LEXICAL INFERENCING IN ENGLISH AND OTHER LANGUAGES: A SYNTHESIS OF THE RESEARCH
The research paper aims at providing a systematic synthesis of the existing body of research on lexical inferencing in English and other languages. It sheds light on the insights gained from the research regarding the processes involved in generating word meanings. It is revealed that lexical inferencing deals with the active engagement of learners' cognitive abilities while employing contextual clues based on semantic, syntactic, pragmatic and discourse information. The results of the study underscore the impact of factors e.g. language proficiency, metacognitive skills, and familiarity with the language and cultural context on successful inferencing. Besides this, the study offers the broader pedagogical implications of lexical inferencing research for the acquisition of second/ foreign language. The study stresses on the worth of explicit lexical inferencing instruction, learning vocabulary through contextual guessing and morphological analysis of the unfamiliar words, and metacognitive training in accelerating learners' inferencing abilities. The paper ends with the practical implications for stakeholders - teachers and learners - giving comprehensiveness of lexical inferencing for unfolding the meanings of the unknown words encountered during reading a text in language at target, facilitating lexical acquisition and overall language proficiency in second or foreign language contexts.