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ENG 626 CORPUS APPROACHES TO LANGUAGE STUDIES language teaching (3) Bambang Kaswanti Purwo

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Presentation on theme: "ENG 626 CORPUS APPROACHES TO LANGUAGE STUDIES language teaching (3) Bambang Kaswanti Purwo"— Presentation transcript:

1 ENG 626 CORPUS APPROACHES TO LANGUAGE STUDIES language teaching (3) Bambang Kaswanti Purwo

2 corpora lead to a new description of language  the content of what the language T is teaching is changing what is language like? words tend to occur in preferred sequences ▪ not randomly or ▪ not in accordance with grammatical rules only » collocation utterly different, not: utterly similar utterly ridiculous, not: utterly sensible » phrases n variation ▪ open to considerable creativity and exploitation where there’s smoke there’s fire no smoke without fire sometimes there is smoke without fire [Hunston Ch. 6] C and LT: Issues of Language Description language as phraseology

3 » tendency for certain verbs to occur ▪ in passive rather than in active Manchester is hemmed in by industrial areas cf. industrial areas hem Manchester in ▪ in the negative rather than in the positive It never entered my head to be sacred cf. it entered my head to be sacred » occurrence of complementation patterns suggestion that, decision as to whether, obligation to do three important consequences offer challenge to current views about language ▪ no distinction between pattern and meaning ▪ language: two principles of organization ▫ idiom principle ▫ open-choice principle ▪ no distinction between lexis and grammar

4 ▪ can phraseology indeed be taken to be the basis of what a learner needs to know? ▪ is phraseology simply an important adjunct to grammar? ◊ PATTERN AND MEANING ▪ a word [+ several senses], each sense diffrent set of patterns mobile [used of things] ‘can be moved’: mobile unit/library [used of people] ‘not prevented from moving by dis- ability or lack of resources’: I’m still very mobile MAINTAIN (verb) (Hunston p. 139) ▫ [Verb + Noun] ‘do not allow to weaken’ They have maintained their relationships over 50 years. ▫ [Verb + that-clause/”direct quote”] ‘say sth strongly’ I have always maintained that J’s death was a political …. One railway engineer maintain, “Nothing short of a ….” ▫ [Verb + Noun + at Noun] ‘keep at a particular level’ The manufacturers are trying to maintain prices at too high a level.

5  phraseologies replace the word as the unit of vocabulary teaching L’s task more difficult: three instead of one lexical item to learn L’s task simplified: each lexical item + info about its use second aspect of pattern/meaning association: words with the same pattern tend to share aspects of meaning [Verb + Noun + as Noun] ‘making someone or something be or seem to be something’ he described it as legalized theft  relation between meaning n pattern is not one-to-one ▫ not to treat MAINTAIN as a single word w/ three meanings (cf. traditional dictionaries) ▫ but to propose three phraseologies (each has its own meaning) ‘maintain something’ ‘maintain that something is true’ ‘maintain something at a level’

6 second aspect of pattern/meaning association: words with the same pattern tend to share aspects of meaning  [Verb + Noun + as Noun] ‘making someone or something be or seem to be something’ he described it as legalized theft ▫ ‘thinking or talking about it in a particular way’ She seems to view marriage as an unpleasant duty. ▫ ‘classifying something or someone’ People tend to characterize him as a “preppy” director. He revealed himself as a man of deep culture. ▫ ‘give someone a job’ I would like to appoint you as Managing Director. association of pattern and meaning  meaning … to the whole phrase, not to the individual word ‘think of someone in a particular way’ though the V – diff meaning The Lord commanded the young man … and follow Him as Lord.

7  meaning cannot be said to belong to a single word but to the phraseology as a whole semantic prosody a word that is typically used in a particular environment such that the word takes on connotations from that environment ▪ SIT through implies boredom or discomfort often used with items that indicate sth lengthy and boring connotations of boredom tend to attach the phrasal verb ▪ CAUSE usually co-occurs with nouns indicating a NEG evalua- tion (illness, disaster)

8 semantic prosody of a lexical meaning ▪ a consequence of the more general observation that meaning can be said to belong to whole phrases rather than to single words ▪ observable only by looking at a large number of instances of a word or a phrase; it relies on the typical use ▪ [connotation] – a word carries a meaning in addition to its “real” meaning; semantic prosody usually NEG, less frequently POS ▪ often not accessible from a speaker’s conscious knowledge  vocabulary teaching needs to take into account of semantic prosody  the approach is phraseological rather than word-based

9 not only individual lexical items, but phrases and clauses might also have a semantic prosody may not be … but – frequently used as part of a “concession–counter-assertion” pair Circle of Friends may not be a world beater, but it has a charm that mostly avoids being cloying. world beater and a charm that mostly avoids being cloying often follow the pattern of ‘ideal thing’ + ‘not ideal but satisfactory thing’ (Table 6.1) There may not be a woman in the pulpit yet in [place name], but there is a preacher of sorts. Carey may not be a scientist but he is a doyen of the literary world …

10 the idiom principle ▪ each word can be described in terms of its preferred phraseologies ▪ [Sinclair 1991] much of what appears in spoken or written texts follows what he calls the “idiom principle” ▫ each word in the text is used in a common phraseology ▫ meaning is attached to the whole phrase rather than to the individual parts of it ▫ the hearer or reader understands the phrase as a phrase rather than as a grammatical template with lexical items in it when a stretch of text cannot be interpreted in the light of the idiom principle, the language user  “open-choice principle”

11 phraseologies are encoded and decoded as single entities rather than as strings of individual words After a few moments of furious scribbling, she shifted her position, grasping the pen in her fist with the point down, much as a young child would do. idiom principle: ▫ after a few moments of ▫ furious scribbling ▫ shifted her position ▫ much as … would (Table 6.2) open-choice principle ▫ grasping the pen in her fist pen is not a collocate of GRASP ▫ with the point down the most frequent phraseology is with the point of open-choice principle word choice is constrained only by the general grammatical rules of English: GRASP + an object; DET come before noun

12 Sinclair: any group or sequence of words is constructed and understood in the light of one or other of the principles, not both meaning is made either by ▫ the phrase as a whole (with the conventional phraseology) ▫ the individual words (in accordance with grammatical rules) the choice between the idiom or open-choice principles may be ambiguous in theory ambiguity is rarely a problem for a language user grasp the point [idiom principle] ‘understand the main idea of something’ [open-choice] GRASP + anything [+ a solid object] ‘take hold of the sharp end of something’ in practice, only one interpretation is activated Bank of English: no examples of GRASP the point (though it is possible to invent one)

13 it’s not that one phrase tacked on to the end of another, but that one phrase overlaps with the text ▪ the typicality of each phrase ▪ the originality of their co-occurrence combine  “pattern flow” and “collocation cascade” (p. 146)


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