Linguistics and English Language

Bilingualism research group

Speaker: Qiao Zhou (Shanghai International Studies University)

Title: A comparative study on definitions of mental verbs in English and Chinese learner’s dictionaries: a local grammar approach

Abstract: Different from previous talks which dealt directly with bilingualism and explored its sociocultural and cognitive psychological aspects, this talk focuses on a seemingly insignificant but actually indispensable aspect of SLA—learner’s dictionaries (LDs). LDs are tailored to the needs of L2 learners in language comprehension and production, embodying the dual functions of decoding and encoding. The conciseness, accuracy and adequacy of their definitions exert a powerful role in improving L2 learning effectiveness. English LDs, especially “the Big Five” (Oxford, Cambridge, Longman, Macmillan and Collins) have always been the models of LDs of other languages. The lexicographers tended to integrate the most prominent features of definienda into definitions and tried to highlight them to maximize the accurate understanding and use of words. Studies on definitions of LDs by now were mainly theoretical, covering such topics as the method, principle, language, style and mode of definition, while rarely involved microscopic and fine-grained description of the definitions of a specific word class, for which local grammar can provide a very good approach. Local grammar seeks to account for, both functionally and grammatically, texts of specific genres or registers and reveal the characteristics of language use under the constraints of different contexts, thus addressing the problems that can’t be explained by general grammar. When introduced into the field of corpus linguistics, it presents as a distinctive conceptual framework and method (Hunston, 2019; Hunston & Su, 2017; Wei, 2015). Taking mental verbs as an example and adopting corpus-driven approach, my PhD research compares the local grammars of definitions in English and Chinese LDs in order to promote English vocabulary learning and enlighten the compilation of Chinese LDs at the same time. This talk will introduce the pilot study of English definitions in detail.


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Nov 22 2021 -

Bilingualism research group

2021-11-22: A comparative study on definitions of mental verbs in English and Chinese learner’s dictionaries: a local grammar approach

Online via link invitation