Title: To Define and Inform
Subtitle: An Analysis of Information Provided in Dictionaries Used by Learners of
English in China and Denmark
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
"To Inform and Define: An Analysis of Information Provided in Dictionaries Used by Learners of English in China and Denmark" presents a masterly synthesis of lexicographical theory in relation to bilingual and learner's dictionaries and advances a radical argument about how such dictionaries are used and how they should be improved for the convenience of students. By tracing the history of the terms 'semantic' and 'pragmatic' in linguistics and philosophy, Saihong Li shows the weakness of any conceptual distinction between them. She goes on to demonstrate how inappropriate these terms are for thinking about the ways in which words are defined and explained in dictionaries. The theoretical argument is supported by detailed and comparative empirical research: learners of English as a second language in both China and Denmark were interviewed about their experiences as users of standard learner's dictionaries. The results are presented in tabular form and their interpretation is statistically informed. This is a path-breaking study. Saihong Li makes an important contribution to lexicographical theory, and advances a sophisticated methodology for the comparative study of English-language leaning on an international scale and in the global marketplace of learner's dictionaries. Her work will be of great value for language teachers, lexicographers, and students of interpretation, translation and language pedagogies. "To Inform and Define" should also attract serious attention from editors and publishers of learner's dictionaries.