A New Theory of Words and Language
By Michael Hoey
Routledge – 2004 – 204 pages
Lexical Priming proposes a radical new theory of the lexicon, which amounts to a completely new theory of language based on how words are used in the real world. Here they are not confined to the definitions given to them in dictionaries but instead interact with other words in common patterns of use.
Using concrete statistical evidence from a corpus of newspaper English, but also referring to travel writing and literary text, the author argues that words are 'primed' for use through our experience with them, so that everything we know about a word is a product of our encounters with it. This knowledge explains how speakers of a language succeed in being fluent, creative and natural.
‘This is an inspirational book, which makes a major contribution to linguistic theory. Lexical Priming is brimful of good ideas.’ – Tony McEnery, Lancaster University, UK
'The sheer range of the priming phenomena discussed here is astonishing, and the enthusiasm that pervades the text contributes in no small way to the "provocative and compelling" account that Lexical Priming delivers.' – Paul Meara, BAAL News
List of tables, diagrams and figures Acknowledgements Important Foreword 1. Collocation and Lexical Priming 2. Lexical Priming and Meaning 3. Lexical Priming and Grammar 4. Lexical Priming and Lexical Relation 5. Lexical Priming and Polysemy 6. Lexical Priming and Text: Two Claims 7. Lexical Priming and Text: A Third Claim 8. Lexical Priming and Grammatical Creativity 9. Lexical Priming and Other Kinds of Creativity 10. Some Theoretical and Practical Issues Bibliography.
Michael Hoey is a leading figure in English Language and Applied linguistics and a highly respected researcher and author. His Patterns of Lexis of Text (OUP) won the Duke of Edinburgh English Speaking Union prize in 1991. He is currently Baines Professor of English Language at the University of Liverpool.