Visualizing distances in a set of near-synonyms
I aim to uncover revealing aspects of the conceptual structure of four Englishmoderators (rather, quite, fairly, and pretty) and shed new light on previousstudies on degree modifiers. I develop an original methodology for handlingand visualizing measures of significant attraction between lexical items. Thismethodology combines univariate and multivariate statistics. Collexeme analysisis used as input for hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis, and multipledistinctive collexeme analysis is used as input for correspondence analysis. Visualizingcollexemes with exploratory tools does more than depict proximitiesand distances between individuals and variables. It is also an accurate means to(a) unveil fine semantic differences in a set of near-synonymous constructions,(b) determine entrenchment continua, and (c) represent a significant part of thecomplex inventory of intensifying constructions.