Martha Egenti


This study focuses on the semantics of the word cut in order to ascertain whether it has predominantly negative or positive meaning. For a more concrete and systematic study, an analysis
of the verb cut in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and The Things Around Your Neck were carried out using a corpus analysis software AntConc to extract the data, with the aim of looking at
the meanings cut denote in extended unit of meaning. The analysis of the lexical item cut is based on Sinclair’s (1996, 1998) four categories of co-selection of lexical item namely: collocation, colligation, semantic prosody and semantic preference. The concordant results for the verb reveal that the lexical item cut collocates frequently with adverbs and nouns such as hair, meat, rope, short etc. The colligational pattern is mostly common with pronouns (possessive and neuter), prepositions and determiners. The semantic prosody of the lexical item depicts negativity in most occurrences. In spite of the strong negative semantic prosody (SP) of the lexical item cut, there are also environments where the verb has a positive semantic prosody such as in13 occurrences, and neutrality in 3 occurrences. Finally, the semantic preference of the verb cut denotes largeness, growth, length, size etc.

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