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    Exploring polysemy in the Academic Vocabulary List: a lexicographic study

    Skoufaki, S. and Petrić, Bojana (2021) Exploring polysemy in the Academic Vocabulary List: a lexicographic study. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 54 (101038), ISSN 1475-1585.

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    The Academic Vocabulary List (AVL) (Gardner & Davies, 2014) is a valuable resource for EAP teachers and students as it identifies potential lexical learning/teaching targets. This study enhances the AVL’s pedagogical usefulness by identifying polysemous lemmas in it. Polysemous AVL lemmas are operationalised as those with more than one definition in two lexicographic resources, the Collins COBUILD Advanced Learners' Dictionary and WordNet. This study also examines a theoretical issue, the relationship between the number of meaning senses of AVL lemmas and their frequency in an academic-English corpus. To this end, correlations were calculated between the numbers of AVL lemmas’ meaning definitions listed in both lexicographic resources and their frequency in the COCA-Academic corpus. 34.38% of the 2,673 AVL lemmas included in both lexicographic resources, excluding homonyms, are polysemous. Most (66.05%) come from the most frequent 1,000 AVL lemmas. The number of meaning definitions of AVL lemmas and their frequency are positively correlated. This correlation is non-linear, i.e., low-frequency words tend to be monosemous but beyond a frequency threshold, word definitions increase as word frequency increases. Implications for future research and teaching are discussed.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Polysemy, Vocabulary, Zipf, Meaning sense, Word frequency, EAP
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: Multilingual and Multicultural Research, Centre for (CMMR)
    Depositing User: Bojana Petric
    Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2021 15:03
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:51

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