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The influence of interactional semantic patterns on the interpretation of noun–noun compounds

Maguire, Phil, Maguire, Rebecca and Cater, Arthur W. S. (2010) The influence of interactional semantic patterns on the interpretation of noun–noun compounds. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36 (2). pp. 288-297. ISSN 1939-1285

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Abstract

The CARIN theory (C. L. Gagné & E. J. Shoben, 1997) proposes that people use statistical knowledge about the relations with which modifiers are typically used to facilitate the interpretation of modifier–noun combinations. However, research on semantic patterns in compounding has suggested that regularities tend to be associated with pairings of semantic categories, rather than individual concepts (e.g., P. Maguire, E. J. Wisniewski, & G. Storms, in press; B. Warren, 1978). In the present study, the authors investigated whether people are sensitive to interactional semantic patterns in compounding. Experiment 1 demonstrated that the influence of a given modifier on ease of interpretation varies depending on the semantic category of the head. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the relation preference of the head noun influences ease of interpretation when the semantic category of the modifier is compatible with that preference. In light of these findings, the authors suggest that people are sensitive to how different semantic categories tend to be paired in combination and that this information is used to facilitate the interpretation process.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Meaning (Psychology) > Semantics
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Related URLs:
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 14 May 2014 11:17
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2014 17:25
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/1227

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