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Collocation, selection restriction and the teaching of the English verb grammar

Term Paper 2006 15 Pages

Didactics - English - Grammar, Style, Working Technique

Excerpt

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Collocation
2.1 The Meaning of Collocation
2.2 The Use of Collocation
2.3 The Teaching of Collocation

3. Selection Restriction
3.1 The Meaning of Selection Restriction
3.2 The Use of Selection Restriction
3.3 The Teaching of Selection Restriction

4. Poetry as an Exception

5. Final Reflection

List of References

1. Introduction

The following paper deals with collocation, selection restriction and the teaching of the English verb grammar. The two main parts of the paper will be collocation which describes the syntactic relation of words, and selection restriction which describes the relationship between verbs and animated or non-animated subjects. The place they occupy in school will be analysed. So they should be investigated with a didactic view, but also linguistic aspects should not be completely disregarded, because it is very important especially for teachers to know which word goes together with which term and how to explain these relationships to their pupils. Both, the collocational and the selection restrictional aspect, will have their meaning explained. Then a description of how to use them and at least a few suggestions are given on how to teach collocation and selection restriction in school and how to impart their rules. Therefore, some different suggestions for teaching are given to make allowances for the student’s age and advancement. To amplify what has been explained an exception will be given: poetry as an intentional violation of these rules. The paper ends with a short summary and a final reflection.

2. Collocation

2.1 The Meaning of Collocation

Collocation generally refers to the expression of words which are often used together such as handsome boy, crystal clear or cosmetic surgery. If you hear the first word, the second can be expected, or at least you have an idea what it can be. In context with verbs collocation means the syntactic relationship between a verb and a noun phrase such as to make a decision or to take a photo. The words make and decision belong together in some way. They are collocates.

For co-occurring in syntax we use the term collocate; an item collocates with another in its environment, the two together forming a collocation.[1]

To find collocates you take a word and look for other words which belong to the first, like in a mind-map. The word in the middle is called the node,“its lexical behaviour is under examination”[2]. The words around it are called collocates, as they occur in close proximity to the node[3]. In some cases collocates may be called equal partners and in some cases they cannot. This can be attributed to the fact that one word out of the span can also be the node to the current node and the current node is also a collocate of that word. An example for equal partners is pig and pork. They can occur in one sentence. If you hear the word pig you can easily think of the word pork and if you hear the word pork you can easily think of the word pig. The word pork belongs to the set of the word pig and vice versa. Each of the words is used for a different range of collocates. If pig is the node you can also think of words like feed. Feed can be in the span of pig. But if you take pork as the node, feed will not be one of the first words one might think of and it is not used as frequently with pork as with pig. Even if there is a relationship between pig and pork they have “different collocational ranges, and this establishes the fact that they belong to different lexical sets and are different lexical items.”[4]

In a lexical set the lexical items have a similar range.[5] They might be synonyms or words with a similar meaning or use. In the example which is mentioned sow could be used to substitute for pig in many cases as they belong to the same lexical set. In the normal use of language they do not often occur together in one sentence because of their similar meaning. The distance in which the node and its collocate appear in a sentence is called the span. “A span of –4, +4 means that four words on either side of the node (q.v.) word will be taken to be its relevant verbal environment.”[6]

[...]


[1] Strang, B. M. H., Modern English Structure, 2nd edition. (London: Arnold, 1968) p. 224.

[2] Cf. Sinclair, John, Corpus, Concordance, Collocation. (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1991) p. 175.

[3] Cf. Sinclair, John, Corpus, Concordance, Collocation. (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1991) p. 170.

[4] Catford, J. C., A Linguistic Theory of Translation – An Essay in Applied Linguistics. (London: Oxford University Press, 1965) pp. 10-11f.

[5] Cf. Roos, Eckhard., Kollokationsmöglichkeiten der Verben des Sehvermögens im Deutschen und Englischen. (Darmstadt: Lang 1975) p 13.

[6] Cf. Sinclair, John, Corpus, Concordance, Collocation. (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1991) p. 175.

Details

Pages
15
Year
2006
ISBN (eBook)
9783638890342
ISBN (Book)
9783638890403
File size
459 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v83034
Institution / College
University of Paderborn
Grade
2,3
Tags
Collocation English

Author

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Title: Collocation, selection restriction and the teaching of the English verb grammar