A study on the semantic features of english collocations containing the verb “make” with reference to their vietnamese equivalents

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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY BUI THI KIM ANH A STUDY ON THE SEMANTIC FEATURES OF ENGLISH COLLOCATIONS CONTAINING THE VERB “MAKE” WITH REFERENCE TO THEIR VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS (NGHIÊN CỨU NHỮNG ĐẶC ĐIỂM NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA QUÁN NGỮ CHỨA ĐỘNG TỪ “MAKE” CÙNG NGHĨA TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT) M.A THESIS Field: English Language Code: 60220201 Hanoi, 2016 Front hard cover Back hard cover BUI THI KIM ANH ENGLISH LINGUIAGE 2014 - 2016 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY BUI THI KIM ANH A STUDY ON THE SEMANTIC FEATURES OF ENGLISH COLLOCATIONS CONTAINING THE VERB “MAKE” WITH REFERENCE TO THEIR VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS (NGHIÊN CỨU NHỮNG ĐẶC ĐIỂM NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA QUÁN NGỮ CHỨA ĐỘNG TỪ “MAKE” CÙNG NGHĨA TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT) M.A THESIS Field: English Language Code: 60220201 Supervisor: Nguyen Thi Van Dong Hanoi, 2016 CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report entitled A study on the semantic features of English collocations containing the verb “make” with reference to their Vietnamese equivalents submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in English Language Except where the reference is indicated, no other person’s work has been used without due acknowledgement in the text of the thesis Hanoi, 2016 Bui Thi Kim Anh Approved by SUPERVISOR (Signature and full name) Date:…………………… ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS For the accomplishment of this thesis, first of all, I am greatly indebted to my supervisor, Dr Nguyen Thi Van Dong, who has kindly and patiently guided me throughout the process of the study Her insights, advice, support, and encouragement have made the process of the study not only precious but also a meaningful one Besides, I would like to thank all my respectable lecturers for teaching me all the courses that I have taken at Hanoi Open University I would also like to thank all my colleagues who made great contribution to my research Without their assistance and participation, this study would not have been successful Finally, I am deeply grateful to my beloved parents, husband and my children for their love and support which have enabled me to overcome all the challenges during my study ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to investigate the semantic features of English collocations verb “make” with reference to their Vietnamese equivalents, especially in the novel “Adventure of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain The study is aimed at three points: (1) finding the semantic features of the ‘make’ collocations in English and those of the verb ‘làm’ collocations in Vietnamese, (2) finding the similarities and differences between the ‘make’ collocations in English and those of the verb ‘làm’ collocations in Vietnamese and (3) providing some recommendations for the teaching and learning as well as translation of ‘make’ collocations and ‘làm’ collocations into the target language This study was designed as a descriptive research with the method of contrastive and componential analysis According to the data analysis, the results of the study show that the verb ‘make’ and the verb ‘làm’ in collocations coincide in their general meanings However, the verb ‘làm’ in Vietnamese collocations seems to have much more meanings than that in English collocations LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS SLA: Second language acquisition E.g: Example EFL: English foreign language LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Table 2.1 Collocations vs idioms free word combinations Table 4.1 Semantic features of Make in English and Vietnamese TABLE OF CONTENTS Certificate of originality Acknowledgments Abstract List of abbreviations List of tables and figures TABLE OF CONTENTS Certificate of originality Acknowledgments Abstract List of abbreviations List of tables and figures Chapter1 INTRODUCTION 11 1.1 Rationale for the study 11 1.2 Aims of the study 13 1.3 Objectives of the study…………………………………………… 1.4 Scope of the study 14 1.5 Significance of the study 14 1.6 Structure of the study 15 Chapter LITERATURE REVIEW 17 2.1 Review of the Previous Studies 17 2.2 Review of theoretical background 19 2.2.1 Semantic features 19 2.2.2 A Brief Description of Verbs 20 2.2.3 Component of Meaning 22 2.2.3.1 Grammatical meaning 22 2.2.3.2 Lexical meaning 22 2.2.4 Transference of Meaning 22 2.2.4.1 Metaphor 22 2.2.4.2 Metonymy 22 2.2.5 English Collocations 23 2.2.5.1 Definition of Collocations 23 2.2.5.2 Types of collocations 25 2.2.5.3 