|dc.contributor.advisor||Tappe, Heike Magdalena Elfriede.||
|dc.description||Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2011.||en
The aim of this study is to investigate the opacity of Chinese compounds in search of
conceptual motivations for traditional exocentric compounds and contemporary
neologisms in Chinese.
This research may be characterised as an empirical investigation within the
quantitative paradigm. The study contains three tasks. The design of Task 1 and Task
2 replicates the experiment concerning the classification of compound transparency
which Libben, Gibson, Yoon and Sandra (2003) used to test English compounds. Task
3 is a kind of word association task that is designed following a suggestion by
Gleason and Ratner (1998: 215). A sample of 95 Chinese native speakers for Task 1 &
Task 2 is used. A sample of 50 Chinese native speakers for Task 3 is used. None of
them has participated in either Task 1 or Task 2.
The findings are presented with regard to the two types of compounds investigated in
the study: ‘semantically free’ compounds and neologisms. In summary, ‘semantically
free’ compounds may process through their constituents in the mental lexicon.
Meanwhile, for some certain reasons ‘semantically free’ compounds may be
recognized from the mental lexicon as whole. In the research, it found that the
frequency effect is stronger than the effect of ‘semantic transparency’ in ‘semantically
free’ compounds, it could mean that lexico-semantic distance (semantic freedom) is
much smaller in Chinese exocentric compounds than anticipated by Scalise and
Guevara (2006). Neologisms may process through their constituents in the mental
lexicon. The effect of semantic transparency may be stronger than the frequency
effect in neologisms when compounds are semantically transparent and their
constituents’ meanings are similarity.
Exocentric compounds, endocentric compounds, ‘semantically free’ compounds,
neologisms, opaqueness, semantic transparency, frequency effect, word-superiority
|dc.subject||Grammar, Comparative and general--Syntax.||en
|dc.title||The opaqueness of chinese compounds : in search of conceptual motivations underlying traditional exocentric compounds and contemporary neologisms in Chinese.||en