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Merging corpus linguistics and collaborative knowledge construction

Cheung, Mei Ling Lisa (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This study relates corpus-driven discourse analysis to the concept of collaborative knowledge construction. It demonstrates that the traditional synchronic perspective of meaning in corpus linguistics needs to be complemented by a diachronic dimension. The fundamental assumption underlying this work is that knowledge is understood not within the traditional epistemological framework but from a radical social epistemological perspective, and that incremental knowledge about an object of the discourse corresponds to continual change of meaning of the lexical item that stands for it. This stance is based on the assumption of the discourse as a self-referential system that uses paraphrase as a key device to construct new knowledge. Knowledge is thus seen as the result of collaboration between the members of a discourse community. The thesis presents, in great detail, case studies of asynchronous computer-mediated communication that allow a comprehensive categorisation of a wide range of paraphrase types. It also investigates overt and covert signs of intertextuality linking a new paraphrase to previous contributions. The study then discusses ways in which these new insights concerning the process of collaborative knowledge construction can have an impact on teaching methodologies.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Barnbrook, Geoff and Teubert, Wolfgang
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of English
Subjects:PE English
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:464
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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