Metaphors, bilingual mental lexicon and distributional models

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While native speakers (NS) might process conventional metaphors mainly ona linguistic level, this is arguably not true for foreign learners (FL). This paperanalyses the role that linguistic information plays in processing a word meaningin relation to NS and FL judgments. Since FL generally seem to rely heavily onlinguistic contexts for understanding word meanings, the lexical representationsemerging from their judgments should correlate well with those emerging fromdistributional (DSS) analyses based on verbal corpora that incorporate purelylinguistic information. However, since DSS representations also encompassmetaphorical expressions, the correlation with judgments of FL should dropdramatically when considering words that are typically used in metaphoricalexpressions. These predictions are confirmed through an extensive quantitativeanalysis based on experimental data.


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