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USING THE DICTIONARY

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Title: USING THE DICTIONARY


1
USING THE DICTIONARY
2
Types of dictionary
  • Bilingual and monolingual dictionaries
  • Pronunciation dictionaries
  • Learner dictionaries (for non-native speakers)
  • Collocation dictionaries
  • On-line dictionaries

3
What can I find in a dictionary?
  • examples
  • grammatical information
  • translation
  • pronunciation
  • idioms
  • specialist vocabulary
  • phrasal verbs
  • American English
  • cultural notes
  • related words
  • synonyms
  • definitions
  • antonyms
  • illustrations
  • cross references
  • abbreviations
  • compound nouns
  • collocations

4
  • examples
  • grammatical information
  • translation
  • pronunciation
  • idioms
  • specialist vocabulary
  • phrasal verbs
  • American English
  • cultural notes
  • related words
  • synonyms
  • definitions
  • antonyms
  • illustrations
  • cross references
  • abbreviations
  • compound nouns
  • collocations
  • Monolingual dictionaries
  • Bilingual dictionaries

5
What makes a good learner dictionary
  • example sentences for each word
  • a large language database (corpus) as a source of
    information
  • pronunciation using the International Phonetic
    Alphabet (IPA)
  • a CD-Rom for your PC
  • simple definitions
  • information on the word collocation
  • information on the use of the word
  • British and American spelling/pronunciation
  • pictures and visuals

6
Some tips
  • Choose a large dictionary rather than a concise
    one. You need one which is big enough to define
    words clearly.
  • There are over 600,000 words in the Oxford
    English Dictionary, most of them with different
    meanings.
  • Keep your dictionary at hand when you are
    studying.
  • Read the introductory pages and study pages to
    become familiar with the dictionarys
    terminology.
  • Improve your vocabulary by reading widely.
  • If you haven't got your dictionary with you, note
    down words which you don't understand and look
    them up later.
  • Remember that there are different types of
    dictionaries to suit your needs.

7
  • Dictionaries prove to be a very important source
    of information on collocation, if used properly.
  • A good monolingual dictionary usually provides at
    least one or two expressions or sentences
    demonstrating the use of a word.
  • A dictionary is an important decoding tool,
    useful to find out the meaning of unknown words
  • It is also an encoding tool that will show the
    ways of combining words into meaningful chunks.

8
DICTIONARY and TERMINOLOGY
Homophones Idioms Prefixes and Suffixes Phrasal
Verbs Pronunciation and Stress Registers Synonym
s and Antonyms Usage notes
Abbreviation and Acronims Compounds Cross-refere
nces Definitions Entries Examples Grammar
Codes Headwords Homographs
9
Corpus, concordance, collocation
10
WHAT IS A CORPUS?
  • A corpus (plural corpora) is a large collections
    of authentic texts that have been stored on a
    computerised database.
  • Any collection of more than one text can be
    called a corpus (as corpus is Latin for body,
    hence a corpus is any body of written or spoken
    text).
  • A corpus helps us to understand more about the
    language and how people use it.

11
CORPORA
  • Text Database to be examined with
  • Software (concordancer) Concapp Wordsmith tools
    etc
  • in order to observe the behaviour of key words in
    context
  • Examples

12
KWIC (Key Word in Context )


13
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14
CONCORDANCE LINES
  • A corpus organises the texts in concordance lines
    using a special concordance software called Key
    Word in Context (KWIC).
  • A concordance line or string is a single line of
    text, often with words cut off at the beginning
    and at the end of the line.

15
Text vs Corpus View
Tognini-Bonelli (200418)
16
CORPUS LINGUISTICS
  • It is the study of language through the use of
    corpora and the observation of real language.

17
EXAMPLES OF CORPORA
  • COBUILD - Collins-Birmingham University
    International Language Database (200 million
    words).
  • British National Corpus (100 million words).
  • Cambridge International Corpus (over 1 billion
    words).
  • Cambridge Learner Corpus (25 million words).

18
WHAT IS A COLLOCATION?
  • It is the way words tend to occur or belong
    together.
  • Example
  • Meals will be served outside on the terrace,
    weather permitting.
  • (NOT -weather allowing)

19
  • We should know a word by the company it keeps.
  • J. R. Firth (1957)

20
TASK 1
  • What is the difference between make and do?
  • Can you explain why you say
    do your homework
    and NOT
    make your homework
  • ?

