Volume 8, Issue 4, July 2020, Page: 206-216
Corpora-Based Comparative Analysis of Synonyms “Situation, Environment and Circumstance”
Sun Jing, School of Foreign Studies, Beijing Information Science & Technology University, Beijing, China
Yin Zhuhui, School of Foreign Studies, Beijing Information Science & Technology University, Beijing, China
Received: May 7, 2020;       Accepted: May 25, 2020;       Published: Jun. 4, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijla.20200804.15      View  54      Downloads  37
This study compares the frequency, collocation and semantic prosody of situation, environment and circumstance in Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and Written English Corpus of Chinese Learners (WECCL). Vocabulary is the cornerstone of second language learning and its development is one of the hot topics in second language acquisition researches. Huge in size, subtle in semantic difference and often presented in minimal contexts, synonyms in English remain a permanent challenge for Chinese English learners. Traditional synonym differentiation usually relies on item-by-item analysis of lexical meanings and introspective qualitative methods like intuition, experience, etc. However, in practice, such guesswork is far from satisfactory. With the rapid development of information technology, corpus linguistics provides a key to the study of synonyms. Based on corpus data, this paper compares and analyzes the selected synonyms using Antconc, Chi-square Calculator and BFSU Collocator. Findings indicate: 1) In terms of use frequency, Chinese students tend to overuse synonyms compared with native speakers; 2) In terms of salient collocations, Chinese students use the synonyms with lots of semantic ambiguity but few collocation types; 3) In terms of semantic prosody, on the Chinese students’ side, inadequate accuracy is comparatively conspicuous as well as semantic prosody misuse. Preliminary cause analysis points to two main factors influencing Chinese students’ mastery of synonyms, respectively L1 negative transfer and the misleading effect of Chinese-English dictionaries. Based on the above analysis, this paper puts forward some suggestions for teaching synonyms and compiling dictionaries.
Corpus, Synonyms, Frequency, Collocation, Semantic Prosody
To cite this article
Sun Jing, Yin Zhuhui, Corpora-Based Comparative Analysis of Synonyms “Situation, Environment and Circumstance”, International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 8, No. 4, 2020, pp. 206-216. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20200804.15
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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