Edited by John Barnden and Andrew Gargett
[Figurative Thought and Language 10] 2020
► pp. 237–262
This paper explores the hypothesis that definiteness marking can be used as a tool for the speaker to trigger idiomaticity. In an experiment, we asked participants to produce the content of newly created figurative expressions. The results showed that the manipulation of a single parameter, definiteness marking, gave rise to a difference in the type of content participants produced for the novel figurative expressions. In particular, figurative expressions that contained a pragmatically unlicensed definite article gave rise to greater idiomaticity than expressions that contained a (licensed) indefinite article. Violating the felicity conditions on the use of a definite article is therefore one way for the speaker to produce figuration.