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ERIC Number: ED534336
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 152
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-1624-8
Linguistic, Cognitive, and Social Constraints on Lexical Entrenchment
Chesley, Paula
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota
How do new words become established in a speech community? This dissertation documents linguistic, cognitive, and social factors that are hypothesized to affect "lexical entrenchment," the extent to which a new word becomes part of the lexicon of a speech community. First, in a longitudinal corpus study, I find that linguistic properties such as the range of a word's meaning and the donor language of a borrowing affect lexical entrenchment. Contextual factors such as frequency, dispersion, and a borrowing's cultural context also play a role in lexical entrenchment. Second, a psycholinguistic study examines the extent to which speakers remember previously unseen words. Through eye-tracking, lexical decision, and free recall tasks, I determine that, again, linguistic and contextual information plays a role in the memorability of a new word. Speakers are more likely to remember words used in particular contexts, and they are also more likely to remember certain word types than others. In a third study, I find that musical preferences, knowledge of popular culture, and social ties influence comprehension of African-American English vocabulary. Together, these studies suggest that lexical entrenchment is predictable to an extent previously undocumented. Results indicate that information relating to dynamical, non-linear systems could be profitable in further studies on lexical entrenchment. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A