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Title: A comparative investigation of collocation, colligation and semantic association in English and Chinese : a test of Chinese on the applicability of three major concepts as defined in Lexical Priming Theory
Author: Wang, L.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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It has been more than ten years since the official 2005 publication of the Lexical Priming Thoery (LPT), when various applications and expansions have been made to advance this theory in many dimensions. The majority of this kind of study has been done in English, while little research has been done in Mandarin Chinese—a genetically different language from English, with a notable exception of Hoey and Shao (2015), who addressed issue by undertaking a preliminary study of several notions as defined in LPT. In order to fill in this gap, this thesis explores the fundamental concepts noted in LPT, namely collocation, colligation and semantic association, to provide more evidence of LPT's ability to explain the linguistic features of Chinese and, based on that evidence, to determine whether LPT can be further advanced or expanded to address the characteristics of Chinese. Furthermore, we attempt to expand LPT's dimensions in the field by comparing the lexical and syntactical similarities in and differences between English and Chinese. By examining the evidence presented by the given nodes (world and ?? shi4jie4) and the clusters containing the nodes, we aim to assess the potential of applying LPT in cross-linguistic studies of English and Chinese. A holistic analysis of the nodes and phraseology units containing the nodes show that the three concepts as defined in LPT are also applicable to Chinese. With respect of collocation, we have found that collocation of Mandarin Chinese operates on both single characters and nestings. With respect of colligation, we have found that there is an interaction between the node items' inter- and intra-colligation. The colligation is primed in an interaction with collocation and semantic association. The parameters interchange with and are dependent on each other. The interaction between collocation, colligation and semantic association operates on ?? shi4jie4 implies that the relation between grammar and lexis of Chinese may need to be re-considered as well. First, the "borrowed" grammatical class of "word" needs to be re-defined, especially in a cross-linguistic study between English and Chinese. The English definition of word are not tied in with Chinese due to the latter's distinctive morphological features. We propose, with evidence found for ?? shi4jie4 that nesting as defined in LPT could be applied as a basic corresponding pattern and departure point for cross-linguistic study between English and Chinese. Second, we propose a new approach of describing Chinese grammar after testing the validity of LPT for Mandarin Chinese that the grammatical category a Chinese character and nesting is assigned shall be an outcome of the character or nesting's grammatical primings. The grammar of Chinese is an accumulation and interweaving of the primings of a character or a nesting's collocation, colligation and semantic association. Components of nestings are primed to combine in certain way (order), to occur at certain position within a nominal group, and to serve a certain function in a sentence. By comparing the differences and similarities exhibited by cross-linguistic equivalence (world and ?? shi4jie4), we discovered that there is no absolute "similarity" or "differences" regarding the lexical and syntactical priming features between the two languages. The divergence lies in the congruence. We could not restrict the cross-linguistic study to one unit, rather, we ought to analyse the features from the perspective of co-textual interaction. A more abstract unit, for example, the semantic association needs to be considered.
Supervisor: Ruan, Zhoulin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral