Describing the extended meanings of lexical cohesion in a corpus of SARS spoken discourse

Winnie Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The study reported in this paper applies Sinclair's (2004) descriptive model of lexical items, which consists of five categories of co-selection: two obligatory categories the core and semantic prosody, and three optional categories collocation, colligation and semantic preference. The study examines a selection of spoken discourse events collected in Hong Kong during and in the immediate aftermath of the SARS crisis in 2003. These discourse events form part of the Hong Kong Corpus of Spoken English (HKCSE). The findings show that once the overlapping patterns of co-selection of the most frequently occurring lexical words in the SARS corpus have been determined, it is possible to describe the cumulative effects of the habitual co-selection in the lexical items that contribute to textual meanings and coherence within and across the texts. It is argued that patterns of co-selection provide a fuller picture of textual and intertextual coherence than concentrating solely on lexical cohesion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-344
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Corpus Linguistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Colligation
  • Collocation
  • Core
  • Extended units of meaning
  • Hong Kong Corpus of Spoken English
  • Lexical cohesion
  • Lexical item
  • Semantic preference
  • Semantic prosody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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