Chapter published in:Perspectives on Abstract Concepts: Cognition, language and communication
Edited by Marianna Bolognesi and Gerard J. Steen
[Human Cognitive Processing 65] 2019
► pp. 145–165
Acceptability properties of abstract senses in copredication
This chapter explores the acceptability properties of copredication and how they can inform debates about the representation of abstract concepts. Across a series of acceptability judgment experiments, it was tested whether copredication in book-, lunch- and city-type nominals is difficult across-the-board or depends on adjective ordering in sentences like “John said that the folded and educational newspaper was on the shelf”. The results revealed no acceptability difference between copredication and non-copredication, however there was a strong preference for concrete adjectives to be placed before abstract ones. It is suggested for the first time that the parser is sensitive to semantic complexity, and that it is more optimal to access abstract concepts after associated concrete concepts than the reverse.
Keywords: copredication, lexical frequency, sense order, simplicity first
Published online: 06 June 2019
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