Table of ContentsElectronic Support for Teaching English Word Formation
Teaching English Word Formation
Vocabulary Teaching What Is Taught
Why Is Word Formation (WF) Knowledge Important
WF in Language Courses
WF in Language Exams
Exam Reports ? CAE 2000
Recommendations For Candidate Preparation
WF in Traditional Dictionaries
Types of Electronic Dictionaries
WF in Electronic Dictionaries
Word Manager System
Type of Available Rules
Type of Accessible Information
IRules - Nouns
Current State of the Work
|Authors: Dorota Smyk & Pius ten Hacken|
In paper dictionaries information about word formation is often implicit. One can find examples with prefixes by going through the relevant section of the dictionary. For suffixes one could use a reverse dictionary. However, the resulting information is of low quality in the sense that many examples are found which have the string but not the meaning of a prefix or suffix, e.g. index, under. Student surveys show that electronic dictionaries are generally preferred as working tools. Many such dictionaries offer wild card search in order to retrieve words which share a common beginning or ending. However, they do not offer a real solution to the problem of distinguishing accidental string equality from word formation.
A solution can only be envisaged by a new type of structuring and presentation of the information. First of all, word formation has to be explicitly encoded. In order to guarantee flexibility in retrieval, this information should moreover be presented in the form of a database. Optimal flexibility requires an object-oriented database rather than the more common relational database systems. Thus, rules for word formation can be made available procedurally, as a set of instructions, as well as declaratively, as a set of words.
In the framework of Word Manager, this type of lexical databases is
produced at the moment for English, German, and Italian. They constitute
a new generation of tools, opening new possibilities in teaching word formation.