21
To Make and To Do
  • Look at a few of the many definitions of the two
    verbs above from the Oxford Modern English
    Dictionary

22
(No Transcript)
23
Which of the verbs speak, say, tell fit best into
the gaps in these examples?
  • 1. (on the phone) HelloHello, come on ___
    something!
  • 2. To ___ the truth, I was expecting it from
    someone so selfish.
  • 3. As I ___, theyve already appointed somebody.
  • 4. Shall we ___ two oclock?
  • 5. Usually actions ___ louder than words.
  • 6. He can ____ such funny stories.

24
  • 1. (on the phone) HelloHello, come on say
    something!
  • 2. To tell the truth, I was expecting it from
    someone so selfish.
  • 3. As I said, theyve already appointed somebody.
  • 4. Shall we say two oclock?
  • 5. Usually actions speak louder than words.
  • 6. He can tell such funny stories.

25
THE ROLE OF COLLOCATIONS
  • Language collocations are mainly a matter of
    convention and they are not necessarily based on
    compatibility of meaning.
  • Words are not normally used in isolation and
    therefore there is no use in learning single
    words.
  • It is more efficient to learn the whole and break
    it into parts.
  • It is more difficult to learn the parts and then
    put them together.

26
Collocations are arbitrary they are only decided
by linguistic conventions
  • high/tall building, tall boy.
  • look at a person/a problem, gaze at a person.

27
Learning collocations will help
  • effective communication,
  • thinking more quickly,
  • focusing attention on the larger structure of
    discourse,
  • developing fluency based on the acquisition of a
    large store of fixed and semi-fixed,
    prefabricated chunks.

28
Common Collocations
  • What is a collocation?
  • A collocation is a predictable combination of
    words
  • Make friends /not/ do friends
  • Do homework /not/ make homework
  • Total disaster /not/ complete disaster

29
Common Collocations
  • Match the verbs with the nouns that generally
    follow them.

30
Common Collocations
  • Choose the words/phrases you can associate with
    the verbs in the table.
  • a rest your homework your job a photo
    an effort a party an exam note a noise
    the washing up a mistake a bath a comment
    a problem a tootache breakfast.

31
There are different kinds of collocation, that is
ways words co-occur together ( chunking) ,
considering the different combinations of parts
of speech
TYPES OF COLLOCATIONS
32
Collocational Strength
33
Read text 1 and underline the collocations you
see.
34
From the text we have just read can you remember
the missing collocations?
35
What can you learn by using a concordancer?

How words combine - collocations e.g. make
fortune do shopping Recurrent semantic
patterns e.g. to comply with is usually followed
by reference to people or organizations Recurren
t syntactic patterns colligations e.g. to
like is usually followed by an ing form like
dancing, singing Pragmatic features e.g.
Register Textual features -use of words e.g.
some words may reocurr more in questions than in
answers, or in titles more than in the body of a
newspaper interview e.g. to talk Paul Mc
Cartney talks about his new life
36
Lonley Hearts Ads Searches for PRETTY /
ATTRACTIVE / TALL
mt sanniti di baja
It is a collection of about 41 short texts of
about 2000 words
37
Activities on Lonley Hearts Ads mt
sanniti di baja
  • Reflect on
  • -the language you are reading
  • adjectives
  • recurrent adjectives
  • recurrent collocations
  • comments

American English (NJ, USA, NYC),
informal handsome good attractive
pretty tall successful a
part from good they tend to occur together
ex15 tall handsome successful 20/2c/3c/4c
tall handsome/slim 4b/7b/8b intelligent/classy
attractive 18/2a/3a/5a/7a very/extremely
pretty good looking 7c good sense of
humor usually adjectives are organized following
routine patterns usually some go with others,
some dont
38
mt sanniti di baja
Lonley Hearts Ads Examples of more information
corpora and concordancers can give you on
language use in these kinds of contexts
Two adjectives having similar meaning are used
differently
Pretty appears in initial position preceded by
intensifying adverbs, followed by adjectives
describing physical ed emotional features (slim
8a, slender 7a, curvaceous 3a, passionate 6a,
mellow 5a), used only for women
Attractive is used without intensifying adverbs,
in collocation with adjectives referring to
social skills (professional 5b, intelligent
4b/5b, successful 7b, classy 7b, ivy educated
5b), used for both men and women.
Tall tends to precede other adjectives even when
it is an apposition
39
WordsmithTools
  • Where can you get WS Tools?
  • Download demo version from Scotts site
  • http//www.lexically.net/wordsmith/index.html

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