Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Research Background
Zhu Xi, a great philosopher in Chinese Song Dynasty, once made a famousannotation of The Analects (《论语》): “言治骨角者，既切之而复磋之；治玉石者，既琢之而复磨之；治之已精，而益求其精也”, which means always endeavoring todo better. When it comes to language use, he once remarked that “People have manybeliefs about language. The important one is that ‘good’ usage involves clarity andprecision. Hence, it is believed that fuzziness, ambiguity, imprecision, and generalwooliness are to be avoided” (Channell, J, 2000:1). It reveals that fuzziness inlanguage is the most common case. In fact, fuzziness is an inherent feature of humanlanguage.In ancient times, many linguists and philosophers had been awared of theexistence of fuzziness in language use. Greek philosopher Eubuildes proposed theterm fuzziness of the language more than 2000 years ago. Many scholars have longrealized that language fuzziness is ubiquitous and inevitable. English philosopherBertrand Russell wrote in Vagueness: “Representation is vague when the relation ofthe representation system is not one-one, but one-many. Vagueness, clearly, is amatter of degree, depending upon the extent of the possible differences betweendifferent systems represented by the same representation”.Our Chinese linguists and scholars also present their opinions about fuzziness.Professor Miao Dongsheng (苗东升)’s opinion is that “fuzziness means uncertaintywith regards to category of object and gradual change of category membership ofobjects” (Miao Dongsheng, 1987). The fuzziness of language is cause by manyreasons, and three of them are generally accepted: The existence of fuzziness ofobjective reality itself; the fuzziness of human thinking and understanding; and theeffects of social and historical factors are also involved.
1.2 Significance and Objectives of the Research
As one of the most important and complex literary genres, poetry has its ownunique features. The semantic fuzziness exists generally and essentially in differentlanguage all over the world and it must have a certain influence on the poeticlanguage. Poets with different history backgrounds and different personal stylesexpress their feelings through their poems. In this case, applying the fuzziness theoryto the study of poetic language is not only a theoretical supplement but also a practicalcomplement. With the fuzziness theory, it will offer a wider research field for poeticlanguage; and it can provide a series of valuable materials for the research of fuzzylinguistics. In consequence, it will contribute to a deeper creation, appreciation andcommunication of poetry. Moreover, it is possible to further the contrastive study ofChinese and English poetry, and also has the chance to promote the cognitive poetics,a newly emerging interdisciplinary study. On the other hand, it will also contribute tothe further study of vague language. To combine the fuzzy theory and the study ofpoetic language is not only a supplement of the theory, but also an improvement ofthe research value.
Chapter Two Literature Review
2.1 Studies on Language Fuzziness
In fact，some scholars has noticed the existence of fuzziness in human languageearly in ancient time, and many of them mentioned the concept of “fuzziness” andmany scholars had stated their opinions about fuzziness. However, it was Americanscientist L.A.Zadeh who proposed Fuzzy set theory in 1965, which marked that fuzzytheory had gone into the scientific stage. And after that, the study of languagefuzziness developed into some independent disciplines gradually. From then on,scholars focus on not only the precise phenomenon, but also the fuzzy or vaguephenomenon in scientific researches, which breeds the Fuzzy Linguistics, a newbranch in linguistics. In fact，some scholars has noticed the existence of fuzziness in human languageearly in ancient time, and many of them mentioned the concept of “fuzziness” andmany scholars had stated their opinions about fuzziness. However, it was Americanscientist L.A.Zadeh who proposed Fuzzy set theory in 1965, which marked that fuzzytheory had gone into the scientific stage. And after that, the study of languagefuzziness developed into some independent disciplines gradually. From then on,scholars focus on not only the precise phenomenon, but also the fuzzy or vaguephenomenon in scientific researches, which breeds the Fuzzy Linguistics, a newbranch in linguistics. Theory proposed by Zadeh in 1965 was regarded as the birth of fuzzy theory. Hence,many other scholars in different schools conduct researches from different aspects,such as language, logic, cognition, and pragmatics and so on. The section to willsurvey their studies about fuzziness from different aspects.In the aspect of fuzziness in natural language, George Lakoff,
2.2 Studies on Poetic Language
“Poetry is simply the most beautiful, the most impressive, and the most effectivemode of saying things.” said Matthew Arnold. (Rozakis, 2005:52) English andChinese poetry spread widely around the world with a long history; therefore, it is avery large scope of the study on poetry, including literature, philosophy, psychology,sociology, linguistics. On the basis of the classical theories, in linguistics, the study ofEnglish and Chinese poetry has made rapid progress and achieved fruitful results. The history of Chinese classical poetry can be traced back to three thousand yearsago, evolving from the Book of Songs (《诗经》) which is looked as the first poetrycollection in the period of the Spring and Autumn. In Chinese Han Dynasty, thereappears Yuefu poetry (乐府诗), and in the following period, the development ofChinese classical poetry can be categorized as: five characters （五言） in Wei Jin,Shi (诗) in Tang Dynasty; Ci (词) in Song Dynasty and Qu (曲) in Yuan and MingDynasty. Tang Dynasty is the most prosperous period in the development of Chineseclassical poetry, and Shi in this period grows rapidly and a great number of them werecreated and there emerges many famous and creative poets in Tang Dynasty. In termsof Ci which comes from Shi, is very different from Shi in the length of lines. Itproliferates over the period of Song Dynasty.
