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272Reviews The BBI Combinatory Dictionary ofEnglish: A Guide to Word Combinations. Morton Benson, Evelyn Benson, and Robert Ilson. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1986. xxxvi + 286 pp. This book is a reference work that records English collocations in alphabetical order. Since its focus is exclusively on collocations, it omits the usual kinds of information one expects to find in conventional dictionaries. There are no etymologies. Pronunciation is given rarely and only to differentiate homographs. For example, bow I is transcribed /bau/, and bow II is transcribed /bou/. The system of transcription is the same as the one used in The Lexicographic Description of English by the same authors. It is noted in the introduction that in some English homographs the stress of adjectives and nouns on one hand and that of verbs on the other may be differentiated in such words as absent, abstract, address, . . . transport, and upset. A long list is given, and the stress patterns are described, but this information is not given at the entry for these words. There are no regular definitions of the entry word, but definitions, paraphrases, and usage notes are given occasionally and only when considered necessary to ensure the appropriate use of the entry word and its collocations or to differentiate between American usage and British usage. The kinds of information that are considered essential in the usual conventional dictionary are given incidentally and only to support the main purpose of the book, which is to help the user to avoid such violations of English collocations as *they mentioned him the book, *he sends you hot regards, *we are very fond, *we send you hearty greetings. Such violations of English collocations are far less likely to be committed by the native speaker of English than by the native speaker of a language other than English. Consequently, this book is of much more practical value to the learner of English as a foreign language than to the native speaker of English. As a matter of fact, the particular form of the violation of an English collocation is usually suggested by a different collocation in another language. For example, if a native speaker of Spanish says *they mentioned him the book, it is because the Spanish equivalent of they mentioned the book to him is Ie mencionaron el libro, in which a dative with no preposition is Reviews273 used. The authors define collocations as "fixed, identifiable, non-idiomatic phrases and constructions." They further distinguish between grammatical and lexical collocations. A grammatical collocation is identified as "a phrase consisting of a dominant word (noun, adjective, verb) and a preposition or grammatical construction such as an infinitive or clause." "Lexical collocations, in contrast to grammatical collocations, normally do not contain prepositions, infinitives, or clauses." Grammatical collocations are classified into eight different types and designated Gl, G2, G3, . . . , G8. Lexical collocations are classified into seven different types and designated Ll, L2, L3, . . . , L7. The following is a sampling of collocation types: G4 collocations consist of preposition + noun combinations. Examples are: by accident, in advance, to somebody's advantage, on somebody's advice, under somebody's aegis, in agony, on (the) alert, at anchor, etc. G7 adjectives (many of which are also in G6) can be followed by a that clause: she was afraid that she would fail the examinations; it was nice that he was able to come home for the holidays. Several adjectives are followed by the present subjunctive in formal English: it was imperative that I be there at three o'clock; it is necessary that he be replaced immediately. L4 collocations consist of a noun and verb; the verb names an action characteristic of the person or being designated by the noun: adjectives modify, alarms go off (ring, sound), bees buzz (sting, swarm), blizzards rage, blood circulates (clots, congeals, flows, runs), bombs explode (go off), etc. L6 collocations consist of an adverb and an adjective. Examples are: deeply absorbed, strictly accurate, closely (intimately) acquainted, hopelessly addicted, sound asleep, keenly (very much) aware, etc. 274Reviews The identification, description, and classification of collocation types in this book are very interesting and fairly comprehensive, but certainly not exhaustive. The following are some important collocation types not included in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 272-275
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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