Article published in:Semantics and Psychology of Complex Words
Edited by Christina L. Gagné and Thomas L. Spalding
[The Mental Lexicon 15:1] 2020
► pp. 42–61
Constituent polysemy and interpretational diversity in attested English novel compounds
We explore variation in the interpretation of attested novel compound nouns in English, especially the contribution of constituent polysemy to this diversity. Our results show that effects of polysemy are pervasive in compound interpretation, contributing both to interpretational diversity and to perceived difficulty of interpretation. The higher the uncertainty about the concept represented by the head noun, based on existing compounds with that head, the greater the diversity of interpretations across speakers and the more difficult, on average, they find it to come up with a meaning.
Keywords: novel compound, compound noun, compound interpretation, constituent polysemy, constituent family, conceptual combination
Available under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 license.
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Published online: 30 October 2020
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