Lexical Priming: A New Theory of Words and Language

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Routledge, Oct 12, 2012 - Foreign Language Study - 204 pages
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Lexical Priming proposes a radical new theory of the lexicon, which amounts to a completely new theory of language based on how words are used in the real world. Here they are not confined to the definitions given to them in dictionaries but instead interact with other words in common patterns of use.

Using concrete statistical evidence from a corpus of newspaper English, but also referring to travel writing and literary text, the author argues that words are 'primed' for use through our experience with them, so that everything we know about a word is a product of our encounters with it. This knowledge explains how speakers of a language succeed in being fluent, creative and natural.


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An original, thorough, and unique approach to language. Hoey builds a case for the need to link priming (as the title suggests) with wider, less grammar-based, more lexical-based thinking about ... Read full review


List of tables and figures Important note
Collocation and lexical priming
Lexical priming and meaning
Lexical priming and grammar
Lexical primingandlexicalrelations 5 Lexical priming and polysemy
two claims
athird claim 8 Lexical primingand grammatical creativity 9 Lexical priming andotherkinds of creativity 10 Some theoretical and practical issues

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About the author (2012)

Michael Hoey is a leading figure in English Language and Applied linguistics and a highly respected researcher and author. His Patterns of Lexis of Text (OUP) won the Duke of Edinburgh English Speaking Union prize in 1991. He is currently Baines Professor of English Language at the University of Liverpool.

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