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Empirical Methods in Language Studies


Edited By Krzysztof Kosecki and Janusz Badio

«Empirical Methods in Language Studies» presents 22 papers employing a broad range of empirical methods in the analysis of various aspects of language and communication. The individual texts offer contributions to the description of conceptual strategies, syntax, semantics, non-verbal communication, language learning, discourse, and literature.
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Events and sentences in story construal of English-native and Polish–foreign language users: experimental methodology and outcomes


Abstract: The article presents an experimental study and its three constituent analyses of narrative events and their construal-coding in sentence format of a story. The theoretical position that provides the starting point for the research questions posed in this work is traced down to Chafe (1994), who concluded that, especially in writing, the sentence can be understood as a centre of interest with scope often much larger than a single focus of consciousness. The author investigates how Polish-native and English-foreign language users construe and code events presented in a children’s cartoon story. The article presents the materials, questions, descriptive statistics, hypotheses, and inferential tests together with some follow-up qualitative observations of the written interpretations of the story. In general, the findings support the more general hypothesis (cf. Badio 2014) that the subordinate goal of construal and coding operations is to properly adjust the salience of entities (e.g., objects, characters, locations, reified processes) and relations (e.g., features of objects, processes). It is, however, the methods used in this study that are highlighted, in agreement with the general theme of the present volume, which is empirical methodology in studying language.

Keywords: story, event, construal, coding, ANOVA, Chi-square, t-test, sentence.

1. Introduction

This work describes a part of a larger project (Badio 2014) on construal and coding of narrative events. Its foremost hypothesis stated that achieving cognitive prominence of selected entities is the language users’ superordinate goal. The empirical studies in this work looked at...

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