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ERIC Number: ED236621
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Lexical Collocation and Topic Occurrence in Well-Written Editorials: A Study in Form.
Addison, James C., Jr.
To explore the concept of lexical collocation, or relationships between words, a study was conducted based on three assumptions: (1) that a text structure for a unit of discourse was analogous to that existing at the level of the sentence, (2) that such a text form could be discovered if a large enough sample of generically similar texts was examined, and (3) that such an analogous text form could be found by studying the relationship between lexical collocation and topic/comment sequence. Editorial columns from newspapers as diverse as "The Wall Street Journal" and "The Charlotte Observer" were collected and read over a nine-month period. A team of readers was then asked to select 100 particularly well-written texts. Each selected piece was examined for the make-up and location of each major lexical set; the location of topic and comment, theme and rheme, and agent and action within each sample sentence; and the way in which these major lexical sets were distributed within topic/comment, theme/rheme, and so forth. Results seemed to support the hypothesis that when a lexical set regularly occurs within the topic portion of sentences, the lexical set will be seen as the causal agent or structure principle of that particular text. Similarily, when a lexical set regularly occurs within the comment section of sentences, the lexical set will be perceived as representing the point of that text. (Copies of two texts that were analyzed are appended.) (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Lexical Collocation; Textual Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (34th, Detroit, MI, March 17-19, 1983). Figures 1 and 2 are marginally legible; print is broken throughout and may not reproduce well.