Beyond single words: the most frequent collocations in spoken English
journal contributionposted on 24.06.2020 by Paul Nation, D Shin
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This study presents a list of the highest frequency collocations of spoken English based on carefully applied criteria. In the literature, more than forty terms have been used for designating multi-word units, which are generally not well defined. To avoid this confusion, six criteria are strictly applied. The ten million word BNC spoken section was used as the data source, and the 1,000 most frequent spoken word types from that corpus were all investigated as pivot words. The most striking finding was that there is a large number of collocations meeting the six criteria and a large number of these would qualify for inclusion in the most frequent 2,000 words of English, if no distinction was made between single words and collocations. Many of these collocations could be usefully taught in an elementary speaking course. © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved.