Are semantic categories of collocation psychologically real in the mind of foreign language learners? exploring test elicitation data for evidence

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Abstract

Phraseological approaches to the study of collocation often take their departure in a semantic classification of word combinations. Although the transparency of word combinations is widely viewed as a continuum, it is common practice to divide the continuum into discret categories, with transparent and opaque combinations representing the two opposing poles, and semi-transparent/semi-opaque combinations representing the middle ground. The question that initially motivated this paper is whether these semantic categories are psychologically real in the minds of foreign language learners. Since this question (not surprisingly) has proven to lie beyond the reach of my empirical data, I am compelled to adopt a more modest aim, namely to try to identify test response patterns which may be indicative of the foreign language learners having approached one or more of these semantic categories in a unique way. To this more modest end, I draw on elicitation data generated by Danish EFL learners who sat the CONTRIX, a new collocation test of whole collocations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCross-linguistic and cross-cultural approaches to phraseology : ESSE 9, Aarhus, 22-26 August 2008
EditorsTatiana Fedulenkova
Number of pages157
Place of PublicationÅrhus
PublisherAarhus Universitet
Publication date2009
Pages140
ISBN (Print)5-7536-0367-X
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventESSE 9: Cross-linguistic and cross-cultural approaches to phraseology - Aarhus Universitet, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 22 Aug 200826 Aug 2008

Conference

ConferenceESSE 9
LocationAarhus Universitet
Country/TerritoryDenmark
CityAarhus
Period22/08/0826/08/08

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