Main Article Content
This study investigates two near-synonymous nouns, problem and trouble, with a focus on differences in their frequencies, distribution patterns across text types, and collocations with verbs and adjectives. The data was extracted from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The overall frequency ranking found problem to occur more often in all the text types, with spoken and academic discourse topping the list and fiction at the bottom. In contrast, trouble is most commonly used in fiction and least used in academic prose. The disparity in their occurrences in different registers was somewhat in line with findings about the verb collocates of the synonym pair. Further analysis found trouble to collocate more often with verbs that are characteristic of conversations pervasive in fiction, i.e. phrasal verbs, modals, contractions. Observation about adjective collocates revealed that because problem has a less specific meaning than trouble, it occurs more freely with various adjectives. Finally, in terms of pedagogical implications, the results suggest that the two words be taught with emphasis on different lexico-grammatical aspects.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Copyright by the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University.
Photocopying is allowed for internal, non-commercial use only. Photocopying for other uses or for purposes other than indicated must be permitted in writing from the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University.All views or conclusion are those of the authors of the articles and not necessarily those of the publisher or the editorial staff.
Aroonmanakun, V. (2015). Quick or Fast: A Corpus-based study of English synonyms. Language Education and Acquisition Research Network (LEARN) Journal. 8(1), 53-62.
Biber, D., Johansson, S. Leech, G., Conrad. S., & Finegan E. (1999). Longman grammar of spoken and written English. London: Longman.
Biber, D., Conrad, S., & Reppen, R. (1998). Corpus linguistics: Investigating language structure and use. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Cai, J. (2012). Is it “great” enough? A corpus-based study of “great” and its near synonyms. Master Thesis. Ball State University.
Chung, Siaw-Fong. (2011). A corpus-based analysis of “create” and “produce”. Chang Gung Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 4(2) (October 2011), 399-425.
Clark, E. V. 1992. Conventionality and contrast: Pragmatic principles with lexical consequences. In Lehrer, A., and Kittay, E. F. (Eds.), Frames, Fields, and Contrasts: New Essays in Semantic and Lexical Organization. (pp. 171–188). Lawrence Erlbaum.
Conrad, S. M., & Biber, D. (2004). “The frequency and use of lexical bundles in conversation and academic prose” Lexicographica - International Annual for Lexicography / Internationales Jahrbuch für Lexikographie 20: 56-71
Corpus of Contemporary American English. Retrieved 2018. Retrieved March 29, 2018, from https://corpus.byu.edu/coca/.
Crystal, D. (2003). The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Davies, M. (2010). The Corpus of Contemporary American English as the first
reliable monitor corpus of English. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 25(4). 447-464.
Edmonds, P. & Hirst, G. (2002). Near-synonymy and lexical choice. Computational Linguistics 28(2), 105-44.
Gries, S. Th., & David, C.V. (2007). This is kind of / sort of interesting: variation in hedging in English. Towards Multimedia in Corpus Studies 2 (Studies in Variety, Contacts and Change in English). ed by Päivi Pahta, Irma Taavitsainen, Terttu Nevalainen & Jukka Tyrkkö Helsinki. VARIENG. http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/series/volumes/02/gries_david/
Hoey, M. (1991) Patterns of Lexis in Text. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Hoffmann K. (2014). A corpus-based analysis of the near-synonyms ‘Nice’, ‘Kind’, ‘Lovely’, ‘Friendly’, ‘Gorgeous’ and ‘Pleasant. 122228 BA Paper – Usage-based approach to linguistic investigations. Accessed March 28, 2015.
https://www.academia.edu/7541436/A_corpusbased_analysis_of_the_nearsynonyms_nice_ki nd_lovely_friendly_gorgeous_a nd_ple asant_
Kearns, K. (2006). Lexical Semantics. In Aarts B., & McMahon, A. (Eds.), The Handbook of English Linguistics. (pp.692-723). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Mahlberg, M. (2005). English General Nouns: A Corpus Theoretical Approach. Amsterdam, John Benjamins.
Miller, J. (2006). Spoken and Written English. In Aarts B., & McMahon, A. (Eds.), The Handbook of English Linguistics. (pp.670-691). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Minkova, D. & Stockwell, R. (2006). English words. In Aarts B., & McMahon, A. (Eds.), The Handbook of English Linguistics. (pp. 461-482). Oxford. Blackwell Publishing.
Murphy, M. L. (2010). Lexical Meaning. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Phoocharoensil, S. (2010). A Corpus-based study of English synonyms. International Journal of Arts and Sciences, 3(10), 227-245.
Sinclair, J. (1991). Corpus, concordance, collocation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sinclair, J., & Carter, R. (2004). Trust the Text Language, Corpus and Discourse. Florence: Taylor and Francis.
Stubbs, M. (2002). Words and phrases: Corpus studies of lexical semantics. Malden: Blackwell.
Stubbs, M. (2015). The textual functions of lexis. In Groom, N., Charles, M., & John, S. (Eds.), Corpora, Grammar and Discourse. (pp. 97-116). Amsterdam; Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Thamratana, P. (2013). A corpus-based analysis of reduce, decrease, diminish, dwindle and decline. Independent study. Language Institute, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand.