A Frequency Dictionary of Contemporary American English
Word Sketches, Collocates and Thematic Lists
A Frequency Dictionary of Contemporary American English is an invaluable tool for all learners of American English, providing a list of the 5,000 most frequently used words in the language.
The dictionary is based on data from a 385 million word corpus – evenly balanced between spoken English (unscripted conversation from radio and TV shows); fiction (books, short stories, movie scripts); more than 100 popular magazines; ten newspapers; and 100 academic journals – for a total of nearly 150,000 texts.
All entries in the rank frequency list also feature the top 20-30 collocates (nearby words) for that word, which provide valuable insight into the meaning and usage. Alphabetical and part-of speech indexes are provided for ease of use. The dictionary also contains 31 thematically organised and frequency-ranked lists of words on a variety of topics, such as family, sports, and food. New words in the language, differences between American and British English, and grammar topics like the most frequent phrasal verbs are also covered.
A Frequency Dictionary of Contemporary American English is an engaging and efficient resource enabling students of all levels to get the most out of their study of vocabulary. It is also a rich resource for language teaching , research, curriculum design, and materials development.
A CD version is available to purchase separately. Designed for use by corpus and computational linguists it provides the full text in a format that researchers can process and turn into suitable lists for their own research work.
Mark Davies is Professor and Dee Gardner is Associate Professor, both at the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah.
This dictionary by Davies and Gardner (both, Brigham Young Univ.) is based on the 400-million-word Corpus of Contemporary American English, which incorporates spoken language, fiction, magazines, newspapers, and academic discourse. The 5,000 most frequently used words (from "the" to "trim") are listed in order of occurrence, with information on part of speech, raw frequency, and dispersion. Because "you can tell a lot about a word by the other words that it hangs out with," a generous list of collocations follows each entry. Thematic vocabulary lists (on topics such as animals, the body, clothing, colors, and emotions) and comparisons (such as American versus British English) are an attractive feature. - Choice Review November 2010
Summing Up: Recommended. Libraries with collections in linguistics or ESL; upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers
"It deserves attention and acclamation for its distinctive and illuminating offering."
--Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America 31 (2010)