Usages of a concordance

The definition of concordance in linguistics as a list of words used in a body of work, or dictionary, which contains a list of words from the left and right context. The necessity of creating concordance in science for learning and teaching languages.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид контрольная работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 18.01.2012
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  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Definition
  • 3. Types of concordances
  • 4. Usages of a concordance
  • 5. Examples of concordance software
  • 6. Conclusion
  • concordance linguistics word dictionary

1. Introduction

Today I am going to tell you about a concordance: what it is and how it can be used. Modern science needs to create concordances, because they can be used not only for studying and teaching languages, but for different linguistic reseaches.

2. Definition

There are two possible ways to define a concordance:

1. a concordance can be a list of words used in a body of work.

2. a concordance is a text-oriented dictionary that contains a list of the words with their left and right contexts.

We, as applied linguists, are interested in the second meaning. A concordance can be used for different linguistics researches. There are some differences between a corcondance and a traditional dictionary:

1. The representativity is the main aspect that is important for dictionaries, and for a corcodance a full description of the words is important

2. A dictionary analyses different meanings of words. A concordance illustrates different usage of words. So for a concordance examples are important, and for a dictionary - definitions.

3. Types of concordances

There are several ways to classify concordances. According to the first classification concordances can be divided into simple and full. A simple concordancer produces a list of words it locates in a corpus of authentic texts, displayed in the centre of the page and shown with parts of the contexts in which they occur. This is also known as Key Words in Context concordance or a KWIC concordance. But some concordancers are also able to produce a full concordance comprising all the words and other linguistic elements of the corpus. In reality there are numerous parameters to look for, such as speed, the size of the corpus the software can handle, the languages supported, the amount and quality of the documentation; especially the last point might be important if you are new to concordancing. According to another classification, based on the number of languages, bilingual or multilingual concordances are parallel concordances, and if they include only one language, they are called monolingual concordances.

4. Usages of a concordance

A concordance can be used in different fields: corpus linguistics, lexicography, teaching and learning languages.

A concordance can be used for several linguistics purposes such as:

1. to compare the different uses of one word;

2. to analyse key words;

3. to analyse the frequency of words and collocations;

4. to search and analyse phrases and idioms;

5. to search translation of terminology;

6. to create a list of words that are used in publication;

7. to analyse different texts.

Also a concordance can be used for teaching and learning languages. The teacher can use a concordancer to find examples of authentic usage to demonstrate features of vocabulary, typical collocations, a point of grammar or even the structure of a text. Also the teacher can generate exercises based on examples drawn from a variety of corpora, for example gap-filling exercises and tests. At the same time, students can work out rules of grammar or usage and lexical features for themselves by searching for key words in context.

5. Examples of concordance software

MicroConcord, which was written by Mike Scott in collaboration with the late Tim Johns, set the standard. It was a concordancer written for DOS, dating back to the 1980s, and finally published by Oxford University Press in 1993, together with a substantial corpus of texts from the Independent newspaper and a manual. MicroConcord was impressive for its time, but programs running under DOS are now technically obsolete. Concordance created by R.J.C. Watt of Dundee University makes both a full concordance and a KWIC-concordance (called "fast" concordance). The fast concordance is really fast. The full concordance is slower. Making a full concordance of a very large corpus requires a lot of computer power and patience.The user interface is quite intuitive once you have worked a little bit with it. The split screen, with a wordlist on the left and the concordance on the right, is a nice feature. Printing a concordance is possible. This concordancer supports most European languages. Unlike the other concordancers, Concordance is able to convert a full concordance into HTML format so that the concordance can be used interactively through a Web browser.

6. Conclusion

So, a concordance is a list of the words with their left and right contexts. There are two different types of a concordance: a full concordance and a KWIC-concordance. There is a lot of software that uses a concordance.

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