Chapter Three Theoretical Framework ....... 20
3.1 A Brief Introduction to Fuzziness..... 20
3.2 The Development of Fuzzy Theory ........ 21
3.2.1 The Origin of Fuzzy Theory: Fuzzy Sets Theory ...... 21
3.2.2 Several Schools of Fuzzy Theory..... 22
Chapter Four Research Methodology..... 25
4.1 Research Methods......... 25
4.2 Data Collection ........ 25
Chapter Five Contrastive Study and Analysis ......... 27
5.1 The Semantic Fuzziness in Chinese and English Poetic Discourses ....... 27
5.2 Similarities and Differences of the Semantic Fuzziness between Chinese..... 42
5.3 A Summary of Semantic Fuzziness in Chinese and English Poetic Discourse.... 48
Chapter Five Contrastive Study and Analysis
5.1 The Semantic Fuzziness in Chinese and English Poetic Discourses
Semantic fuzziness refers to the indeterminacy generated from differentunderstandings of the implication of words (黎千驹, 2007). Fuzziness is the essentialattribute of language, and fuzzy language phenomenon exists generally both inChinese and English. They have many similar applications in reflecting semanticfuzziness. In this section, the semantic fuzziness in Chinese and English poeticdiscourses will be displayed and discussed with examples in classified aspects. It is widely known that the poetic language is extensive and profound, with onecharacter having various meanings. Words are the basic parts and most importantelements in a poem, which are also the most essential factor causing semanticfuzziness in the poetry. People in their daily communication try to get as muchinformation as possible with the least effort, but in poetry, by contrast, the poets oftenunconventionally use the words structure, deliberately creating a lack of information,and induce the reader to think and fill information gaps themselves. The followingpart will analyze them in the application of words structure with examples.
The aims of this study are to see how semantic fuzziness is formed in poetry, andthe contrast of the use of semantic fuzzy language in Chinese and English poeticdiscourses. As discussed above, we have gained some findings and outcomes basedon the pervious parts.In the first place, as a natural property of language, fuzziness is fully displayed inboth Chinese and English poetry. The presenting of semantic fuzziness has somecertain features in the use of language in Chinese and English poetry. Generallyspeaking, the semantic fuzziness will be presented through word structure, rhetoricaldevices and semantic ambiguity of poetic language itself. From the property of thewords, semantic fuzziness can be found in nouns, verbs, numerals and quantifiers andso on, which indicates that the word structure is an important part of semanticfuzziness in poetry. With the intelligent use of words, poet can express their feelingsor emotions through in a fuzzy way.In addition, rhetorical device is another essential method to convey fuzzymeanings. In the previous chapter, many figures of speech are listed and applied in theexamples of Chinese and English poetry, such as simile, metaphor, hyperbole, andoxymoron. From these examples, we can feel the fuzziness in different aspects and itcan be concluded that the rhetorical devices are able to convey semantic fuzzinessbecause the basis of them is to fuzz the boundaries of things. At last, the semanticambiguity of poetic language. Many linguists and scholars emphasize the importanceof uncertainty in poetic language. The literary critic Hume believes that it is againstthe principal of criticism to make every word in poetry precise and accurate, becausethe works create in that way are totally boring and tedious. Consequently, the artisticbeauty of poetry is closely related to the fuzziness of the words, which indicates thatthe ambiguity of poetic language is the root of semantic fuzziness in poetry.