Characteristics of Collocations 29 Chapter METHODOLOGY 35 3.1 Research-governing orientations 35 3.1.1 Research design 35 3.1.2 Descriptive research design definition 35 3.2 Research method 36 3.2.1 Contrastive analysis method 36 3.2.2 Componential analysis method 36 3.3 Test description 37 3.4 Method of the analysis 38 3.5 Summary 38 Chapter FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION 39 4.1 Data results and analysis 39 4.2 Semantic Features of the Verb “Make” in English Collocations 44 4.2 Semantic Features of the Verb ‘Làm’ in Vietnamese Collocations 50 4.3 Similarities 56 4.4 Differences 57 Chapter CONCLUSION 65 5.1 Summary of major findings 65 5.2 Pedagogical implications of the study 65 5.2.1 For EFL Learning in general 65 5.2.2 Implications for learning vocabulary 66 5.2.2 For Translation from English to Vietnamese and Vice Versa 68 5.3.Limitation of the study 69 5.4.Suggestion for further study 70 REFERENCES 72 10 Chapter CONCLUSION This chapter based presents the conclusion of the study, pedagogical implications, limitation of the study and recommendations for further studies 5.1 Summary of major findings The present study focuses on semantic features of the verb ‘make’ in English collocations and their equivalents in Vietnamese The main concern is to find out the semantic features of the verb ‘make’ in English collocations and the verb ‘làm’ in Vietnamese collocations and then to find out the similarities and differences between them We also based on the theoretical background, the semantic features, the similarities and differences between the two verbs in collocations to carry out two surveys with the hope that this research can lead to effective ways to develop students’ knowledge of collocations with ‘make’, ‘làm’ in particular and other collocations in general 5.2 Pedagogical implications of the study 5.2.1 For EFL Learning in general Thanks to the theoretical background on the English collocations and the contrastive analysis of the verb ‘make’ collocations in English and their equivalents in Vietnamese, the study has not only provided a general view on English Collocations but also pointed out the similarities and differences in semantic features of the collocations of the verb ‘make’ and the verb ‘làm’ Finally, in this part, I put forward some implications in learning collocations with ‘make’ in particular and other collocations in general First of all, students should pay great attention to collocations in the process of teaching and learning collocations Collocation is an important characteristic which learners of language should master 65 Because learning individual words and their meaning does not suffice to achieve great fluency in a second language It is collocation that helps students approach the native-like level of proficiency We can use these ways to present collocations like listing, making a comparison of collocations of synonyms, using a collocation grid or translation and learners also learn word in chunks, not individual words Secondly, students should be fully aware that the final aim of language teaching and learning is to develop students’ communicative competence as well as linguistic competence Therefore, a good knowledge of vocabulary, particularly that of collocations is very important As a result, students have little chance to be exposed to collocations Last but not least, during learning processes, it is important for students to be aware of the similarities and differences in the collocations with ‘make’ in particular and other collocations in general between the mother tongue and the target language, particularly the differences That will restrict the mother tongue interference at the maximum The source of mother tongue interference proves to be a major difficulty for learners because of a lack of translational equivalence between the mother tongue and the target language Commonly, collocations in the mother tongue are often translated directly into English E.g: in English, we say ‘make right decision’ but in Vietnamese we conventionally say ‘give a right decision’ Therefore, students should know how words collocate with each other to avoid combining words which sounds acceptable but native speakers never say in that way 5.2.2 Implications for learning vocabulary As mentioned at the beginning of the study, a large numbers of English learners have a lot of difficulties when they acquire the biggest 66 component of any language course – vocabulary It is because vocabulary learning has not received the recognition it deserves in classroom Or when they make a sentence in English they usually apply Vietnamese to interpreting English ones without paying attention to the differences in grammatical and semantic features between the two languages It is clear that by this way learners have not known yet how to use vocabulary perfectly in different context and they have found