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新颖词语义韵的发生机制:“双枣树”效应的证据

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How semantic prosody is acquired in novel word learning: Evidence from the “Double-Jujube Tree” Effect

摘要: 以中文母语者为被试开展词汇学习实验,既操控新颖词出现的语境情感(积极、消极、中性),又操控语境的变异性(重复、变化),检验语境情感是否可通过阅读接触,从语境迁移到新颖词以及这种迁移是否影响新颖词习得的效果,从而探索新颖词语义韵的发生机制。196名被试参加了实验,他们在不同的语境情感和语境的变异性条件下一共阅读了45个篇章,然后对9个新颖词进行情感效价评分并参加了三种不同的词汇知识测试。结果显示,只有在重复阅读相同材料的条件下,语境的情感才顺利地迁移到新颖词,表现出明显的双枣树效应,而与此相反的是,只有在变化语境下,语境情感的迁移才对新颖词词形及词义的学习具有显著的预测作用,在越积极的情感语境里,词形和词义的习得效果也越好。双枣树效应有效地解释了新颖词语义韵的发生机制,也为新词学习提供了重要启示。

Abstract: Generally, a words meaning consists of at least two components. The first is denotative meaning, representing the definitional meaning found in dictionaries and serving as the words fundamental meaning. The second component involves semantics that a word absorbs from its linguistic context, not constrained by definitions; this is known as semantic prosody, described as a consistent aura of meaning with which a form is imbued by its collocates (Louw, 1993, p. 157). While theories and empirical studies have shed light on mechanisms supporting the acquisition of the first word meaning component, the acquisition of the connotative meaning engendered by semantic prosody has been overlooked. It remains unclear whether readers can unconsciously acquire the semantic prosody (or emotional connotations) of a novel word after encountering it consistently in a context with a strong emotional polarity.Against this backdrop, we conducted a word learning experiment, manipulating context emotionality (negative vs. neutral vs. positive) and context variability (same-repeated vs. varied contexts) as crucial contextual variables. This aimed to address two understudied questions in vocabulary acquisition: (1) Does transfer of affect to a word from its linguistic context take place through reading exposures, facilitating the acquisition of semantic prosody for the word? If so, is such transfer influenced by context variability? (2) Does the acquired semantic prosody for words affect the acquisition of word forms and meanings, and is this acquisition modulated by context variability? This experiment involved two sessions: a reading-and-learning phase and a testing phase. During the reading-and-learning session, participants read emotionally charged passages, simultaneously learning embedded target words. The testing session included an immediate posttest, incorporating four vocabulary testsvalence rating, orthographic choice, definition matching, and definition generation. A total of 196 Chinese speakers participated in the experiment.Mixed-effects models were utilized to analyze data from the valence rating task and the other three vocabulary knowledge tests. The findings revealed that, within the same-repeated context, manipulating context emotionality (positive vs. neutral vs. negative) significantly influenced valence ratings, showing significantly higher ratings in the positive condition compared to neutral and negative conditions. Conversely, in the varied context, no significant differences in valence ratings were observed. This result supports the hypothesis of the Double-Jujube Tree effect, emphasizing the effect of repetitive texts compared to multiple texts. However, in the varied context, valence ratings played a role in influencing participants performances in the vocabulary tests, leading to better outcomes as valence ratings increased. In the same-repeated context, valence ratings had minimal effect on accuracy in the orthographic choice test and the definition prompting test.We posit that the effective mechanism for learning the semantic-prosody-engendered connotations of words involves the transfer of affect from their collocations. However, this transfer seems to be contingent on context variability, occurring only in the same-repeated context and not in the varied context. Furthermore, we illustrate that the emotionality of context influences the quality of both orthographic and semantic word learning, with words being better learned in positive contexts as opposed to negative or neutral ones.

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[V2] 2024-01-05 12:01:27 ChinaXiv:202401.00043V2 下载全文
[V1] 2023-12-27 12:13:44 ChinaXiv:202401.00043v1 查看此版本 下载全文
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