Thus, part of our knowledge of fresh
is as it occurs in the phrase fresh air,
or knife as in knife and fork. To
quote J.R Firth the leading British Linguist of the period, who held the view
that “we shall know a word by the company it keeps” Another important feature
of collocation is that they are formal .On other distinct aspect of our
knowledge of words has nothing to do with any of the factors considered so far.
We know which words tend to occur with other words. If one asks a thousand
people what they think of when we say= hammer, more than half will say nail. If
we say a table, they’ll mostly say chair, and for butter they say bread, and
for needle they say thread. Drawing a comparison between a text and the human
body, New mark (2001:125 ) “likens grammar to the Skeleton, words to
flesh, and collocations are the tendons, the nerves which connect them to one
present and inevitable in any kind of text with no exception. Hence,
translators and translation students need to attend seriously to them in
Arabic, to grant the Arabic version the same beauty of the English text.
Sarikas (2006:36) , asserts ” Collocations are important combinations of
words that endow the language with natural sounding speech and writing ”.
So, ignoring the concern with the translation of English collocation in Arabic
? which has been the case until very recently- results in a poor, dispirited
A large number of collocations exist in
English. A recent study by Shin, (2007 :79) found 4,698 collocations by
applying three criteria ? 1) the pivot word must be a content word, 2) the
collocation should occur frequently, and 3) the collocation should be
grammatically well-formed. Numerous English collocations usually cause heavy
learning burden for foreign language learners. The present study aimed to
reduce the number of collocations Arabic
learners need to focus on by using another criterion ? predictability in
L1. An English collocation is predictable if there is an acceptable word-for-word
translation into Arabic. Even though the criterion of predictability in L1 was
restricted to Arabic in the present
study, contrastive analysis could give insights into ways of reducing the
number of collocations to focus on in English as a foreign language.
In recent decades, there has been a
lot of interest in vocabulary teaching
and learning and much of research has focused
on individual words. For example,
drawing on their first language Arabic students are likely to say lying,
artificial teeth for false teeth, and thick tea for strong tea. Using
native-like collocations makes learners’ speaking and writing seem native-like.
Thus, learning collocations is one way
to ensure native-like selection.
In addition to this,
using collocations can develop learners’
language fluency. Pawley and Syder (1983) suggest that there are hundreds
of thousands of ‘lexicalized sentence
stems’ that adult native speakers have
at their disposal, and suggest that the second language learner might need a
similar number for native-like fluency.
Bahns (1993: 56) also
argues that one of the critical problems
in teaching lexical collocations is the huge number of collocations. Barnwell,(1980:56) advices language learners ”to
be aware of the natural collocations of words in the language you are
learning” . One way to reduce the
number of collocation to focus on may be checking their predictability in L1.
Bahns (1993) criterion of predictability in L1 is useful because this method is
highly replicable even though using the dictionary definition cannot cover all
sorts of differences between L1 and L2. Sinclair (1991:109) states ”
Collocation patterns are restricted to pairs of words”. Examples,
Classifications of Collocations:
Robins (1964:79) mentions two kinds of
collocations ; ”the first class refers to situational meaning of words
concerned as in ‘white coffee’ , ‘black coffee’ , ‘white race ‘ and ‘white
wine’ , the colours mentioned are not
used with reference to their referents . Whereas the other type refers to the referential
meaning of words as in ‘dark night’ where one meaning of ‘night’ is its
colloctability with ‘dark’ ”.
Collocations according to Benson ,
M.(1986) are broadly divided into two
main categories: Grammatical and lexical.
1-Grammatical Collocations: Are
combinations of prepositions and verbs, adjectives, or nouns. Examples are:
pick up, look for, look after, keen on, fond of, tolerant with, and show of. Benson , M.(1986)defines them as ”A
dominant word (verb, noun, adjective )followed by a grammatical word ,
typically a preposition” . These include:
A:Verb +Preposition structure like:
Put on, get on, think up, put off, break
1-talk to ?????
?? : 2-rely /depend on : ??? ????? 3- speak with : ?? ?????
4-buy for : ????? ?????
B: Preposition + Nouns Collocations
1-on diet : ????? ?????? ????? ???? 2-in
cash : ???? 3-on
arrival : ?????? ???
C:Noun +Preposition Combination as:
1-cure for : ????
against : ?? ???? 3-restictions
on : ??? ????
Students main challenges here are the
translations and placement of prepositions and using the suitable preposition
for each noun , because collocations –related prepositions are different from
language to the other especially English and Arabic .
D:Adjective +Preposition Combination
1-made in :???
in : ?? ???? 3-
good at : ?? ???
E:Verb +Participle Combination (phrasal
(?????)/???? ?? ????(???? ?? ?????) 2-Give
2-Lexical Collocations: Here
combinations between content words only (adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs
).Hence, they contain no subordinate element ; they comprise two equal lexical
Further, lexical collocations are sub
–divided into three parts:-
A: Restricted Collocations: They
collocate with certain and specific words . In this regard Aisenstadt
(19979:71) defines them as ”Combinations of two or more words used in one
of their regular , non –idiomatic meanings”. These kinds of collocations
are not flexible as Evelyn et al. (1986:253) exemplifies (to commit a murder
as an example where the verb collocates with a few nouns such as murder, crime,
and embezzlement”. They have limited number of words to collocate with.