"This is the first searchable collocations dictionary I have seen." (Jennifer Lai Bromley) ----"The most thorough concordancer in the world!" (Machmud Mojtabapur) ---- " This is, to my competence, the first large collocation database for English in the world!" (Dr. Igor A. Bolshakov) ---- "Tracking down a word combination in the ARCS is a mere child´s play." (D. Siepmann)--"The examples and phrases are a major feature of this dictionary." (ELRA review) ---- "Collocations are particularly fruitful areas for exploration with concordancing." (Vance Stevens) --- "Collocations might very well be a boon for advanced English learners looking for ways of making their English more natural." (Nicolas R. Cueto) --- "The ARCS is ... one of the most comprehensive collocational dictionaries currently available." (D. Siepmann) --- "Corpus-linguistic methods and techniques can be used to identify a term, its grammatical environment and some pragmatic features." (Khurshid Ahmad) --- "I am delighted to find your website ARCS and your admired work of collocation dictionary." (Raimund Tse) --- "I find it an extremely useful tool for teachers and researchers." (Thierry Lorey) --- "The learning of collocations is of very great importance for advanced learners, since a real command of a foreign langage depends especially on the command of a great number of common word combinations." (Udo Deutscher) --- "Your work is excellent." (Pericles Metaxas)--- "A database cross-referenced in this way is relatively easy to search computationally." (A.E. Motter)

"Speakers and writers want few words, listeners and readers want many.Collocations help bridge the gap." (H.Bogatz)

The Advanced Reader´s Collocation Searcher (ARCS) © 1997 - ISBN 09709341-4-9

by Horst Bogatz

[Introduction] [Design] [How To Search] [Classroom use] [Bibliography] [Reformed German Spelling] [On Concordancing] [Research URLs] [Reviews] [Bloomers] [Read @ Laugh]
[E-mails to the author


The ARCS contains a huge amount of data.Somewhere hidden is the knowledge you need. With the new search options you spend less time searching for information and spend more time putting it to use.


When you move the cursor on HEADWORD:[ under First Line of the Search Results Window at the bottom of the screen, you can see the entries of the nodes.By clicking on the line under Context, you´ll see the whole record that contains your search word on the upper part of the screen.
  1. ENTER: charge                      You get 181 hits.

  2. ENTER: charge AND n.          You get 104 hits.

  3. ENTER: charge AND v.          You get 51 hits.

  4. ENTER: charge AND adj.        You get 22 hits.

  5. ENTER: charge AND adv.      You get 4 hits.

  6. ENTER: [company tax rules]        You get 1 hit.
    If you want to find a combination of two or more words,or a phrase, enclose the words in square brackets.

  7. ENTER: [company tax rules] OR [local tax]                                     You get 3 hits.

  8. ENTER: [company tax rules] OR [local tax] NOT [municipal tax]      You get 2 hits.

  9. ENTER: usually IN EX:[                                                            You get 8 hits.

  10. There are some more sophisticated search functions through the ACTIONS menu. Here you can choose the Boolean Operators AND, OR, and NOT. You have two boxes, one for entering the search word or phrase, another one for indicating the field. Through options you can
    a) find records where the field is empty,
    b) find records where the field contains data,
    c) execute a fuzzy search,
    d) search in a multi-line field, and
    e) search for the first occurrence of field or all occurrences.
    At the bottom of the screen, the Search Results Window lists all the records containing these words.

  11. ENTER: cataloge as a fuzzy search. You get 3 hits.

  12. ENTER (Box1): sit
    ENTER (Box 2): together You get: "we can sit together";  "it rained for days together²;

  13. ENTER (Box1):exams
    ENTER (Box2): finally
    If you click in the box of proximity in one sentence with proximity set to 5, you get 1 hit.
    Thus you can use the ARCS for concordancing as well.

  14. ENTER: particular IN SYN:[    You get 11 hits.
    Thus you can use the ARCS as a dictionary of synonyms, too.

  15. ENTER: Steuern                 You get 7 hits.
    Thus you can use the ARCS as an English - German dictionary.

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Note: You can search here only the sample pages, i.e. about 2 per cent of the ARCS.

What is a collocation dictionary?

[Deutsche Übersetzung?]

Collocation refers to the co-occurrence possibilities of linguistic units. There are scales of collocational probability and acceptability. The difference in collocational probability and acceptability between sentences derives from their referential meaning. Referential restrictions on collocation demand knowledge of the world. There are firm or frozen collocations like " gunboat diplomacy" or weak ones like " a big car". One of the learner´s major problems is a lack of collocational expertise in English.

The ARCS can offer answers to queries concerned with words that occur together and form one single semantic unit, e.g. "awareness for the environment." Such groups of words are called collocates, i.e. words that are spontaneously associated with one another in the minds of native speakers.The learner will need some degree of prior semantic knowledge about the parts of the collocation. Also available are synonyms of such collocations and words or parts of speech that co-occur with a certain word. For example, the adjective particular collocates with about 500 nouns, on the basis of a text corpus of over 3 million words. The ARCS covers English/ English as well as German/ English because it provides all probable, acceptable as well as weak and firm collocations. The German equivalents of the English headwords form semantic fields.

"Despite the absence of glosses, learners can nonetheless select collocations through a culling process whereby familiar words are contemplated as potential candidates and unknown words ignored." (Nicolas R. Cueto)

The design of the ARCS connects more than 1.1 million words with the help of about 40,000 nodes or headwords. "Nodes must be highly clustered - that is, if two nodes are both linked to a third, there must be a high probability that the two are also directly linked. --- Searching our memories for a particular word really entails wandering mentally along links in the network." (A.E. Motter, Y.-C. Lai, P. Dasgupta, From: Nature, Science Update July 24, 2002) Thus The Advanced Reader's Collocation Searcher imitates the mental lexicon. It is really unique. Depending on whether the search starts from a noun, verb, adjective, or adverb, the user looks up a headword (node) in either the Noun, Verb, Adjective, Adverb, Synonym, or German section. A global search can start from English and/ or German words. Also, sample pages have been prepared. They may serve as examples of the 3,000 pages of the ARCS..

Order Information for Research or Commerce

The ARCS has been sponsored by ELDA, i.e. the European Language Distribution Agency, which is funded by the European Commission. Copies of the ARCS for research or commerce on CD can be ordered at ELDA.(Note:In the catalogue click on Multilingual Lexicons, then scroll down to M0013)

There is a NEW UPDATED AND EXPANDED VERSION with REFORMED GERMAN SPELLING for MS WORD. Versions for WordPerfect, Wordstar, Rich Text Format, Text only, and Text only Formatted are also available.

Special terms and conditions?
Single users may want to E-MAIL THE AUTHOR. This is an offer you can´t afford to miss.

Comparison of the ARCS with COBUILD, BBI, DOSC

nodes 40,350 10,000 14,000 3,200
collocates per node up to 500 up to 20 up to 20 up to 20
examples per node up to 50 up to ? up to 20 up to 20
collocations about 1,000,000 about 140,000 70,000 55,000
German equivalents per node up to 20 none none none
frequencies none yes none none
synonyms per node up to 50 none none none

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