© 1995

Using English Words


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. David Corson
    Pages 1-9
  3. David Corson
    Pages 97-124
  4. David Corson
    Pages 151-169
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 203-226

About this book


Using English Words examines the impact that the life histories of people have on their vocabulary. Its starting point is the taken-for-granted fact that the vocabulary of English falls into two very different sections. Randolph Quirk mentions this striking incompatibility between the Anglo­ Saxon and the Latinate elements in English: "the familiar homely-sounding and typically very short words" that we learn very early in life and use for most everyday purposes; and "the more learned, foreign-sounding and characteristically rather long words" (1974, p. 138). It is mainly the second type of word that native speakers start learning relatively late in their use of English, usually in the adolescent years of education, and keep on learning. It is mainly the one type of word, rather than the other, that ESL/ EFL students have more difficulty with, depending on their language background. This book shows how discursive relations, outside education, 'position' people through their vocabularies. Some are prepared for easy entry into lifetime prospects of relative privilege and educational success, while others are denied entry. In writing this book, I share an aim with other writers who observe the many discontinuities that exist between discursive practices in communities outside schools, and the discursive demands that schools make (e. g. Hamilton et a1. [19931, Heath [1983], Luke [19941, Philips [1983], Romaine [1984], Scollon & Scollon [1981]).


English native speaker philosophy psycholinguistics psychology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationCanada

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Using English Words
  • Authors P. Corson
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-7923-3710-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-7923-3711-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-011-0425-8
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VIII, 226
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Psychology, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site