The Effect of Synonym Relationship Upon the Acquisition of Multi-Dimensional Vocabulary Knowledge

Kaihua NIE


Based on Nation’s framework of multi-dimensional vocabulary knowledge, this study designed a multi-dimensional vocabulary knowledge test and examined the effect of word pair and sentence with and without synonyms on the acquisition of the multi-dimensional vocabulary knowledge of target words with respect to orthography, meaning and form, grammatical function syntagmatic association and paradigmatic association. Experiment results indicated that the participants obtained significant more scores for the target words with known high frequency synonyms than for those without known synonyms in terms of the receptive vocabulary knowledge of syntagmatic association and orthography and the productive vocabulary knowledge of paradigmatic association. Hence it can be concluded that the known synonyms might be conducive to the acquisition of the unknown synonyms. Implications of the results were discussed.


Known synonym; Multi-dimensional Vocabulary knowledge; Sentence; Word pair

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