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ERIC Number: EJ1078940
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1814-9448
A Quantitative Corpus-Based Approach to English Spatial Particles: Conceptual Symmetry and Its Pedagogical Implications
Chen, Alvin Cheng-Hsien
Taiwan Journal of TESOL, v11 n1 p75-104 2014
The present study aims to investigate how conceptual symmetry plays a role in the use of spatial particles in English and to further examine its pedagogical implications via a corpus-based evaluation of the course books in senior high schools in Taiwan. More specifically, we adopt a quantitative corpus-based approach to investigate whether bipolar spatial particles (e.g., up/down) on the same spatial dimension (e.g., vertical axis) exhibit a symmetrical extension to similar sets of target domains in real language use. Our data is based on the British National Corpus. We examine the correlation patterns between 13 spatial particles and their co-occurring nouns in English preposition constructions through exploratory statistical methods. The distributional patterns of the spatial particles have clearly revealed different patterning on three dimensions with respect to their degrees of conceptual symmetry. On the other hand, we further analyze the distribution of the spatial particles in three major officially-approved versions of textbooks in senior high schools, namely, Far East, Lungteng and Sanmin. This evaluation features a critical comparison with the authentic corpus-based realization of these spatial particles in the BNC. The similarities and differences between the textbook illustration and the realistic corpus instantiation may shed light on the pedagogical practices for language teachers on the frontline.
National Chengchi University Department of English. 64 Sec 2 ZhiNan Road, Wenshan District, Taipei 11605, Taiwan, R.O.C. Tel: 886-2-2938-7248; Fax: 886-2-2939-0510; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan; United Kingdom