Vocabulary: Applied Linguistic Perspectives

Vocabulary: Applied Linguistic Perspectives

Vocabulary: Applied Linguistic Perspectives

Vocabulary: Applied Linguistic Perspectives

Synopsis

Vocabulary has been one of the growth areas of language study over the past three decades. This edition updates progress in key areas of language description and applied linguistics, with updated chapters on vocabulary and language teaching.

Excerpt

This book is a guide to some ways in which linguistic insights into the structure of the modern English lexicon might be applied. Applied linguistics is generally associated with second- and foreign-language teaching and this book contains an extensive review of developments in vocabulary teaching. the book will, however, demonstrate that the possibilities for application can be broader in scope. in addition to brief discussions of mother-tongue early language development and a number of social issues in vocabulary use, such as the relationship between lexis and ideology, the book examines some applications of lexicological description in three main areas: language learning and teaching, lexicography, and literary-text study.

Although there are (in the third part of the book) two detailed case studies in which particular arguments are presented relevant to work in what might be termed ‘lexical stylistics’, the orientation of this book is mainly descriptive. It seeks to report on research, review developments in lexical description and comment on specific points of intersection between linguistic insight and areas of application. No description is entirely neutral, however, not least because, in a relatively wide-ranging book such as this, selection is inevitable and selection is itself a form of evaluation. For example, the importance of studying lexis in discourse and of using informants to assist description of lexical associations is stated regularly, both explicitly and implicitly, throughout the book. But, wherever possible, a descriptive overview constitutes the main design.

This is not an apology. There are very few books or studies of lexis in relation to applied linguistics and it is hoped that to an extent this book helps to clear some ground from a number of different perspectives at the same time as indicating areas in which work needs to be done. However, I should have liked to have devoted more space to the social, cultural and political issues which the study of vocabulary necessitates . . .

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