ERIC Number: ED453669
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Features, Cobwebs, or Clines: Towards a Possible Model of Lexical Retrieval in Bilingual Readers.
Edinburgh Working Papers in Applied Linguistics, n10 p72-79 2000
This article investigates how 120 teenage bilingual Chinese/English readers comprehended a verb and a noun in a Chinese text. The data are parallel translations made by examination candidates, all in the British educational system. A brief justification of the use of the data is given. This is followed by an overview of approaches to the theory of meaning and the mental lexicon. The data consist of a range of interpretations of moni (to imitate) and zawen (literary essay). Evidence from the data and support from the literature lead to the conclusion that the comprehension of the meaning of lexical items is influenced to a great extent not only by the recovery of meaning from the text but also by personal experience. Able readers are more likely to provide a majority or near dictionary equivalent, which may be regarded as central on a continuum, while less able readers veer towards either end of the continuum. This paper is based on data from an investigation of the cognitive process of reading Chinese text. Data consist of parallel intuitive translations. It is concluded that given the overwhelmingly wide range of interpretations for these two lexical items in a group of bilingual readers, it seems likely that any theory of objective, neutral, or core meaning does not apply universally to every language user. Even a fairly explicit text may yield different interpretations and meaning for the young or inexperienced reader, who will access the lexical meaning according to his or her own experience. (Contains 10 references.) (Author/KFT)
Descriptors: Applied Linguistics, Bilingualism, Chinese, English (Second Language), Foreign Countries, High School Students, High Schools, Reading Comprehension, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Student Evaluation, Test Validity, Translation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong