Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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This study presents a contrastive analysis of antonym order in English and Chinese coordinate structures using a multifactorial corpus method. The analysis yields the following findings. First, antonym ordering in coordinate structures is driven largely by the same ordering constraints across the two languages. and are the most prominent semantic motivating constraints, and is the most important formal motivating constraint. Second, there are some differences in constraints on antonym ordering between English and Chinese. and exert a significant effect on Chinese antonym ordering, but show no effect on English antonym ordering. significantly affects Chinese antonym ordering, but has only a marginal effect on English antonym ordering. Furthermore, this study explores the motivations underlying these similarities and differences and argues that there is a clear correlation between iconicity and antonym order. The exploration reveals that their similarities in semantic constraints may be attributed to the iconicity of closeness and the iconicity of temporal sequence, while their differences may be ascribed to the iconicity of cultural values and norms. Their similarities in formal constraints stem from cognitive accessibility. These findings provide further evidence that antonym order is determined by general cognitive principles.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): accessibility; antonym order; coordinate structure; iconicity; multifactorial analysis
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