Language as chunks, not words


Many people think of language as words. Words are small, convenient units, especially in written English, where they are separated by spaces. Dictionaries seem to reinforce this idea, because entries are arranged as a list of alphabetically-ordered words. Traditionally, linguists and teachers focused on grammar and treated words as self-contained units of meaning, which fill the available grammatical slots in a sentence. More recently, attention has shifted from grammar to lexis, and from words to chunks. Dictionary headwords are convenient points of access for the user, but modern dictionary entries usually deal with chunks, because meanings often do not arise from individual words, but from the chunks in which the words occur. Corpus research confirms that native speakers of a language actually work with larger “chunks” of language. This paper will show that teachers and learners will benefit from treating language as chunks rather than words.

Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences > English
Event Title: Conference of the Japan Association for Language Teaching 2002
Event Type: Other
Event Dates: 2002-11-22 - 2002-11-24
Uncontrolled Keywords: COBUILD dictionary,language,chunks,words
ISBN: 4-901352-06-7
Full Text Link: http://jalt-pub ... gs/2002/288.pdf
Related URLs:
PURE Output Type: Conference contribution
Published Date: 2003-10
Authors: Krishnamurthy, Ramesh

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