Particles in phrasal verbs — a cognitive linguistic approach to meaning construction in the EFL context

Lin, Hui-Ching (2018) Particles in phrasal verbs — a cognitive linguistic approach to meaning construction in the EFL context. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the way in which Mandarin Chinese-speaking English learners construct meanings on three opposite sets of particles, consisting of ‘in’-‘out’, ‘on’-‘off’, and ‘up’-‘down’ within thirty ‘selected’ phrasal verbs via three cognitive linguistic approaches, i.e. image schemas, categorisation, and frame semantics in order to shed light on the context of Cognitive Linguistics and EFL.
Forty-eight participants were recruited from universities in the UK and Taiwan for this study and all of them share the same L1, i.e. Mandarin Chinese. The present study utilized a qualitative-based methodology, comprising a questionnaire, a pre-test, a set of worksheets as teaching and learning materials used in a series of training sessions with the three cognitive linguistic approaches, a post-test, and an interview. A questionnaire was used to explore EFL learners’ leaning difficulty and learning strategies when it comes to the acquisition of phrasal verbs. A comparison of the results emerging from the pre-test and post-test and an analysis of the set of worksheets were employed to measure and evaluate the effects of cognitive linguistic approaches on three training groups (the Image schemas Training Group, the Categorisation Training Group, and the Frame Semantics Training Group) and also to identify the similar and unique meaning construction on particles in phrasal verbs between English and Mandarin Chinese. In addition, an interview with the participants from the three training groups was conducted to investigate the strengths and weaknesses of the use of cognitive linguistic approaches in the acquisition of particles in phrasal verbs.
Results demonstrated that none of the cognitive linguistic approaches was better than the others adopted in this study. The thesis discusses some aspects of the findings: (1) the similar and unique patterns of meaning construction on particles in phrasal verbs between native English users and Mandarin Chinese-speaking EFL learners, (2) the benefits of adopting cognitive linguistic approaches; (3) the types of difficulty that have remained after receiving the training sessions.
This study makes several contributions to the practical application of cognitive linguistics and EFL pedagogical design. Despite some limitations, the study suggests that raising awareness of similar and unique meaning construction on particles in phrasal verbs between two languages via cognitive linguistic approaches can play a key role in assisting L2 learners to understand phrasal verbs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: images schemas, categorisation, frame semantics, multi-word verbs, metaphor
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
Q900 Others in Linguistics, Classics and related subjects
T900 Others in Eastern, Asiatic, African, American and Australasian Languages, Literature and related subjects
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 15:21
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2020 15:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/42018

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