Priming According to Michal Hoey.
Hoey suggests that, as a word is acquired through encounters, it becomes accumulatively loaded with the contexts and co-texts in which it is encountered and we are primed with certain expectations about its collocations, colligations, semantic and pragmatic associations among other things. Our knowledge, use and expectations about words are determined by our exposure to words in context. (Alison Duguid, 2008, Men at Work)
The theory of priming,â proposed by linguist Michael Hoey (2005), goes in the same direction.104 It shows that each individual’s ways of thinking are affected by a complex network of influences. Priming is at the same time what is highlightedâ and what prepares.â Hoey analyzes how key words or key sentences used by an individual and their associated thoughts depend on the number of times such a formulation appears in his life and on the intensity of how these stimuli relate to a listener’s habitual practices. Priming activates a network of associations that links several dimensions:
1. A formulation is associated to other formulations that often appear in a same discourse.
2. A formulation is associated to some grammatical contexts, to some ways of speaking, all while avoiding other ways of talking and other grammatical contexts.
3. When a word is polysemous, some of its meanings can be associated to certain formulations, and some others to other formulations.
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