NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1154764
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1533-242X
Words with Multiple Meanings in Authentic L2 Texts: An Analysis of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
Ozturk, Meral
Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, v17 n2 p133-141 Sep 2017
Dictionary studies have suggested that nearly half of the English lexicon have multiple meanings. It is not yet clear, however, if second language learners reading English texts will encounter words with multiple meanings to the same degree. This study investigates the use of words with multiple meanings in an authentic English novel. Two samples of content words with at least two dictionary meanings were drawn from J.K.Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone." The two samples consisted of 150 words in total with 50 words in each of the three content word categories of nouns, verbs and adjectives. Using two major advanced English learner dictionaries, each word was coded as having been used either in a primary meaning or a secondary meaning in the book. A word was coded with a primary meaning if the meaning of the word in the book matched the first meaning cited in both dictionaries. Any other meaning was coded as secondary. The results suggested that around one third of the sampled words were used in a secondary sense and secondary meanings tended to be more common in adjectives and verbs. Furthermore, there was a greater tendency of adjectives to be used in a secondary meaning at the beginning than the rest of the book. It was suggested to be important for L2 learners to learn how to deal with multiple meanings in context.
Reading Matrix, Inc. University of South Florida Polytechnic, College of Human and Social Sciences, Division of Education, 3433 Winter Lake Road LMD 8038, Lakeland, FL 33805. Tel: 863-667-7712; Fax: 863-667-7098; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A