difficult to turn the new vocabulary into their long-term memory Therefore, basing on the study, we would like to suggest some useful ways of language learning In recent years, there are some new ways of learning vocabulary And we can see that learning vocabulary by family tree or lexical field and learning vocabulary in the specific context have been proved by the learners’ success Because they are provided with an increasing number of words so that they can make a happy choice of word for appropriate context Thus, in order to understand and use collocation in English and Vietnamese, learners should be equipped with not only grammatical meaning and descriptive meanings of collocation, but also their components of meaning and their transference of meaning as well In addition, learners should be aware of the similarities and differences between the two languages Without the awareness the learners are likely to use their mother-tongue structure to express ideas in foreign language Last but not least important, the ways of presenting the meaning and usage of a new item should be best to combine some ways rather than only one The teacher can give concise definition, detailed description, context and collocation Besides, the use of topic – based presentation of vocabulary is really essential and arrange vocabulary into the topic is a useful task in teaching and learning vocabulary 67 5.2.2 For Translation from English to Vietnamese and Vice Versa Translation is a process of interpreting a text either in the form of speech or writing from one language (the source language) into another language (the target language) into an equivalent text To achieve the best translation equivalence, translators must take into account the context of the text, the grammatical rules of the two languages, their writing conventions, their collocations etc In the case of collocations with ‘make’ and ‘làm’, we should attend to the following points when translating them First, to find out the best equivalents for ‘make’ and ‘làm’ collocations, translators should master all possible semantic features Because ‘make’ collocations can have differences meanings when translated into Vietnamese and vice versa and in order to know which meaning is suitable, translators should take the context of the text into account Secondly, when translating collocations, translators should consider the meaning the whole expressions Never translate a collocation word for word For example: the collocation ‘make a decision’ will sound very unfamiliar with the Vietnamese when we translate it like ‘làm định’ Also, the study on the synonyms of words can help translators decide the best word when translating from the source language into the target language In the case of ‘make’, ‘do’ is a phraseological synonym and translators should know the differences between them to translate the text properly Last but not least, it is thought that for every word and phrase in one language, there is a corresponding word or phrase In fact, it is very difficult to translate Vietnamese collocations into English without losing 68 any shades of their meanings The translator should be careful about this difference According to the results of the present study, many implications for teaching ‘make’ collocations in particular and other collocations in general can be suggested These implications can be applied as a generic framework or a model for learning all collocations and collocation categories The study’s implications are as follows: In teaching new words, more attention should be given to teaching collocations of these words The learners not really know the word unless they know how that word is used Since the learning environment is shown to play a significant role in the acquisition of collocations, it may be most effective to use as many collocations during the class as possible, which gives EFL learners the chance to be exposed to natural language, which in turn helps them improve their language proficiency In light of the difficulty of the production in collocations, learners are in need of more practice producing collocations Also, they should receive as much collocation input as possible Therefore, different kinds of activities can be used to improve learners’ receptive and productive skills Selecting and teaching collocations should be done with reference to L1 where learners become aware of the L1-L2 differences and similarities Adding a bilingual glossary of frequently used collocations to textbooks is highly recommended to keep learners aware of the similarities and differences between the first and second language 5.3 Limitation of the study This study is a great effort to deal with semantic features of collocations in English and Vietnamese However, this effort cannot 69 avoid shortcomings and still leaves much to be desired Only the verb “make” is studied, not all words and collocations in