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Synonyms

TESOL France 2012
by

Leo Selivan

on 17 November 2012

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Transcript of Synonyms

put up (with) “As near synonyms usually differ in their collocational behaviour and semantic prosodies, the traditional practice of explaining meanings to learners by offering synonyms should be used with caution”

Xiao & Mcenery (2006) Conclusion Encourage students to record vocabulary the way they've met it – “as is”  Leave used language alone Synonymy – one of the difficulty inducing factors in L2 vocabulary learning
Laufer, 1990

MPVs - notoriously difficult for learners
Gardner & Davies, 2007

Learners avoid MPVs opting for one-word verbs
Siyanova & Schmitt, 2007 Synonyms & MPVs in L2 learning Most have Germanic roots (similar phenomenon in German, Dutch, Swedish)

Often have a Latin-based one-word equivalent (?)

Lend themselves to creativity
I’m all partied out Multi-part verbs (MPVs) Lexical density Barber, C. (1993). The English Language. Cambridge: CUP
Davies, M. (2004-). BYU-BNC: The British National Corpus. Available at http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc
Gardner, D. & Davies, M. (2007). Pointing out frequent phrasal verbs: A corpus-based analysis. In TESOL Quarterly 41(2), pp 339-359
Hoey, M. (2000). A World Beyond Collocation: New Perspectives on Vocabulary Teaching. In Lewis. M (ed.), Teaching Collocation: Further Developments in the Lexical Approach. (pp. 224-243). Hove: Thomson-Heinle
McCrum, R., Cran, W. & MacNeil, R. (2002). The Story of English. London: Penguin.
Schuessler, J. (2009, June 13). Keeping It Real on Dictionary Row. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/weekinreview/14shuessler.html?_r=2
Ur, P. (2012). Vocabulary activities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Welcome to the World of Global English. (2010, February 24). The Global Language Monitor. Retrieved from http://www.languagemonitor.com/
Xiao, R. & McEnery, T. (2006). Collocation, Semantic Prosody, and Near Synonymy: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Applied Linguistics, 27(1), 103-129 References British National Corpus (BNC)
Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)
http://corpus.byu.edu

Just the word - a tool for looking up collocations
http://www.just-the-word.com Use corpus and concordances Latinate roots
-dict-
-pel
-pend-
-scrib/script-
-tract-
-vert- Latinate affixes
-able, -ible
-ance
-fy, -ify
-ment
-sion, -tion
-ty, -ity Teach affixes & roots All you know about a word
- meaning and connotations
- grammar
- contexts, collocations
- frequency
- etymology

From Ur, P. (2012). Vocabulary Activities Present a word (or a pair)
Cause:
controversy, damage, problems, suffering, trouble
Bring about:
change, improvement

Withstand: temperature, storm, hurricane - weather
Resist: temptation, urge, pressure, attempt, arrest Register – formal / informal
Style – written / spoken
Domain – academic / journalistic / jargon Register, style & domain Distinguishing features Nuances vs economy kill – assassinate
hide – conceal
before – prior
meet – encounter freedom - liberty
sight - vision
learn – study
ask – enquire
buy – purchase
child, kid – infant
begin; start – initiate; commence Germanic / Latinate Synonyms Make a list of 10 (near-) synonyms in English French words didn’t replace Germanic words
but went to coexist side by side

feeling / sensation
brotherly / fraternal
ring / (tele)phone
fast / rapid
job / occupation
help / assist
begin / commence
end / finish
flood / inundate French influence The Norman Conquest Germanic group Hybrid language




Teaching implications
& practical suggestions 31st Annual TESOL France Colloquium
17 November 2012 Leo Selivan
British Council Does the word “synonym”
have a synonym? kill – assassinate
hide – conceal
before – prior
meet – encounter
table - desk
damp - moist
tall - high
lift - elevator
precipitation - rain What’s the difference?


freedom - liberty
sight - vision
learn – study
ask – enquire
buy – purchase
child, kid – infant
begin – commence TASK 3 Lexical gaps English: One word for know
(cf. German: wissen / erkennen
French: savoir / connaitre) Cherokee: 20 verbs for wash (hands, face)
Hebrew: different verbs to describe the harvest of different types of produce
English: particularly rich in motion verbs: loaf, meander, mope, pace, saunter, slump, stroll, trudge, walk, wander Lexical abundance How many words are there in English?

The Global Language Monitor in 2009:
English passed 1 million word mark

Oxford Dictionaries:
250,000 at the very least Largest vocabulary? Germanic / Germanic

go / walk
start / begin
home / house Latinate / Latinate

mansion / villa
ascend / mount Synonyms within sets Look at a page from LDOCE
(Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)

Count the number of words on the page.
How many Latinate words can you find? TASK 1 Latinate = derived from Latin or Old French Latinate roots
-dict-
-fect-
-pel-
-pend-
-port-
-scrib/script-
-tract-
-vert- Latinate words photo by eltpics on Flickr Bilingual dictionary - meaning

Monolingual dictionary - increase their depth of meaning

Learner dictionaries:
Macmillan
Cambridge
Longman
(all three available online) Look up twice set up company committee business relationships establish relation(s) links possibility effects murder investigate (the) problem possibility look into (the) matter Always provide collocations for new words Collocation forks murder effects matter possibility problem look into / investigate Occurrences per million words Misc. Academic News Fiction Spoken investigate 15 21 85 97 58 look into 18 38 12 4 9 Register, style & domain bring about cause put out extinguish tolerate, endure set up found, establish take in deceive look into investigate find out discover Phrasal verbs vs. Latinate “equivalents” A bit of history Latinate and Germanic words Lexical density in English Synonyms or near synonyms? Multi-part verbs but 60% Latinate vocabulary TASK 2 Latinate affixes
-able,-ible
-ance, -ence
-fy, -ify
-ment
-sion, -tion
-ty, -ity
-ure Most are based on Germanic/French distinction Photo by Sandy Millin via eltpics cold / cool = /barid/ in Arabic

hot / warm = /kham/ in Hebrew

dish / plate = /piato/ in Greek

wet / moist / damp = /humido/ in Spanish Task 3 Think of examples of nuances in English vs economy in other Ls (for example, your students' L1) English is a dense, saturated language English word 1 English word 2 English word 3 A word in an 'economical' language register collocation semantic prosody possibility investigate look into Colligation
Don’t be taken in by their promises

It was founded in (year) by (person) Contact Email leo.selivan@britishcouncil.org www.leoxicon.blogspot.com Blog ...a role model to look up to

...fled the country in fear of their lives

...may have an adverse effect on... Musical patterns by Ellie Van Houtte
via Fotopedia establish set up
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