# A corpus-based study of the high frequency nouns 'time' and 'thing': Investigating the role of phraseology in the construction of meaning in discourse

Li, Shuangling (2015). A corpus-based study of the high frequency nouns 'time' and 'thing': Investigating the role of phraseology in the construction of meaning in discourse. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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## Abstract

The current study investigates the phraseological behaviour of two high frequency nouns, $$time$$ and $$thing$$, and aims to explore the role of phraseology in the construction of meaning in discourse and how phraseology is represented in English teaching in China. The term “phraseology” in this study refers to both the form of lexical or lexicogrammatical co-occurrence (e.g. collocations, lexicalised phrases, patterns and frames) and their usage (e.g. syntagmatic, semantic, pragmatic and textual features). The results show that there is a close relationship between phraseology and phenomena such as polysemy, metaphor, evaluation and vagueness which are important to the construction of meaning. These phenomena are largely exhibited by phraseological items rather than single words. The current study argues that phraseology rather than individual words should be considered as the primary unit of meaning in discourse. The results suggest that phraseology can serve a disambiguating role both at the ‘lexical’ level (e.g. different senses of a ‘polysemous’ word or phrase) and at the ‘discourse’ level. For instance, different metaphorical or evaluative meanings can be identified by examining the use of phraseological items associated with these meanings. This study also shows that the representation of phraseology in English teaching in China is still problematic in terms of the selection and presentation of phraseological items, and recommends that more attention be paid to the treatment of phraseology in teaching and that corpus evidence should be used to inform the design of future pedagogic materials in China.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Supervisor(s):
Supervisor(s)EmailORCID
Walker, CraytonUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Thompson, PaulUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Licence:
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/5895

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