The language features of describing semantic relations in secondary school science textbook

Shih Wen Chen*, Wen Gin Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Classification and Composition are important semantic relations of science lexicons which ordinarily are embedded in the sentences of science textbooks. The purpose of this study, hence, was to analyze the language features of these sentences and their semantics. Three science textbook versions of secondary school were analyzed by STAR program. The results showed 37 types were accessible to describe these two semantic relations. They could be divided into four lexical categories: verb, conjunction, classifier, symbol, and seven semantic types: decomposition, composition, identification, subsumption, reference, enumeration, and symbolization. These types revealed the diversity of language semantics. Some types indicated the specific semantic relations. On the contrast, others indicated the semantic relations more implicitly. However, these implicit types could be transferred into the explicit ones to definitely interpret the semantic relations. Finally, the study findings offered some implications and suggestions for textbook editing, science teaching, and research in science text.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-83
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Research in Education Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Science language
  • Science text
  • Semantic relation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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