Chapter 2. Words and word classes. What’s in this chapter?. Please look at the list of topics on page 12. How many topics are in this chapter? Well, really just 2….the introduction introduces the 2 and then they are covered in detail. 1. Lexical word classes 2. Function word classes
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Words and word classes
This measurement is a useful way to analyze the way that vocabulary is used in a reading passage. If a passage has 100 running words and only 20 different words (words like the are repeated many times), then the type/token ratio is 20/100 = .2 x 100 = 20. If a passage has 100 running words and 50 different words (more different words than the first passage), the type-token ratio is 50/100 = . 5 x 100 = 50.
The bigger the type-token ratio the more different words in a passage….and the more challenging the passage for a reader.
In academic writing, history textbooks have higher type-token ratios than accounting textbooks; accounting re-cycles vocabulary; history keeps using new words for new events and people.
What? Could you say that again in English?
Sure. Or I can try.
Vocabulary in a passage can be measured by dividing the number of different words by the total number of words. If a reading has 423 total words and those include 233 different words (with some words repeated 2 or more times), the type-token ratio is 233/423 x 100 = 55. If the same book has another reading with 423 words and 200 different words, the type-token ratio is 47. Which passage will be easier to read? Hey! The one with more repetition (and the lower t-t ratio). This ratio is also sometimes called “lexical density”….how dense with words is a passage? How many different words will the reader have to know to understand a passage? The more repetition, the easier the reading.
Suffixes added to a word to add grammatical information
Adjective & adverb comparative & superlative
Prefixes and suffixes added to the word stem
Changes of meaning to make new words:
Changes in word class
Happy => happinessInflection vs. Derivation
“Adverbs…are linked to verbs. They typically
Describe circumstances relating to actions, processes,
and states that are denoted by verbs. So conversation
and fiction writing, which have the highest density of
Verbs, also have the highest density of adverbs.” p. 23
Read all of the examples to give an idea of the kinds
Of words they include in these categories.
Email me if you get confused or puzzled by their explanations.