"Contextual vocabulary acquisition (CVA) is the active, deliberate acquisition of a meaning for a word in a text by reasoning from context, where “context” includes: (1) the reader’s “internalization” of the surrounding text, i.e., the reader’s “mental model” of the word’s “textual context” (or “co-text”: Brown & Yule 1983: 46–50, citing Halliday; Haastrup 1991) integrated with (2) the reader’s prior knowledge (including (a) the reader’s knowledge of language and (b) meaning hypotheses developed by the reader from prior encounters with the word), but it excludes (3) external sources of help such as dictionaries or people."
To NES and NNES. Can you take a look at this and tell me what you think? How does a reader's PK affect the intended meaning of a word, expression, or other? How does it affect the intended cotext (i.e. the textual context)?
"Robin" as cotext*. How the reader's PK (prior knowledge) can affect the reception of intended cotext.
"Robin decided to wake early that morning. The weather was beautiful, and therefore sleep was not an option. She put on her nightgown and went downstairs to let the cat in."
Did you halt, even for a second, when you came to the pronoun above?
How about here?
"Robin decided to wake early that morning. The weather was beautiful, and therefore sleep was not an option. He shook his head, stretched his eyes wide and leapt onto a nearby branch to better observe her domain.
What happened when you came to the word "leapt" and then the pronoun "her"?
* Cotext is the textual context of a discourse.
Last edited by M56; 24-Sep-2005 at 09:53. Reason: additional text
"Sat on the sofa" as cotext. Here's another situation where a reader's PK (prior knowledge) can have an effect upon the interpretation of a text.
"Angry, Mr Patel pushed straight into the room and sat bolt upright in the only available place - the sofa - leaving no room for poor Mrs Patel to rest her weary legs."
"Angry, Brad pushed straight into the room and sat bolt upright in the only available place - the sofa. Janice plonked herself on the sofa too, but at some distance from Brad."
Nice puzzle? What do you think?