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New Trends and Methodologies in Applied English Language Research II

Studies in Language Variation, Meaning and Learning


Edited By David Tizón Couto, Beatriz Tizon-Couto, Iria Pastor-Gomez and Maurizio Gotti

This volume has its origin in a selection of the papers presented at the Second ELC International Postgraduate Conference on English Linguistics (ELC2), held at the University of Vigo in October 2009 and designed and organised by postgraduate students belonging to the English Departments of the Universities of Vigo and Santiago de Compostela. The purpose of the conference was to allow young professional researchers to share and survey their current views on linguistic research. Four of the ten chapters included address the diachronic change undergone by particular lexical items, namely the morphosemantic change illustrated by the development of the morpheme punk, the historical evolution of including and included, the origin and semantics of the expletive form adsheartlikins, and the structure and distribution of nominalisations referring to actions or processes. Variation is also approached from a diatopic perspective in the study of expressions of obligation and necessity ( must and have to) in New Englishes, the distribution and functions of the discourse marker eh in Channel Island English, and regional variability of vowel phonology in Scottish Standard English. Lastly, three studies address semantics and culture in the field of L2 learning. These contributions focus on the assessment of Lexical Frequency Profile applications in the analysis of Romanian learner English, the role of cultural knowledge in the learning process of English as an International Language, and L1 typicality effects in L2 vocabulary learning.


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XIAOYAN XIA, JANNY LEUNG - Category Typicality Effects in Foreign Language Acquisition: The Role of L1-based Typicality in L2 Semantic Organisation 247


XIAOYAN XIA / JANNY LEUNG Category Typicality Effects in Foreign Language Acquisition: The Role of L1-based Typicality in L21 Semantic Organisation 1. Introduction Natural language categories exhibit graded structure such that some category members are more representative or typical of their respec- tive categories than others (see Rosch/Mervis 1975; Hampton 1981; Armstrong/Gleitman/Gleitman 1983; Barsalou 1983, 1985). For ex- ample, people generally regard a table as a more typical example of furniture than a closet. Typicality (also known as goodness-of- example, representativeness, or sometimes prototypicality) is a notion first introduced by Rips/Shoben/Smith (1973) and Rosch (1973) to designate the degree of an instance in terms of its being representative of the corresponding category and hence a means to measure the graded internal category structure (Rosch 1975). Operationally, cate- gory typicality is obtained by asking participants to make a direct rat- ing, according to an appropriate scale, of the degree to which a cate- gory instance is a good or representative member of the category (Rips et al. 1973; Rosch 1973). Typicality of category members has been observed to affect the way people process the categories. For instance, when asked to evalu- ate categorical statements (e.g. A robin is a bird or A chicken is a bird), both adults (see Smith/Shoben/Rips 1974) and children (see Rosch 1973) are faster and more accurate in evaluating statements that include typical as opposed to atypical category members. In the ex- 1 L2 is an abbreviated form of second/foreign language. In this study, English as a...

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