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Corpus, concordance, collocation

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Title: Corpus, concordance, collocation


1
Corpus, concordance, collocation
Corso diLingua Inglese 1
Fisciano - SA - 11 ottobre 2007
2
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

3
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 to understand more about the
    language and how people use it.

4
CORPUS LINGUISTICS
  • It is the study of language through the use of
    corpora and the observation of real language.

5
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).

6
CONCORDANCE LINES
  • A corpus organises the texts in concordance lines
    using a special concordance software called Key
    Word in Context (KWIC).
  • A concordance line is a single line of text,
    often with words cut off at the beginning and at
    the end of the line.
  • (study
    skills handout 4)

7
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8
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9
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)

10
  • We should know a word by the company it keeps.
  • J. R. Firth (1957)

11
TASK 1
  • What is the difference between make and do?
  • Can you explain why you say
    do your homework
    and NOT
    make your homework
  • ?

12
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.

13
  • 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.

14
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.

15
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.

16
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.

17
IDENTIFYING COLLOCATIONS
  • As a collocation is the way words co-occur
    together we are considering a very wide area.
  • It would be better to narrow down the kind of
    words we are looking at. There are different
    kinds of collocation we can highlight, such as
    the following

18
TYPES OF COLLOCATIONS
  • ? adjective noun plain chocolate
  • ? noun noun a cheque book
  • ? verd adjective noun learn a foreign language
  • ? verb adverb live dangerously
  • ? verb preposition noun come to an agreement
  • ?adverb and adjectice highly desirable
  • and so on.

  • (handout 3 )

19
Read text 1 and underline the collocations you
see.
20
From the text we have just read can you remember
the missing collocations?
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