Ed.D. Student Hiromi Noguchi to Present at AAAL 2011

| February 24, 2011

Conference: American Association for Applied Linguistics 2011 Conference, Chicago, March 26-29, 2011.

Presentation Title: Reexamining the Lexicalization Patterns of Motion Events of Japanese and English: Perspectives of Ease of Processing, Frequency, and Form-Meaning Variability

Abstract

This presentation re-examines form-meaning relationships in languages of two supposedly different typologies (English and Japanese), in terms of Talmy’s (1985, 2000a, 2000b) framework of lexicalization patterns of motion events, in order to investigate how salient for second language learners the form-meaning relationships may appear in the input. Extensive text analyses of English and Japanese news articles on plane accidents were conducted. The data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively using clauses (Slobin, 1994) as a unit of analysis and semantic categories by Talmy (2000a) for identification of encoded meanings. The analyses revealed that English (S-language) and Japanese (V-language) did not differ at the global level in terms of the amount of manner and path information expressed in the texts, but did differ at the local—sentential—level. In terms of semantic encoding, Japanese conflates manner and motion via compound verbs, with the two verbs marking the manner and motion (e.g. hi+ko: fly+go), while English simply conflates meanings into verbs without marking the conflation formally (e.g. fly). Similarly, English generally packs different information of path using small numbers of clauses, while Japanese prefers to conserve number of sentences packing numerous numbers of clauses. Overall, English form-meaning relationships were less salient yet requires easier cognitive process (Slobin, 2004), while Japanese encoding patters were salient, yet requires complex cognitive process.

It is suggested that the impact of varying saliency and ease of processing (Slobin, 2004) across different lexicalization patterns on the acquisition of L2 lexicalization patterns may be worth empirical investigation, in order to shed light on the relationship between form, meaning, and cognition in SLA.