二十一世纪是知识快速发展的时代，英语作为全世界应用最广泛的语言，它具有极其重要的作用。人们逐渐地感受到英语在日常的学习、工作和生活中扮演者越来越重要的角色。目前在全世界的大范围内，使用英语的总人数已达到了三亿三千万以上，是世界上使用最广泛的语言之一。在英语学习的过程中，词汇是整个学习的基石，是语言形成的“材料”。若词汇能力不够，则必然会使今后的语言学习遇到各种各样的困难。Carale 和 Swaint 提出：“词汇是构成语言学习的要素之一。人类的主要思维活动是依靠词汇来完成的。因此，若没有词汇,则任何的交流都是不能够进行的。”作为英语学习研究领域中的一项重要内容，词汇在现阶段已得到普遍重视和极大的关注。词汇是英语学习流程中的最主要的任务和环节，没有良好的词汇学习，是根本无法实现日常的交流以及相应语言能力的学习。所以，词汇是英语教学流程中最重要的一环，要想更好地培养学生的语言表达能力和提高其教学质量，务必要从正确认识英语词汇的重要性以及进行词汇的重点学习开始。② 新课改后初中词汇难度提高课改后的初中英语教材是遵循教育部颁发的《英语课程学习标准》而进行改编的，目前国内众多地区均用此教材进行教学任务。重庆市万州区国本初中的英语也是采用这套新教材进行教学。课改后的教材使用的是更加原汁原味及符合本土化的词汇。与此同时，其编写跟中国的本土教材编写存在很大的不同，它在词汇的编写体系上存在着独特的特点。例如，音标取消，词汇量大大增加。数据表明：“旧教材要求初中年制掌握的词汇量大约为 500，而新教材，仅初一的词汇量就远远超过了原先的标准，达到了 1300 个，这已然达到了旧教材初中英语年词汇量的总和。此外，词汇的难度系数也相应的提高，这些改变对于初一的学生而言，记忆难度大幅度提高。
在对词的掌握的研究上， Faerch 等人的观点是：熟悉了解一个词的所有潜在意义、明白该词的使用场合、搭配形式、同一范围内该词与其他词的联系才算充分的掌握一个词。新西兰应用语言学家P.Natien的Teaehing&LeerningVocabulary关于词汇学习的著作出版，词汇学习研究才逐渐受到众多人的关注。其主要集中在词汇的定义、控制、记忆、学习方法及测试评估等方面的研究。19 世纪初在西方现代语言学的体系中,结构主义语言学是将语言的语音系统作为主要的研究对象,词汇系统并没有受到应有的重视。如二十世纪80年代Wekins指出的那样“语言学家极少的探讨研究词汇，对教师语言教学有实际意义的研究进行的很少。与此同时，现代语言学理论也不重视词汇的研究，而仅仅是看中语法结构、功能、概念和交际策略的研究。”前苏联语言学家在该方面的研究起到了重要的作用，他们是首次确定了词汇学习的重要性，确立其应有的地位。词汇研究经历了一个漫长的发展历程。70 年代以前，词汇研究关注的主要是其语音和语法方面，对词汇的基本认知研究比较缺乏。因此，由于词汇认知方面的理论相对滞后，英语的教学方式也显得比较单一。80 年代以来，词汇研究发生了变化，其开始依靠认知学，心理学的研究，逐渐向学习者习得词汇的研究方向进行转变。而有关于词汇习得的相关理论研究是从 20 世纪 80 年初开始的，英国语言学家 P.Meerag 曾发表了“词汇习得：语言学习过程中一个被忽略的方面”的文章，该文章一经发表，立刻引起了语言学家们的广泛重视。书中收录词汇研究文献、书目多达 1100 个，分为 12 章，系统、科学、全面地阐述了词汇的学习、评估等各种不同的问题。20 世纪 90 年代以来，词汇学在西方得到了广泛的重视，已然发展成一门交叉学科，真正的承认了词汇学的重要地位，并且持续不断的有相关著作出版。几本词汇学专著的出版，《词汇学》杂志的创刊，这些足以表明“词汇学”在现代语言中已然具有一定的地位。在《英语词汇学概论》(Precis deLexicology Anglais)这本书中，内容看似是以语言的构词法为核心，但其内容却包含了词汇学的基本内容，更是以形态语义相结合的方式详细地阐述了构词法，而以前的研究主要是剖析词的构造，以达到发现构词规律的基本目标。现在的研究是集中在语言学的角度上剖析词的演变上。
近 10 年以来，国内有关词汇习得的相应研究调查也逐渐增多。例如，顾永琦(1994)使用问卷调查的方法，调查了北京师范大学 870 名非英语专业学生的词汇学习方法策略，对其采用的记忆方法策略进行了系统的描述。而王文宇(1998)则使用了定量方法对南京大学 60 名本科生进行调查分析4，从而比较清晰全面地表明了学习词汇策略，主要是记忆的策略。这些不同的研究调查主要是关注了学习方法和结果的相关度，也就是看中的学生掌握的词汇量的大小。目前已有的这些研究成果对我国的今后的词汇学研究起到一定的启发作用。自从中国实现改革开放以来,我国的语言学研究体系也形成了崭新的局面，也出现了很多有关词汇的著作。其中，有关于研究英语词汇的著作就很多，例如：陈建生出版的《英语词汇基本研究史纲》(2001)，《英语词汇学教程参考用书》(1998),《英语词汇探析》(1999),《英语词汇学研究》( 2000 ) ,((词、意义和词汇:现代英语词汇学引论》(2000)，王寅编写的《语义理论及语言教学研究》(2001),《英语词汇高级教程》(2003)等。在这些英语词汇学的研究著作中，所涉及的范围比较多样，主要是词汇来源、构词方法、词义词性变化、词义相关关系、英语日常习语、相关英语词典、词汇国别之间差异等内容。此外，少数文章简述了词汇的学习、应用、研究方法等各种内容，这些著作所表明的内容都为今后词汇学的发展奠定了良好的基础。
3 初中生英语词汇学习现状 .......10
3.1 英语词汇学习现状 .... 10
3.2 英语词汇教学现状 .... 11
3.3 考试中词汇得分汇总数据分析 ..... 13
4.1 观察内容 ...... 14
4.2 观察对象 ...... 14
4.3 调查结果 ...... 14
4.4 观察结果 ...... 16
4.5 万州区国本初一学生英语词汇教学的现状小结 ..... 16
5 英语词汇学习的困难和原因分析 .....18
5.1 初中生词汇学习困难 ....... 18
5.2 词汇学习困难的原因分析 ...... 18
