Collocation is the arbitrary combination of words based on syntactic and semantic relations. Although collocational knowledge improves learners' expressiveness and fluency, collocation has long been neglected in learning Arabic, and Arabic dictionaries provide insufficient information about collocations.
This paper investigates three issues. The first comprises the characteristics of
collocation combining linguistic, pedagogical, lexicographical and cognitive viewpoints. I emphasize the importance of the knowledge of paradigmatic relations (synonyms) to improve that of collocation, and the necessity of contrastive study which will indicate what collocations should be learned and entered in dictionaries. The second issue is the current situation of Arabic vocabulary teaching and learning, focusing on the characteristics of vocabulary-building materials. My analyses of learners' dictionary use, their evaluations of Arabic dictionaries, and their needs for dictionaries indicate that contrary to teachers' beliefs, learners very often use bilingual dictionaries, and that they need information on usage, examples, phrasal expressions ( collocations and idioms), synonyms and antonyms, and frequency index to be included in dictionaries. Such information can reduce learners' frequent errors and can be provided effectively by dictionaries. Learners' needs for dictionaries match the improvement of their Arabic, and intermediate-level learners are least satisfied with their dictionaries. Therefore, lexicographers should pay most attention to the opinions of the learners at this level. Also, learners need collocations consisting of basic words as well as collocations consisting of high-level words. The third aim is to describe the steps necessary to make a bilingual collocational dictionary. Dictionary-making requires the accumulation of basic studies on vocabulary, especially the studies on basic Arabic vocabulary and the coverage rate of a certain amount of vocabulary of texts. Also, combining various data sources and methods of collecting data is necessary in dictionary-making, because contrary to expectation, collecting collocations from informants is inefficient, computer count is not as reliable as expected due to the orthographic characteristics of Arabic, and newspapers do not give as many varieties of collocations as expected. The implication for future study is to create comprehensive databases of collocations using software enabled for both Japanese and Arabic usage
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
MA in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language
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(2004).Towards an Arabic-Japanese collocational dictionary [Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Kondo, Tomoko. Towards an Arabic-Japanese collocational dictionary. 2004. American University in Cairo, Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
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