Meaning Predictability in Word Formation

Novel, context-free naming units

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This book aims to contribute to a growing interest amongst psycholinguists and morphologists in the mechanisms of meaning predictability. It presents a brand-new model of the meaning-prediction of novel, context-free naming units, relating the word<i>formation</i> and word<i>interpretation </i>processes. Unlike previous studies, mostly focussed on N+N compounds, the scope of this book is much wider. It not only covers all types of complex words, but also discusses a whole range of <i>predictability-boosting </i>and <i>-reducing conditions</i>. Two measures are introduced, the <i>Predictability Rate</i> and the <i>Objectified Predictability Rate</i>, in order to compare the strength of predictable readings both within a word and relative to the most predictable readings of other coinages. Four extensive experiments indicate <i>inter alia </i>the equal predicting capacity of native and non-native speakers, the close interconnection between linguistic and extra-linguistic factors, the important role of prototypical semes, and the usual dominance of a single central reading.

Subjects: Theoretical linguistics; Morphology; Semantics; Germanic linguistics; English linguistics; Psycholinguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Prešov University

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