phonological information, the extent to which this guidance is vital and the problems of phonetic symbols employed in the dictionaries. Chapter eight brings into perspective the historical background of English-Urdu bilingual lexicography and evalutes the currently popular bilingual dictionaries among the student community, with the aim of discovering the extent to which they have taken account of the modern tents of lexicography and investigating their validity as a useful reference tool in the learning of English language. The final chapter concludes the findings of individual aspects in a coherent fashion to assess the viability of the original hypothesis that learners' dictionaries if compiled with a specific set of users in mind would be more useful.
Date of Award1987
Original languageEnglish


  • learner's dictionaries
  • reference skills
  • language needs
  • bilingual dictionaries
  • L1-specific learner's dictionaries

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