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Verb-Noun Miscollocation in Academic Writing: A Corpus-based Study of EFL Advanced Learners’ English
以便於回答上述研究問題，本文使用兩個大型語料庫，該語料庫為學習者碩士論文語料庫，以及參照語料庫。學習者碩士論文語料庫是由Yang在2015年建構而成。該語料庫包含494 篇碩士論文，分別來自10間不同的應用英語以及英語教學研究所。另一方面，參照語料庫則是包含兩個來自COCA 與BNC 之學術子語料庫。學習者碩士論文語料庫以及參照語料庫的大小分別為一千一百萬字與十二億字。至於研究工具，則是使用線上查詢系統 (Sketch Engine)來搜尋錯誤動名詞搭配詞。
本文經比對學習者碩士論文語料庫以及參照語料庫後，發現總共有171項、1171筆的錯誤動名詞搭配詞。將所有的錯誤動名詞搭配詞依照錯誤類型分類後，可以大約概括分成四種錯誤類型，此四種錯誤類型分別為: 動詞錯誤、名詞錯誤、介係詞錯誤或遺失，以及搭配詞不存在。142項(946筆)錯誤動名詞被歸類於錯誤動詞；16項 (124筆)為錯誤名詞；6項(36筆)為介係詞錯誤或遺失；7項 (75筆)為搭配詞不存在。除此四大錯誤分類外，因錯誤動詞數眾多，三種類型之錯誤動詞也可在本研究中發現:同義動詞錯誤(62項、443筆)、短語動詞錯誤 (2項、8筆)、其他動詞錯誤 (78項、495筆)。
於錯誤成因之分析下，七種錯誤成因也概括解釋所有171項錯誤動名詞搭配詞。第一項錯誤成因是母語影響-直接翻譯，共有95項(608筆)錯誤動名詞搭配詞直接由母語翻譯為英語。第二錯誤成因母語影響-分類別錯誤 (split category)包含10項 (88筆) 錯誤動名詞搭配詞。第三錯誤成因為同義詞混淆，有39項 (261筆) 錯誤搭配詞為同義詞選錯誤。第四錯誤成因是錯誤類比，有9項 (38筆) 錯誤搭配詞被歸類於此成因。第五錯誤成因是語意過度延伸，包含7項 (40筆) 錯誤搭配詞。第六錯誤成因是拼字類似，有9項 (52筆) 錯誤搭配詞因拼字類似而造成學習者混淆。最後，有1項 (39筆)為動名詞皆錯誤。
Collocation has been recognized as the key to successful academic writing. This fact is especially true for learners because it signifies that learners are prepared and well-acquainted with the culture of academic writing. Several studies have reported the differences of collocational use by advanced learners and native speakers, however, the literature for learner miscollocations in academic writing is few. As a result, this study aims to investigate verb-noun miscollocation in master theses by Taiwanese EFL learners. Since collocations are highly discipline-specific, two disciplines were chosen in this study, namely, Applied Linguistics and English Teaching. There were three research questions governing this present study. The first question is to identify the common miscollocations made by Taiwanese master students in Applied Linguistics and English Teaching. The second question is to uncover the type of errors made by learners most. The last question is to investigate the possible causes of the miscollocations found in the academic prose. To answer the aforementioned research questions, two corpora, a learner corpus and a reference corpus, were utilized in this study. The learner corpus, which was composed of 494 master theses from 10 different Applied Linguistics and English Teaching programs in Taiwan, were compiled by Yang (2015). On the other hand, the reference corpus contained two academic subcorpora from BNC and COCA. The sizes of the learner and reference corpus were 11 million and 1.2 billion words respectively. As for instruments, an online query system, Sketch Engine, was adopted to identify target nouns and miscollocations. Altogether, 171 miscollocations with a total frequency of 1171 tokens were discovered in the research. All miscollocations were categorized into four main error types: misused verb, misused noun, misused or missing preposition, and combination non-existent. 142 types (946 tokens) of miscollocations were categorized as misused verb; 16 types (124 token) were misused noun; 6 (36 tokens) types were misused or missing preposition and 7 (75 tokens) types of collocations were non-existent. For the first type, misused verb, three patterns of misuse were also detected, which were, synonymous verb, phrasal verb and other verb. The number of miscollocations of these three sub-types were 62 types (443 tokens), 2 types (8 tokens), and 78 types (495 tokens). The analysis of causes yield seven possible explanations for miscollocations, L1 transfer-direct translation, L1 transfer-split category, misused synonym, false analogy, overgeneralization, approximation and others. 95 types (608 tokens) of miscollocations were influenced by a direct translation from Chinese. 10 types (88 tokens) of miscollocations were labeled as L1 transfer-split category. 39 types (261 tokens) of miscollocations were caused by selecting the wrong synonyms. 9 types (83 tokens) of miscollocations were false analogy. 7 types (40 tokens) of miscollocations contained verbs/nouns that were used over-extensively. 9 types (52 tokens) of miscollocations were categorized in approximation, and 1 type (39 tokens) of miscollocation had both erroneous nouns and verbs. Several interesting findings were observed. First of all, according to the result of error types, misused verbs was the most common error type in this study, indicating that proper verb usage poses the most difficulty for learners. Most of the misused verbs were also caused by confusion of synonymous verbs. Secondly, echoing with previous studies, there were several verbs that often baffled learners, such as gain, get, obtain, attain and reach. Lastly, based on the analysis of possible causes, the high frequency of miscollocation under L1 influence suggested that first language played a crucial role in learner collocations. Several pedagogical implications and future research directions were also raised at the end of this thesis.
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