The Use of Adjective+noun Collocations by Iranian EFL Learners Based on Noun Abstractness

Saeed Ghaniabadi, Elham Moradi Marjane, Gholamreza Zareian


To become proficient language users, EFL learners must be familiar with the accepted and highly used word combinations. Lewis (1997, p.8) contended that competence and proficiency in a language equals acquiring fixed prefabricated items. Collocations are a large part of these word pairs and are defined as “the way in which words co-occur in natural text in statistically significant ways”. He believed that one of the most important subtypes of collocations is adjective + noun. The present study focused on the use of adjective + noun collocations by Iranian EFL learners based on noun abstractness. So, these collocations in written productions of twenty eight students at Hakim Sabzevari University were found and analyzed. The repetitions of high frequent patterns were compared to their frequency in COCA corpus in order to find out whether noun abstractness is a significant factor in learning and using adjective + noun collocations. The results revealed that the adjective + abstract noun collocations were more frequently and more efficiently used by Iranian EFL learners.

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