在英语的学习过程中，为了能够有一个良好的学习基础，首先就要进行词汇的学习，而词汇学习的基本要素就是语音的学习，这就要求学生能够独立的完成一个单词的发音。要想将一个单词的读音读正确，就必须具备一定的音标知识。众所周知，若仅仅依靠死记硬背的方式背诵词汇，记住的量是有限的，因此，在学习时，不能够依靠这种原始的机械性的方法，认识、了解英语的构词法对于词汇的学习有着极强的指导作用，在英语这个体系结构中，其主要的构词法有三种形式：一、派生法——在一个单词本身的基础上添加前后缀就形成新的派生词二、合成法——由两个及两个以上的单词形成的新的单词就是合成词，如：sunflower 、 moonlight 、 football 、 highland 、 daybreak 、 reading-room 、pickpocket、white-haired、good-looking、 long-distance、someday 等。三、转换法——对一个单词的词性进行转换，其对应的意思也发生相应的变化。通过研究可知，这些构词法的学习对于增加词汇量有着极其重要的作用。记忆英语词汇有着自身独特的特点，其中，词意的多变性就是主要的特点，仅仅明白一个单词的一个意思远远是不够的，在一个句子，甚至一个固定搭配中，该词语的意思可能都不一样。因此，要想清楚明白的了解词意，就必须结合上下文的联系，使用猜测词语意思的方法进行记忆。
Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Background of the Study
English, the most efficient tool and widely used language in the world, has gainedimportance and already become a fashion. Especially with the amazing development oftechnology, economy and science, national communications and trades in many areasare becoming more and more frequent, so a great number of people concentrate onEnglish study. A language is composed of three important elements--sound, grammarand vocabulary, of which vocabulary is weighed as the “building block”. In China,definition-plus-example model is popular in vocabulary teaching in most colleges anduniversities; thus seldom are the deeper and abstract meaning of the words stressed, notmention the productive use of words idiomatically.English is such a tolerant language that it borrows words from other languages,which is one of the causes of a large number of polysemes. The meanings of some bigand not-commonly-used words confuse the students. The English majors feel muchpressured to study English well, to gain more certificates related with TEM4 or 8. Theproblem is though they are English majors, few can make use of the words productivelyand flexibly in practice.The new curriculum requirement especially makes some demand in vocabularycompetence and vocabulary quantity. However, some problems in the contemporarysituation of vocabulary teaching, such as low-efficiency and time waste still exist. Sohow to make the students remember more words in a set time and use the words exactlyis an issue high on the agenda for English vocabulary teaching. Even though we cannotdeny the great importance of traditional method of vocabulary teaching, we can notneglect that new linguistic theories are of some instructive effects to renew our teachingmethod.
1.2 Framework of This Thesis
