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Acquiring communicative competence

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Acquiring communicative competence

Postby hmederos22 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:46 am

Hello, I am an undergraduate of Classics and would like to know whether there exists any kind of dictionary, besides Liddell and Scott, which does not only tell the translation, but also says the sense that a certain word had in the past, so that I can use words more appropriately, or not. And is there any kind of dictionary of colocations?

As you may notice, I am eager to both compose and speak Ancient Greek, like Plato or Xenophon, but first I need to practice with good books.

Thanks!
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Re: Acquiring communicative competence

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:17 am

Hi hmederos22,
Depending on the word, the information in LSJ supplies a real mixture of information about collocations. Words that only occur once or a few times in antiquity may only get gloseed without any collocation information, while frequent words will get a range of collocations. If you are working at Greek collocations based on the English glosses, it is beneficial to ask questions like, "Which word for chariot collocates with which word for ride in"?

Synonymy is further complicated by the existence of literary dialects, in that a collocation that is valid in one genre, may or may not be valid in another. The nature of collocation distinctions between the genres changed over time too. In classical times the demarcation between usages in different literary genres may have been observed, but a post-classical Attic authour like Lucian has pure Greek, while often using words in contemporary senses. Collocation is a rather extensive topic. Large corpus analyses of collocational patterns are likely to prove problematic to analyse.

There are different types collocations too. You will need to develop your models of what collocation itself is as you amass data about collocations. Adding refinement to the collocational model is an ongoing process. For example, adding considerations of polysemy changes an understanding of collocation such as, "What words go together" to the more subtle, but more difficult to find out, "what senses of what words go together".

Your choice of the authours Plato and Xenophon - one for conversation and the other for description - is a sensible one. Going beyond the Anabasis, with its description of action, and into his other works, with their descriptions of processes will probably be helpful. Beyond those two, forensic oratory make be useful as they were speeches directed at others.
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Re: Acquiring communicative competence

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:18 am

As regards acquiring competency, a little could be said.

As is the case in most cases with a language taught or graded by non-competent or non-native speakers, people will judge your productive use of the language by whether you adhere to correctness of form in minor details, rather than by whether you are getting a "real" meaning across. That form of assessment is based in pedagogical methods of perhaps the nineteen-fifties and earlier. More recent approaches to language instruction whuch value the acquisition or mastery of communicative competencies use assessment models, in which as little as twenty percent of of the weighting is given to minutiae of form, during the early stages of learning. That is to say, in some pedagogical models, a person acquiring communucative competence (as you mention), first learns how to put the language together accurately, then learns how to express themself, while in others the learner tries to express their thoughts and feelings with progressively better accuracy and coherence. Either method has evidence suggesting that they can result in long-term success, judging somebody following one path by a standard applicable to somebody in the other is like wondering why a sports car can't pull a plough like a tractor can, or vice versa. The notion of correction is another one which accommodates a range of opinions. There are those, who maintain the position that no correction should be given, and that things will work themselves out, while others believe that even the smallest error requires intervention - correction and explanation, and a range of opinions in between. Long-term success has, once again, been demonstrated from either approach.

If you are working within a very small timeframe, less than two years, say, for the acquisition of communicative competency, it may take quite some effort. Given the complexity of the grammar and the cultural gap, we might suppose that the US foreign service might give them the highest classification of difficulty, and suggest that they might need eighty-eight weeks of full-time instruction and practice to master.

While it is commonly thought that most of our learning in life occurs during the years full-time study, there is actually so much more to be learnt after graduation. The model of life-long learningsuggests that what you are learning now as an undergraduate will eventually come to be only about ten percent of what you eventually know about the languages and cultures you are studying. While an accepted written paper, success in exams and a testamur at graduation all indicate that you have made a life achievement, I think that an appraisal of your mastery or competency five or ten years after graduation is probably more appropriate. Loss, retention or development of your knowledge and skills in those five or ten years will indicate a personal commitment to the subject beyond the "required" work and also indicate that learning has become part of your lifestyle. Three or four years or sudy is no substitute for the years of sudy that the ancients put into the languages.
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Re: Acquiring communicative competence

Postby Gergian » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:31 pm

For the dictionary.

I think you mean an Etymological Dictionary.

You have two good options:

In french:

https://archive.org/details/Dictionnair ... gique-Grec

In English:

https://books.google.com.br/books/about ... edir_esc=y
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