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Title: Corpus onomasiology : a study in World Englishes
Author: Mehl, S. W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 7571
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This interdisciplinary work bridges corpus linguistics, lexical semantics, and World Englishes. Three methodological arguments are forwarded. First, only via a careful attention to the nature and type of corpus frequency measurements can we derive meaningful information from corpora. This is particularly relevant when comparing corpus frequencies to quantitative data derived via other means, such as lab-based cognitive salience tests. Second, an onomasiological approach is an extremely effective method in corpus linguistics, particularly in studies of lexical semantics. Third, semantic research based on corpora is essential to the study of language in use, including the study of World Englishes. Building on these methodological arguments, this work analyses lexical semantic variation in three highly polysemic verbs - make, take, and give - in the International Corpus of English, representing Singapore, Hong Kong, and Great Britain. This microlinguistic analysis demonstrates the value of the three methodological arguments. The study uncovers previously undiscussed onomasiological regional variation in written and spoken linguistic norms, and concludes that the three verbs exhibit degrees of delexicality which are consistent across regions. These findings challenge some established theoretical frameworks for World Englishes, and the impact for World Englishes as a field is discussed. The study establishes a link between: onomasiological corpus frequencies of each of the words' senses in speech; and reported cognitive salience measurements for those senses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available