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LINGUIST List 18.2150

Mon Jul 16 2007

Diss: Comp Ling: Tarasheva: 'Repetitions of Word Forms in Texts - A...'

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        1.    Elena Tarasheva, Repetitions of Word Forms in Texts - An approach to establishing text structure

Message 1: Repetitions of Word Forms in Texts - An approach to establishing text structure
Date: 15-Jul-2007
From: Elena Tarasheva <etarashevanbu.bg>
Subject: Repetitions of Word Forms in Texts - An approach to establishing text structure
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Institution: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Program: PhD in Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007

Author: Elena Tarasheva

Dissertation Title: Repetitions of Word Forms in Texts - An approach to establishing text structure

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Bulgarian (bul)
                            English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Encho Gerganov
Lilian Grozdanova
Maria Stambolieva
Ruska Stancheva

Dissertation Abstract:

Text structure has been researched in terms of co-referential chains
(Halliday and Hasan 1976, 1985), thematic fields (Viehweger 1976) or
derivatives, synonymy and other lexical relations (Hoey 1991, Morris and
Hirst 2002 ). Unlike these studies, the present one focuses on the
repetition of word forms, trying to separate lexical links from
co-reference. Texts from three genres: short stories, research articles and
political speeches in 2 languages (Bulgarian and English) are studied to

1. Is it true that repetitions are avoided in written texts?
2. Do repetitions of word forms group into recurrent structures?
3. Do repetition structures depend on genre?
4. If each occurrence of a lexicon item is characterised by its form,
intension and referent (Petofi's pyramid 1985) do repetitions reiterate the
same form, link with the same referent or relate to the same intension?

The method of study is by using a concordancer to compare the form,
intension and referent of each occurrence of a repeated word form.

The results reveal that more than half the word forms in a text are
repeated and at least 25% of the notional lexemes. The repetitions form
chains typical of each genre which differ from nominative chains in several
significant ways. Each chain is characterised by a specific pattern of
referential projections, intensional structure and forms. The configuration
of predicative, generic and specific uses relate to the processes of
specifying, generalising, classifying etc., which form the coherent
structure of a text. The repetition of word forms features as a cohesive
mechanism because repeated word forms signal the significance of a lexeme
for the text; the different methods of presenting the referential set have
a repercussion on the coherence of a text; the fact that each genre is
characterised by a different set of repetition types contributes to the
intertextuality of the text.

The practical implications of the research include a researcher's guide to
the structure of lexical repetitions in texts, a teaching manual on how to
repeat in the different genres and what to avoid, as well as an algorithm
for short summaries based on the type of chain.

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