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Strategic construal of English particle-verb (PV) constructions in secondary school Croatian students


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Petanjak Dedić, Ana. (2017). Strategic construal of English particle-verb (PV) constructions in secondary school Croatian students. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Geld, Renata].

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The aim of this thesis was to explore strategic construal of English particle-verb (PV) constructions in Croatian secondary school students. Previous research on the topic was conducted on Croatian and Mexican college students (see Geld, 2009; Geld, 2011, Geld & Maldonado 2011) and the results have shown that there are two groups of factors that influence strategic construal: (1) language-internal factors (verb-framed vs. satellite-framed languages, semantically „light“ vs. semantically „heavy“ lexical parts, the degree of informativeness of the particle) and (2) language-external factors (general language proficiency, years of learning L2, etc.). The major factor under the scrutiny in the present study was age. Considering the fact that after the age of 11 children's cognitive development displays some major qualitative changes, the assumption was that children aged 12 and 14 were able to explain cognitive motivation underlying the meaning of the given PV constructions. Therefore, we were interested in the nature of their strategic, i.e. meaning, construal of particle verbs. The sample consisted of two groups of learners; participants aged 12 (N=43) and those aged 14 (N=47). The instrument consisted of 10 English particle-verb constructions with in and out. Participants were provided with the meaning of each PV and asked to try to explain why each particular combination produces the given meaning. The results have shown some interesting tendencies. Although younger learners' meaning construal, when compared to the strategic construal of older learners from previous research, demonstrates the same types of semantic determination (compositional, topological and lexical), their default strategy seems to be compositionality. In other words, younger learners apply a 'bottom-up' approach in their strategic construal of particle verbs, regardless of the nature of the verb (semantically „heavy“ vs. semantically „light“). They first analyze the meaning of the verb and the particle separately in order to accumulate the meaning of the whole structure.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: strategic construal, particle-verb (PV) constructions, compositionality, topological determination, lexical determination
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Geld, Renata
Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 08:24
Last Modified: 23 May 2017 08:24

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