This thesis gives a tentative study of prototype theory in cognitive semantics，including lexical polysemy from the perspective of cognitive linguistics. The currentstudy will take the advantage of the prototype theory, especially basic-level categorieswithin the framework of cognitive semantics to analyze the English words, focusing onthe relationships which hold among different senses of a linguistic form. The thesis alsotargets to find out the inherent relationship between basic level words and itssuperordinate and subordinate words, derivates as well as polysemous words teachingand learning. It consists of five chapters:Chapter one introduces the background of the study, research objective andsignificance and the overall structure of the thesis.Chapter two outlines the current situation of vocabulary teaching, somebackground information about the vocabulary teaching methods and learning strategies,and how it is related with basic level words and polysemy teaching and learning. Thetheoretical base of the study is also introduced in this part which starts from Aristotle’sClassical Theory of Categorization to the development of prototype theory.
Chapter Two Literature Review
2.1 Category and Categorization
We may as well approach this topic by citing a significant quotation from WilliamLabov, which is also the start of John Taylor’s Linguistic Categorization, “If linguisticscan be said to be any one thing, it is the study of categories: that is, the study of howlanguage translates meaning into sound through the categorization of reality into unitsand sets of units.”[Labov. W. 1973. The boundaries of words and their meanings. In C.Bailey & R. Shuy, New Ways of Analyzing Variation in English. Georgetown UniversityPress, p.342 ]If linguistics is anything, Labov explained in his book, it is the study of categories.That is through the categorization of reality, how language translates meaning intosound and sets of units. To put it simply, in reality , actually there are no categorizes orunits about what we perceive. It is we, the speakers, who categorizes the world aroundus. Strictly speaking, two things, two events, two individuals are different. But we don’thave a name for everything, otherwise there would be an infinite number of names. Incommunication, we simplify the reality, put different things into the same category, thatis categories of things. Human brain has the ability to classify various objects to theessence. This is the process of concept forming in cognitive view. Each concept isconnected with a corresponding category. Such mental process is known ascategorization. Lakoff (1985) proposes “An essential aspect of cognition is the ability tocategorize: to judge that a particular thing is or is not an instance of a particularcategory.” Taylor (2001) maintains that categorization is the basic ability to all highercognitive activity.
2.2 Prototype Theory
Wittgenstein’s Family Resemblance stimulates the scholars to look at thecategorization from a new prospective. Prototype theory becomes an alternative toclassical theory gradually, especially after the empirical study of color and theresearches on folk categories in 1970s. (Wittgenstein, 1953; Berlin &Kay, 1969; Rosch,1971; Labov, 1987; Taylor, 1989 ). Rosch and her coworkers first summarized andcontributed –the theory of prototypes and basic-level categories or Prototype Theory(Rosch,1973,1975, Rosch and Mervis, 1975, Rosch et al. , 1976 ). The Aristotelian’s classical theory dominated human thinking over two thousandyears. While it does not mean the preponderance will never meet challenge. In themid-1950s, the great philosopher Wittgenstein put forward the Family Resemblance insuspecting the rationality of classical categories.Later on the focal color investigation done by Berlin and Kay (1969) stimulatesmany researchers interest in category. Especially the famed American psychologistEleanor Rosch presented the prototype effects of categorization. She does research toshapes and categories. The ten categories of furniture, fruit, weapon, vegetable, bird,vechicle, tool, clothing, sport and toy are most influential. Her study indicates that in thecategory of furniture, chairs ranking first while telephone ranking sixtieth.
Chapter Three Prototype Theory and Its Embodiment in Vocabulary..... 16
3.1 Prototypicality and Basic Level Categories ...... 16
3.1.1 Prototypicality ..... 16
3.1.2 Basic Level Categories .... 16
3.2 Salience and Basic Terms in Language ....... 19
3.2.1 Salience.... 19
3.2.2 Basic-level Terms and Vocabulary Learning ....... 20
3.3 The Non-universal Feature of Basic-level Categories......... 21
3.4 Semantic Extension in Polysemy .... 23
Chapter Four Teaching Experiments Based on the Prototype Theory........ 32
4.1 Methodology...... 32
4.2 Experimental Procedures..... 33
4.3 Data Analysis and Discussion ......... 42
Chapter Five Conclusion ....... 51
5.1 Major Findings ........ 51
5.2 Pedagogical Implications..... 52
5.3 Research Limitation....... 53
Chapter Four Teaching Experiments Based on the PrototypeTheory
As the prototype theory and its feasibility have been clearly discussed. And it isclearly illustrated that the learners acquire the general basic-level lexical items first.Furthermore, it is so true that the English words are bound with the vocabulary items.Yet the EFL students cannot be expected to learn all of them. Due to these aspects, theteachers are supposed to divert their attention to teach the basic-level terms first. Sincethe basic-level words are more often denote or belong to the prototypes and they alsooccur more frequently in communication. As is known to all, English consists of largeamount of polysemous words besides monosemantic words. Therefore the followingexperiment discusses the vocabulary teaching method including polysemous wordsteaching method from the prospective of the prototype theory . The thesis intends tosolve the following questions:1) What is the current vocabulary learning situation of the Chinese English majors?2) Which is more effective in words learning for English majors, the traditionalvocabulary teaching method or the teaching approach based on the prototype theory ?We shall start from this hypothesis: when an individual takes part in an experimenton words learning, mechanisims of association reproducing cognitive models typical ofthe prototype theory are triggered in his or her mind. Thus the application of prototypetheory will: First, make the students from experimental class learn much more wordsthan the traditional instructed class at the same period of time; Second, perform better ina vocabulary test. Third, be much easier to retain the meaning of the words.That is to say the new approach of prototype theory is more efficient and awardingthan the traditional instruction in vocabulary learning. Baring these research questionsand hypotheses in mind, the experiment starts with, of course, choosing its subjects.
The experiment implies a prototype theory-based vocabulary instruction willgreatly enhance the students’ vocabulary quantity and arouse their curiosity in workingout more superordinate words and subordinate words from the basic level words,looking up for other meanings of a polysemic words. So this chapter mainly discussessome implications and tentatively offers some pedagogical suggestions from theprospective of more effective teaching and learning vocabulary for English majors. We would start from what we find from the questionnaires which truly tellsomething about the current situation of English majors vocabulary learning.First of all, the majority of English majors realize the importance of vocabulary.Due to the present teaching method and learning methods they show little interest in it.And a relatively small vocabulary is still a problem in English learning .Secondly, only a minority of the students know how to study the word moreeffectively. For a new word, these students will consider its word formation, think ofsome other similar words or recall the connection between its literal meaning andextended meanings. Seldom do they put the words in the same category to remember.So the students lack a knowledge of what the basic level words, superordinate levelwords and subordinate level words are. This could be a great barrier for enriching theirvocabulary and memorize them.Lastly, the students are not the only one to be responsible for the limited andefficient vocabulary learning, but the teachers also have undeniable responsibilities toadjust their teaching method to meet the students need.