Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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The lexicalization of morphologically complex words, i.e. their inclusion in the lexicon, can involve a loss of semantic compositionality. Such a phenomenon, called demotivation, has been overlooked in both morphological and lexical studies, notably regarding its gradual nature. This paper compares two measures of demotivation based on experimental and distributional semantics approaches. It builds on the evaluation of 78 pairs of French verbs and derived nouns selected to represent three levels of demotivation. The comparison of the two approaches using speakers’ judgements and word vector similarity indicates convergence on the identification of demotivation degrees within a continuum, while also highlighting specific aspects of each method. The study provides direction to further research on morphosemantic demotivation, bridging together semantic, morphological and methodological considerations.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): demotivation; distributional semantics; experimental approach; lexicon; semantics
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