English and Vietnamese In this paper, their pragmatic features and grammatical ones are not analyzed Moreover, the material supporting the thesis is so limited Furthermore, the limitation of time and reference books as well as many constraints faced by the researcher make it impossible for the researcher to focus sufficiently and more intensively on collocation There are many aspects of the verb ‘make’ which can be investigated, the study however only focuses on semantic features of the verb ‘make’ in collocations The second limitation pertains to the number of the selected collocations used in this study Due to the time constraints, the author has been unable to list all collocations with the two verbs to help teachers and learners of English have a thorough understanding of these two verbs in collocations The third limitation of the study is related to the time constraints for both the participants and the researcher This study is limited to two collocation tests to measure the production and reception as well as the situation of teaching and learning collocations with the verb ‘make’ in particular and other collocations in general, which may not be enough to draw detailed and exact implications The last limitation is due to the limited knowledge of the author so this thesis may have shortcomings Therefore, all the remarks and comments from the readers will be highly appreciated 5.4 Suggestion for further study This thesis has dealt with semantic features of collocations containing the verb “make” in English and Vietnamese However, there are some aspects that should be studied to have more profound and 70 through look into collocation, the following points will be taken into consideration: Other words and collocations in English and Vietnamese Pragmatic features of collocation containing the verb “make” The present study is only concerned with semantic features of the two verbs’ collocations due to the time, limitations and requirement of the minor M.A research In fact, there are still many other aspects still remaining to be investigated This is why further research is recommended to be done in the following areas: First, research should be done on not only semantic features but also grammatical features of both verbs’ collocations Secondly, research should be done to investigate the verb ‘make’ and ‘làm’, synonyms and idioms with both the verbs to help teachers and learners of English to have an overall picture of the similarities and differences between the two verbs Last but not least, research should be done on lexical and grammatical collocations of other words to further examine the mechanism of learners’ acquisition of collocations 71 REFERENCES Bahn, J (1993), Lexical Collocations: A Contrastive View, ELT Journal, 47(1), pp.57 Baker M (1992), In other words: A course book on translation, Routledge Benson M, Benson E, & Ilson R (1997), The BBI dictionary of English word combinations, John Benjamins Publishing Companies Cruse D.A (1986), Lexical Semantics, Cambridge University Press Ethridge, D.E (2004), Research Methodology in Applied Economics, John Wiley & Sons, p.24 Firth J.R (1957), Modes of meaning, In J.R Firth (Eds.), Papers in linguistics 1934-1951 (pp 190 – 215), Oxford University Press Fox, W & Bayat, M.S (2007) , A Guide to Managing Research, Juta Publications, p.45 Halliday, M (1966), Lexis as a linguistic level, Longman, London pp 148- 162 Koya, T (2005), The acquisition of basic collocations by Japanese learners of English, Doctoral dissertation, Waseda University 10 Larson M L.(1984), Meaning-based translation: A guide to crosslanguage equivalence Lanham, MD: University Press of America 11 McCarthy M (1990), Vocabulary, Oxford University Press 12 McCarthy, M & O’dell, F (2005), Collocations in Use, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 13 Mclntosh C et al (2009), Oxford Collocations Dictionary for students of English, Oxford University Press 14 Newmark (1981) Approaches to Translation Oxford: Pergamon Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, Encyclopedic Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000 72 15 Palmer F.R (1981), Semantics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 16 Richards J.C et al (1992), Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, Longman Press, Malaysia 17 Đào Thị Ngọc Nguyên (2007), Collocations of HARD and HAPPY in English, M.A thesis 18 Chu Thi Phuong Van (2005), The study of the collocation in the English Text book on Electronics and Telecommunications M.A thesis 19 Le Thanh Ha (2007), A study on lexical collocations and their implications in teaching listening M.A thesis 20 Pham Thi Nga (2012), A study on common errors related to the usage of DO and MAKE collocations by English non-major students at Thai Nguyen University of Economics and Business Administration M.A thesis 21 McCarthy, M & O’dell, F (2005), Collocations in Use, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 22 Martynska, M (2004), Do English language learners know collocations? Investigation Linguistics, 11(1), pp 1-12 23 Moon, R (1997), Vocabulary connections: multi-word items in English In N Schmitt & McCarthy, M (Eds.) Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy, pp: 40-63 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 24 Martynska, M (2004), Do English language learners know collocations? Investigation Linguistics, 11(1), pp 1-12 25 Matsuno and Sugiura (2002), The Acquisition of Basic Collocations by Japanese Learners of English, Nagoya University 26 Aisenstadt, E (1979), Collocability restrictions in dictionaries, University of Exeter, Exeter pp 71-74 73 27 Bahn, J (1993), Lexical Collocations: A Contrastive View, ELT Journal, 47(1), pp.57 28 Bahns, J and Eldaw, M (1990), “Should we teach EFL students collocations?” Paper given at 9th World Congress of Applied Linguistics, ThessalonikiCambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp 27-36 29 Bahns, J and Eldaw, M (1993), should we teach EFL students collocations?System, 21(1), pp 101-114 30 Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary (2005), CUP, Cambridge 31 Channell, J (1981), Applying semantic theory into vocabulary teaching ELT Journal, 35 (1), pp.115-122 32 Cruse, D (1986), Lexical Semantics, CUP, Cambridge 33 Elyildirm, S (1998), The acquisition of collocation by Turkish EFL learners (Unpublished doctoral dissertation), University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom 34 Firth, J (1957), Modes of meaning: In F Palmer (ed.), Papers in linguistics, pp 190-215, London 35 Granger, S (1998), Prefabricated patterns in Advanced EFL writing: collocations and formulae in A P Cowie (ed.), Phraeology, theory, analysis and applications, Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp 145-160 36 Halliday, M (1966), Lexis as a linguistic level, Longman, London pp 148- 162 Koya, T (2005), The acquisition of basic collocations by Japanese learners of English, Doctoral dissertation, Waseda University 37 Lee C.Y (2010), “A study of collocation behaviors on lexical pragmatics” Asian EFL Journal, 4(10), pp 102-113 38 http://candle.cs.nthu.edu.tw/vntango/ 39 http://esl.about.com/od/engilshvocabulary/a/collocations.htm 74 40 http://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/collocations-advanced.htm 41 Kathleen R McKeown and Dragomir R Radev, Collocations, Retrieved from http://clair.si.umich.edu/~radev/papers/handbook00.pdf 75 76 APPENDICES First production test Task Fill in the gaps with DO or MAKE The storm didn’t………… damage to our village The teacher asks students to……………their homework everyday My brother advises me to ………… an effort to learn English for my future job She never …………any work because she inherits a lot of money from her parents I want to …………….an improvement or alteration Too strict discipline will children more harm than good Task Translate the following Vietnamese collocations into English làm nhà làm um lên làm bạn làm nghề làm vườn làm đám cưới làm ngơ làm gà làm cơm 10 làm gỗ 77 Second production test Task Fill in the gaps with DO or MAKE He’ll ……… his best to be here on time Does your mother……… the cooking everyday? Don’t ………….some excuse about being stuck in traffic You’d better say sorry to her You can ……………a comment and send us an email to pastin@gmail.com He wants to ………………friends with all his classmates because he is a newcomer She ……………a fuss over the children Tables are ………… of wood Task Rewrite the following sentences in a meaningful way He avoided making any mistakes in the exam MISTAKES He didn’t ……………………… …….in the exam We can’t decide where to go on holiday DECISION We can’t ……………………………where to go on holiday You should plan to everything before the next semester ARRANGEMENTS You should…………………………before the next semester I would like to change for a better life CHANGE I want to ……………………for a better life You can choose between going out with friends and playing computer games if you like CHOICE 78 You can …………………………………… between going out with friends and playing computer games if you like He devoted all his life for the peace of the country CONTRIBUTION He …………………… to the peace of the country 79 ... focuses on the semantic features of English collocations containing the verb ‘make’ with reference to their Vietnamese equivalents We choose the study the semantic features of the ‘make’ collocations. .. A study on the semantic features of 12 English collocations containing the verb “make” with reference to their Vietnamese equivalents” 1.2 Aims of the study This study aims at investigating the. .. MAKE 1.4 Scope of the study The study focuses on analyzing semantic features of English collocations containing the verb ‘make” then Vietnamese equivalents of collocations of make will be later
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