This paper explored a less-studied preposition, after, and its uses in a corpus. The analysis included an inspection of dictionary senses, followed by the distributional patterns of parts-of-speech, the co-appearing verbs of after, the contextual uses of [-ly after] and [-ly after+NOUN], and finally a pre- and post-teaching investigating the effectiveness of using a corpus. The goal was to see what semantic information is embedded in after in each of these analyses and to explain the contextual uses of after that are not often realized. We used probes and corpus techniques to search for instances in the British National Corpus to retrieve expressions of after that appear in certain contexts. Based on the data, two conceptualizations of after, comprising the relations of two events, were postulated. For the uses of after and its two constructions [-ly after] and [-ly after+NOUN], we also tested their production by EFL students before and after a corpus workshop was introduced to EFL learners. The results showed that the workshop not only was effective, but also helped accelerate students’ speed of generating expressions of after. This paper could serve as a sample work for research on function words, and it also imposes pedagogical implications on the effectiveness of using a corpus for EFL learners.
Key Words: after, preposition, collocations, corpus
本研究目的為探討英語介系詞「after」及其在British National Corpus中的使用情形。除了檢視其辭典義項外，本研究亦觀察其句型分布、共現動詞以及 [-ly after]、[-ly after + NOUN] 構式的使用，並藉由語料庫工作坊的教學前、後測分析語料庫與英語教學應用之效益。本研究觀察介系詞「after」的使用及其隱含在上下文中，較少被討論的語意信息，並整理出介系詞「after」如何呈現兩起事件之間關係的概念。最後，我們亦分析英語學習者參與語料庫工作坊前後的語言產出。結果顯示語料庫工作坊不僅提升了學習效益，也有助於加快學習者應用「after」表達的速度。本論文可作為功能詞相關的研究樣本，同時，亦證實語料庫於英語教學之應用是有效的。