Alexandra Uzoaku Esimaje Benson Idahosa University “Patterns of lexical collocation in sermonic texts.”
This study investigated lexical word associations in sermons to establish their types, patterns and behaviour. It adopted a corpus-computational technique in which 200 actual sermons were built into a corpus and compared to a reference corpus of contemporary English as a measure of normality. Data were analysed partly by computer techniques. The concord tool of Wordsmith 5 (Scott 1999) was used to specify the patterns of collocation of selected keywords while the statistical tools, log-likelihood test and mutual information score were applied to measure the reliability and validity of the results. The results showed significant differences in the collocation of words in the sermons and in other contexts: in associations, patterns and behaviour. In particular, different sets of collocates were retrieved for each of the selected items, new patterns of association were discovered and the words manifested a downward collocating style. The study recommends that new evidence revealed in lexical research such as this be incorporated into linguistic descriptions.