The use of adjective-noun, verb-noun and phrasal-verb-noun collocations in Estonian learner corpus of English
Tammiste, Lenne, juhendaja
MetadataShow full item record
Vocabulary is one of the most crucial aspects of language learning but a large vocabulary does not always guarantee effective communication. The knowledge of collocations is also important as it improves the fluency and quality of spoken or written language. Unfortunately, learning collocations can be a difficult task because there are no exact rules why some words fit together and others do not. Studies have shown that congruency (i.e. the presence or absence of L1 translation equivalent) and collocate-node relationship (i.e. the type of a collocation) can influence the use of collocations in learner language. The characteristics of learner language can nowadays be studied by analysing written or spoken learner corpus stored in a computer database. Hundreds of learner corpora have been compiled around the world but in Estonia only few corpora have been built, none of them comprising of texts produced by Estonian learners of English. In 2014, a learner corpus of 127 essays was developed at the English Department of the University of Tartu, which finally made it possible to investigate the use of different collocations in Estonian EFL learners’ writing. The thesis has two main chapters. The first chapter describes the definitions of the term collocation¸ explains the role of learner corpus in language teaching and gives an overview of previous research conducted. The second chapter describes the empirical study carried out in this thesis, explains the methodology, target collocations and the procedure of collecting the data. The study in this paper adopts a combination of quantitative and qualitative corpus analysis approaches. The AntConc Word List and Concordance tools (Anthony 2014) were used in order to extract all adjective-noun, verb-noun and phrasal-verb-noun collocations that were related to the most frequently used nouns in the corpus. The subchapter addressing the results presents the most frequently used adjective-noun, verb-noun and phrasal-verb-noun collocations found in the study, the distribution of collocations based on collocate-node relationship and congruency, and finally it analyses the naturalness of the collocations found in the English language. The last section in the second chapter presents an interpretation of the findings.