A “Thinking for Speaking” Study on Motion Events’ Lexicalization and Conceptualization
Keywords:motion event, lexicalization, linguistic relativity, language and thought, cognitive linguistics
This paper investigates the lexicalization of Motion Events by Chinese EFL learners and the reflected language-specific conceptualization patterns from their language use. The researcher aims to explore the implied relation between language and thought through the observation of language users’ online thinking for speaking data. The current study used the classic Frog Where Are You story narration task to collect linguistic data of English motion event expressions from 30 college students from China and the United States. The results indicate that the way of thinking in the Chinese mother tongue can influence the participants’ choice of vocabulary and sentence structure in verbalizing motion events. With the improvement of language proficiency, Chinese EFL learners are more likely to produce similar target language lexicalization patterns as their counterparts of English native speakers. The research may provide evidence for thinking for speaking linguistic relativity and some implications on foreign language acquisition.
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