Swedish opposites

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This is an investigation of ‘goodness of antonym pairings’ in Swedish, which seeks answers to why speakers judge antonyms such as bra-dålig ‘good-bad’ and lång-kort ‘long-short’ to be better antonyms than, say, dunkel-tydlig ‘obscure-clear’ and rask-långsam ‘speedy-slow’. The investigation has two main aims. The first aim is to provide a description of goodness of Swedish antonym pairings based on three different observational techniques: a corpus-driven study, a judgement experiment and an elicitation experiment. The second aim is to evaluate both converging and diverging results on those three indicators and to discuss them in the light of what the results tell us about antonyms in Swedish, and perhaps more importantly, what they tell us about the nature of antonymy in language and thought more generally.


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