Lexical collocations in English: A comparative study of native and non-native scholars of English

Cuneyt Demir


In the field of ELT, a growing awareness has been paid to the use of correct and appropriate word combinations. Of methods and techniques existed in the literature, the issue of lexical collocation gets a great deal of attention. However, one of the main obstacles, particularly for non-native writers (NNW), is indeterminate knowledge of word combinations. Through the acquisition of collocation it may be possible for NNW to increase their lexical competence. The present study attempted to investigate the use of English lexical collocations in the texts written by native writers of English (NW) and non-native writers of English (NNW), and to examine whether there are any statistically significant differences between NW and NNW in terms of employing collocations in their written productions. The corpora for the current study consisted of 40 research articles (RAs) published in leading journals in ELT, 20 of which belong to native speakers of English while the rest to non-natives. Only RAs published in ELT discipline were included in the corpora because lexical collocation may show difference across disciplines. Before analysing, the data were categorized according to a taxonomy divided into seven: verb+noun, verb+adj./adv., noun+verb, noun+noun, adjective+noun, adverb+adjective,and adverb+verb. To able to explore the data, Independent Samples T-test was employed. The findings yielded significant results. Further, the current study sheds light on whether to include lexical collocations for a better writing. At the end, based on the research findings, some pedagogical implications and suggestions for further research and collocation awareness were discussed.

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Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies
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