Phrasal Verb Combinations in Corpus-Based Studies: A Critical Review

Abdolvahed Zarifi, Jayakaran Mukundan


This study presents a critique of some of the corpus-based studies on phrasal verbs carried out in different types of corpora. Not only is it an attempt to provide the reader with some of the revealing findings these works have to offer but it also tends to critically discuss some of the methodological issues associated with them. It starts off discussing the works done on phrasal verbs in general corpora, then goes on to review the studies dealt with the combinations in learner corpora and ends up with looking into the research focused on the presentation of the phrasal verbs in ELT materials. It is hoped that the methodological issues addressed in the study would be taken into account by the interested researchers in their future research attempts.   



Corpus Linguistics, Phrasal Verbs, Corpora, Critical Review

Full Text:



Akbari, O. (2009). A corpus-based study on Malaysian ESL learners' use of phrasal verbs in narrative compositions. Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang.

Barbieri, F., & Eckhardt, S. E. B. (2007). Applying corpus-based findings to form-focused instruction: The case of reported speech. Language Teaching Research, 11(3), 319-346.

Biber, D. (1993). Representativeness in corpus design. Literary and linguistic computing, 8(4), 243.

Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., Finegan, E., & Quirk, R. (1999). Longman grammar of spoken and written English: MIT Press.

Bolinger, D. (1971). The phrasal verb in English. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Celce-Murcia, M., & Larsen-Freeman, D. (1999). The grammar book: An ESL/EFL teacher's course. Boston: H & H Publishers.

Cowie, A., & Mackin, R. (2001). Oxford dictionary of phrasal verbs. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dagut, M., & Laufer, B. (1985). Avoidance of phrasal verbs-A case for contrastive analysis. Studies in second language acquisition, 7(1), 73-79.

Darwin, C., M., & Gray, L. S. (1999). Going after the Phrasal Verb: An Alternative Approach to Classification. TESOL Quarterly, 33(1), 65-83.

Fraser, B. (1976). The verb-particle combination in English: Academic Press.

Gardner, D., & Davies, M. (2007). Pointing Out Frequent Phrasal Verbs: A Corpus-Based Analysis. TESOL Quarterly, 41, 339-359.

Hulstijn, J., & Marchena, E. (1989). Avoidance: Grammatical or Semantic Causes. Studies in second language acquisition, 11(3), 241-255.

Hunston, S. (2002). Corpora in applied linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jackendoff, R. (2002). English particle constructions,the lexicon,and the autonomy of syntax. In N. Dehe, R. Jackendoff, A. McIntyre & S. Urban (Eds.), Verb-particle explorations. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Laufer, B. (1997). The lexical plight in second language reading: words you don’t know, words you think you know and words you can't guess Second language vocabulary acquisition: A rational for pedagogy (pp. 20-52).

Laufer, B., & Eliasson, S. (1993). What causes avoidance in L2 learning: L1-L2 difference, L1-L2 similarity, or L2 complexity Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 15, 35-48.

Liao, Y., & Fukuya, Y. (2004). Avoidance of phrasal verbs: The case of Chinese learners of English. Language learning, 54(2), 193-226.

Liu, D. (2003). The Most Frequently Used Spoken American English Idioms: A Corpus Analysis and Its Implications. TESOL Quarterly, 37(4), 671-700.

Nation, P., & Waring, R. (1997). Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists Vocabulary: Description, acquisition and pedagogy (pp. 6-19).

Pye, G. (1996). Don't give up, look it up!Defining phrasal verbs for the learner of English. Paper presented at the EURALEX 96, Goteborg.

Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G., & Svartvik, J. (1985). A comprehensive grammar ofthe English language London: Longman.

Read, J. (2004). Research in teaching vocabulary. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 146-161.

Schneider, E. W. (2004). How to trace structural nativization: particle verbs in world Englishes. World Englishes, 23(2), 227-249.

Selinker, L. (1972). Interlanguage. IRAL-International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 10(1-4), 209-232.

Side, R. (1990). Phrasal verbs: sorting them out. ELT Journal, 44(2), 144-152.

Siyanova, A., & Schmitt, N. (2007). Native and nonnative use of multi-word vs. one-word verbs. IRAL-International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 45, 119-139.

Sjoholm, K. (1995). The influence of crosslinguistic, semantic, and input factors on the acquisition of English phrasal verbs: A comparison between Finnish and Swedish learners at an intermediate and advanced level. Abo: Abo Akademi University Press.

Trebits, A. (2009). The most frequent phrasal verbs in English language EU documents - A corpus-based analysis and its implications. System, 37(3), 470-481.

Von, V. (2007). Phrasal verbs in learner English: A corpus-based study of German and Italian students. Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat, Freiburg.

Yang, D. (1999). Interlanguage Errors and Cross-linguistic Influence--A Corpus-based Approach to the Chinese EFL Learners' Written Production. Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Zarifi, A. (2013). A corpus-based study of phrasal verbs in Malaysian ESL textbooks. UPM, Selangor.

Zarifi, A., & Mukundan, J. (2012). Phrasal verbs in Malaysian ESL textbooks. English Language Teaching, 5(5), 9-18.

Zoerner, E. (1996). English verb-particle constructions: Two types, two structures. Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics, 21, 123-141.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.