Thus, part of our knowledge of freshis as it occurs in the phrase fresh air,or knife as in knife and fork.
Toquote J.R Firth the leading British Linguist of the period, who held the viewthat “we shall know a word by the company it keeps” Another important featureof collocation is that they are formal .On other distinct aspect of ourknowledge of words has nothing to do with any of the factors considered so far.We know which words tend to occur with other words. If one asks a thousandpeople what they think of when we say= hammer, more than half will say nail. Ifwe say a table, they’ll mostly say chair, and for butter they say bread, andfor needle they say thread.
Drawing a comparison between a text and the humanbody, New mark (2001:125 ) “likens grammar to the Skeleton, words toflesh, and collocations are the tendons, the nerves which connect them to oneanother”. Collocations arepresent and inevitable in any kind of text with no exception. Hence,translators and translation students need to attend seriously to them inArabic, to grant the Arabic version the same beauty of the English text.Sarikas (2006:36) , asserts ” Collocations are important combinations ofwords that endow the language with natural sounding speech and writing ”.
So, ignoring the concern with the translation of English collocation in Arabic? which has been the case until very recently- results in a poor, dispiritedArabic text. A large number of collocations exist inEnglish. A recent study by Shin, (2007 :79) found 4,698 collocations byapplying three criteria ? 1) the pivot word must be a content word, 2) thecollocation should occur frequently, and 3) the collocation should begrammatically well-formed. Numerous English collocations usually cause heavylearning burden for foreign language learners. The present study aimed toreduce the number of collocations Arabic learners need to focus on by using another criterion ? predictability inL1. An English collocation is predictable if there is an acceptable word-for-wordtranslation into Arabic.
Even though the criterion of predictability in L1 wasrestricted to Arabic in the presentstudy, contrastive analysis could give insights into ways of reducing thenumber of collocations to focus on in English as a foreign language. In recent decades, there has been alot of interest in vocabulary teachingand learning and much of research has focused on individual words. For example,drawing on their first language Arabic students are likely to say lying,artificial teeth for false teeth, and thick tea for strong tea. Usingnative-like collocations makes learners’ speaking and writing seem native-like.Thus, learning collocations is one wayto ensure native-like selection. In addition to this,using collocations can develop learners’language fluency. Pawley and Syder (1983) suggest that there are hundredsof thousands of ‘lexicalized sentencestems’ that adult native speakers haveat their disposal, and suggest that the second language learner might need asimilar number for native-like fluency.
Bahns (1993: 56) alsoargues that one of the critical problemsin teaching lexical collocations is the huge number of collocations. Barnwell,(1980:56) advices language learners ”tobe aware of the natural collocations of words in the language you arelearning” . One way to reduce thenumber of collocation to focus on may be checking their predictability in L1.Bahns (1993) criterion of predictability in L1 is useful because this method ishighly replicable even though using the dictionary definition cannot cover allsorts of differences between L1 and L2.
Sinclair (1991:109) states ”Collocation patterns are restricted to pairs of words”. Examples,sputtering economy: Classifications of Collocations:Robins (1964:79) mentions two kinds ofcollocations ; ”the first class refers to situational meaning of wordsconcerned as in ‘white coffee’ , ‘black coffee’ , ‘white race ‘ and ‘whitewine’ , the colours mentioned are notused with reference to their referents . Whereas the other type refers to the referentialmeaning of words as in ‘dark night’ where one meaning of ‘night’ is itscolloctability with ‘dark’ ”.Collocations according to Benson ,M.(1986) are broadly divided into twomain categories: Grammatical and lexical.
1-Grammatical Collocations: Arecombinations of prepositions and verbs, adjectives, or nouns. Examples are:pick up, look for, look after, keen on, fond of, tolerant with, and show of. Benson , M.(1986)defines them as ”Adominant word (verb, noun, adjective )followed by a grammatical word ,typically a preposition” .
These include:A:Verb +Preposition structure like:Put on, get on, think up, put off, breakout. 1-talk to ??????? : 2-rely /depend on : ??? ????? 3- speak with : ?? ?????4-buy for : ????? ????? B: Preposition + Nouns Collocations 1-on diet : ????? ?????? ????? ???? 2-incash : ???? 3-onarrival : ?????? ???C:Noun +Preposition Combination as:1-cure for : ????? 2-vaccineagainst : ?? ???? 3-restictionson : ??? ???? Students main challenges here are thetranslations and placement of prepositions and using the suitable prepositionfor each noun , because collocations –related prepositions are different fromlanguage to the other especially English and Arabic . D:Adjective +Preposition Combinationas:-1-made in :????? 2-poorin : ?? ???? 3-good at : ?? ??? E:Verb +Participle Combination (phrasalverbs) as:-1-Do up:????(?????)/???? ?? ????(???? ?? ?????) 2-Givein:???? (????)/?????? 3-Make out:????/???? 2-Lexical Collocations: Herecombinations between content words only (adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs).
Hence, they contain no subordinate element ; they comprise two equal lexicalelements. Further, lexical collocations are sub–divided into three parts:-A: Restricted Collocations: Theycollocate with certain and specific words . In this regard Aisenstadt(19979:71) defines them as ”Combinations of two or more words used in oneof their regular , non –idiomatic meanings”. These kinds of collocationsare not flexible as Evelyn et al.
(1986:253) exemplifies (to commit a murderas an example where the verb collocates with a few nouns such as murder, crime,and embezzlement”. They have limited number of words to collocate with.