A Corpus-Based Study of the Linguistic Features and Processes Which Influence the Way Collocations Are Formed: Some Implications for the Learning of Collocations

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In this article I examine the collocational behaviour of groups of semantically related verbs (e.g., head, run, manage) and nouns (e.g., issue, facto?; aspect) from the domain of business English. The results of this corpus-based study show that much of the collocational behaviour exhibited by these lexical items can be explained by examining some of the linguistic features and processes which influence the way collocations are formed. These include the semantics of the individual items themselves, the use of metaphor, semantic prosody, and the tendency for many of the selected items to be part of larger phraseological units. I show that it is possible to explain many of these collocations by considering the linguistic features and processes which have influenced the way they have been formed. My contention is that, if the learner is encouraged to look for an explanation, it makes the process of learning collocations more memorable. doi: 10.5054/tq.2011.247710


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-312
Number of pages22
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011