Using Sketch Engine to Investigate Synonymous Verbs

  •  Chunyu Hu    
  •  Bei Yang    


Synonymy is an important yet intricate linguistic feature in the field of lexical semantics. Using the 100 million-word British National Corpus (BNC) as data and the software Sketch Engine (SkE) as analyzing tool, this study examines the usage differences between raise and increase, two synonymous verbs notorious for their complex semantic and syntactic usage patterns. In addition to examining the collocates of the verbs, the study also investigated the syntactic patterns that the verbs typically occupy in the sentence structure and their functional implications. The data analysis yields an informative delineation of the internal semantic structure of the synonym set. The results also show the need for the corpus approach to go beyond collocational analysis in the study of synonymous verbs. The limitations of using SkE to extract and disambiguate synonyms are also addressed. This paper ends by discussing the pedagogical implications that this research may have when the results are introduced into the classroom.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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