Different or similar: patterns of lexical cohesion in Chinese non-narrative text and their applications in the study of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language-A corpus-based contrastive study
Li, S. (2012). Different or similar: patterns of lexical cohesion in Chinese non-narrative text and their applications in the study of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language-A corpus-based contrastive study (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6778
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6778
This study identifies and investigates patterns of lexical, cohesive devices in Chinese argument texts by two groups of writers: native speakers and learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language (hereafter CFL). The purposes of the research are twofold: first to inform instruction in the writing of extended Chinese texts to CFL learners and secondly to provide a basis for the further investigation of the linguistic competences that relate to the writing of such Chinese texts. To achieve such purposes, the study employs two corpora: a corpus of 50 native-speaker Chinese texts written for the National College Entrance Examination (hereafter the NCEE) and a corpus of 50 CFL texts written for the HSK (the Chinese language proficiency test). The overall framework adopted for the data analysis was Contrastive Analysis Study and the texts were analyzed using corpus-based methods. The first stage of the research involved using the NCEE Corpus of native-speaker texts as the basis for a critical review of Halliday and Hasan (1976) and Hoey (2000)’s approaches to the classification of cohesive devices in English, and through this review, adapting and extending the categories of these two theoretical approaches in order to account for salient linguistic elements used to achieve cohesion in Chinese texts. Using this modified system of classification of lexical cohesive devices that was developed for Chinese texts, the NCEE Corpus was then reanalyzed and the patterns of the use of lexical devices were identified. The same analysis was then performed on the texts from the HSK Corpus. The findings of the analyses of the two corpora were then compared to identify the different patterns of use of lexical cohesive devices by native-and non-native speaker writers of Chinese. The findings derived from the comparison of the analyses of the NCEE texts and the HSK texts show that there are a number of important differences in the use of lexical devices between the two corpora. The findings seem to suggest that learners of CFL are less competent in the use of a range of lexical devices, such as simple and complex paraphrase, constituent repetition, superordinate and hyponymic repetition. The comparison also reveals that learners of CFL have relatively low capacity to use lexical devices to create adequate and effective cohesive links across texts between non-adjacent sentences, and that they have difficulty in employing various types of lexical items to form repetitions appropriate to the development of argument in this type of text. On the basis of the findings, discussion of the pedagogical implications for the teaching of Chinese writing is provided. A further outcome of the research is that it appears to indicate the need for more in-depth investigations to inform both the teachers of Chinese writing and the developers of teaching and learning materials.
University of Waikato
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