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ERIC Number: ED427525
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Compound Nouns and the Acquisition of English Neologisms.
Charteris-Black, J.
A study investigated the extent to which English compound nouns are problematic for learners of English as a second language and identifies some causes of this comprehension difficulty. Subjects were 34 university students, of widely varying language backgrounds, in courses in English for academic purposes. Each was administered an instrument designed to measure comprehension of both real and invented English compound nouns. For each compound noun, a range of possible definitions, including distractors, was offered. Results suggest that the comprehension of some compound nouns is problematic because their idiomatic and syntactic opacity, in the absence of culture-specific pragmatic knowledge, constrains the identification of deleted elements. However, when the learner has sufficient exposure to the language, these difficulties are overcome readily. There is also evidence that learners use figurative strategies in dealing with idiomaticity. It is concluded that comprehension problems faced by learners of English as a second language encountering compound nouns may be very similar to those faced by native speakers. (Contains 35 references, 5 tables, and 4 figures.) (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A