SELL

 

a) Keyness

 

The lemma ‘sell’ was the thirty-fourth most significant key word in the BEC corpus.

 

N

Word

bec freq.

bec.lst %

bnc freq.

bnc.lst %

Keyness

P

34

SELL

789

0.08

419

0.02

481.9

0.000000

 

b) Semantic Prosody

 

Left: No real groups were discerned here but one can be included, even though very small.

 

semantic prosody

frequency/ 312& %

example

Type of sell

8 - 2.56%

hard sell

soft sell

sure sell

 

Right: Two groups noted, the second very large indeed (over 50% of all instances in the sample). This is not surprising as the group simply refers to what is being sold. Included are noun replacements it, them & things.

 

semantic prosody

frequency/ 312 & %

example

size, relativity, number

28 - 8.97%

sell a lot

sell bigger and bigger

sell 70,000 cars

product/service

158 - 50.64%

sell books

sell assets

sell carpets

 

 

c) Three-word clusters

 

N

cluster

Freq.

1

to sell the

18

2

to sell it

7

3

to sell its

7

4

try and sell

7

5

trying to sell

7

6

you can sell

7

7

to sell them

6

8

to try and

6

9

want to sell

6

10

able to sell

5

11

going to sell

5

12

sell a lot

5

13

a hard sell

4

14

and sell the

4

15

and-sell orders

4

16

buy and sell

4

17

looking to sell

4

18

sell in the

4

19

sell it to

4

20

to sell a

4

21

to sell this

4

22

we can sell

4

23

you could sell

4

 

 

d) Macro-generic distribution

 

 

e) Colligation

 

COBUILD Sense 1 (to sell something you own for money)

263 instances - 84.29% of sample

Patterns: Verb-noun, verb+noun+to+noun, verb+for+noun

In order to sell as much as possible

you know how many you think you can sell

 

 

COBUILD Sense 2 (available for sale, e.g. a shop sells it)

12 instances - 3.84% of sample

Patterns: Verb-noun

they sell everything from brand cola to ...

Renata McGrif started up to sell gift certificates on the Internet

 

COBUILD Sense 3 (something sells for a price)

1 instance - 0.32% of sample

Patterns: Verb-for/verb-at

All four dolls sell for about 160 bucks

 

COBUILD Sense 4 (a product that sells -bought by the public)

7 instances - 2.24% of sample

Patterns: Verb/verb-adverb

catalogues and retail stores often sell poorly

they are sure they’re going to sell

 

COBUILD Sense 5 (something that sells a product - makes people want to buy it)

12 instances - 3.84% of sample

Patterns: Verb/verb-noun

market the ads that sell all these things

 

COBUILD Sense 6 (sell someone an idea/proposal)

7 instances - 2.24% of sample

Patterns: Verb-noun-noun, verb-noun-to/on-noun

Summers - his deputy - can sell this to the - to the press

 

Other COBUILD examples:

sell-off: 10 instances - 3.2% of sample

 

Other patterns:

 

i) modal/auxiliary + sell: modal/auxiliary + sell + noun: (this group expresses the likelihood/necessity/ability to sell)

54 instances - 17.3% of sample

do you think you could sell, we must sell, maybe they would sell, his company alone would expect to sell 2-3,000 copies

 

The following two groups were notable in the collocations of the type of verbs with sell. In the verb + to group, the collocating verbs tended to be personal verbs of intent or opinion: expect, intend, want, agree. In the verb + and group, the collocating verbs were much more dynamic: buy, market, go out, go in. It should be noted that the verb try was found in both groups: try and sell (6 instances), try to sell (1 instance).

 

ii) verb + to + sell/ verb -ing + sell: (this group is mostly constituted of personal verbs)

44 instances - 14.1% of sample

want to sell, expect to sell, intended to sell

 

iii) verb + and + sell/ verb + noun + and +sell: (this group consists of purely dynamic

verbs)

30 instances - 9.61% of sample

 

 

This included four examples where the phrase buy-and-sell was formed into a compound adjective:

 

 

All the examples of this phrase come from an article about business in Japan:

 

 

f) Associates

 

N

WORD

NO. OF FILES

AS %

1

SELL

10

100.00

2

BUSINESS

6

60.00

3

SO

5

50.00

4

WE

5

50.00

5

ERM

5

50.00

6

OK

5

50.00