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ERIC Number: EJ1105188
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1305-578X
A Semantic Prosody Analysis of Three Adjective Synonymous Pairs in COCA
Hu, H. C. Marcella
Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, v11 n2 p117-131 2015
Over the past two decades the concept of semantic prosody has attracted considerable research interest since Sinclair (1991) observed that "many uses of words and phrases show a tendency to occur in a certain semantic environment" (p. 112). Sinclair (2003) also noted that semantic prosody conveys its pragmatic meaning and attitudinal meaning. As the first scholar introducing the term "semantic prosody," Louw (1993) claimed that the habitual collocates of a lexical item is established through the semantic consistency of its subjects. Semantic prosody has thus been closely related to collocation learning in language acquisition research. In the context of collocation learning, near-synonyms particularly pose a difficulty for most foreign language learners due to their similar denotational meanings but un-interchangeable semantic prosody (Xiao & McEnery, 2006). The present corpus-based study was designed to compare the semantic preference and semantic prosody with three synonymous adjective pairs picked up from the academic core words in COCA (Gardner & Davies, 2013). The pairs were chosen based on the following criteria: a) their meanings were checked against Collins Thesaurus Online; b) the words with more than one meaning were removed; c) the word with more than one part of speech was defined the same as its paired word. All occurrences were examined manually at the span of 4 words to both the left and right. Discussion and implications were reported.
Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies. Hacettepe Universitesi, Egitim Fakultesi B Blok, Yabanci Diller Egitimi Bolumu, Ingiliz Dili Egitimi Anabilim Dali, Ankara 06800, Turkey. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A