Compilation of Japanese Basic Verb Usage Handbook for JFL Learners: A Project Report
Keywords:basic verbs, corpus-based, cognitive grammar, audio-visual contents, bi-/multi-lingual dictionary
In this article we introduce a collaborative research project entitled 'nihongogakushuushayou kihondoushi youhouhandbook no sakusei (Compilation of Japanese Basic Verb Usage Handbook for Japanese as Foreign Language (JFL) Learners)' carried out at the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL) and report on the progress of its research product, namely, a prototype of a basic verb usage handbook (referred to as 'handbook' below). The handbook differs in many ways from the conventional printed dictionaries or electronic dictionaries available at present. First, the handbook is compiled online and will be made available on internet for free access. Secondly, the handbook is corpus-based: the contents of the entry are written taking into consideration the actual use of the headword using the BCCWJ corpus. Also, it contains illustrative examples of a particular meaning culled from the BCCWJ corpus as well as those coined by the entry-writers. Third, the framework used in the description of semantic issues (polysemy network, cognitive mechanism underlying semantic extensions and semantic relationships among various meanings, etc.) is cognitive grammar, which adopts prototype approach. Fourth, it includes audio-visual contents (such as audio files and animations/video clips etc.) for effective understanding, acquisition and retention of various meanings of a polysemous verb. Fifth, the handbook is bi-lingual (Japanese-Chinese, Japanese-Korean and Japanese-Marathi) and incorporates insights of contrastive studies and second language acquisition. The handbook is an attempt to share cutting edge research insights of various branches of linguistics with Japanese language pedagogy. It is hoped that the handbook will prove to be useful for JFL learners as well as Japanese language teachers across the globe.
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