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Do concreteness and imageability depend on lexical class?

Stanojević, Mateusz-Milan
Do concreteness and imageability depend on lexical class? // 11th International Conference of the Spanish Cognitive Linguistics Association: Cognitive linguistic research in metonymy, metaphor, constructions and frames: Scope, models and methods
Cordoba, Španjolska, 2018. (predavanje, međunarodna recenzija, neobjavljeni rad, znanstveni)

Do concreteness and imageability depend on lexical class?

Stanojević, Mateusz-Milan

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Sažeci sa skupova, neobjavljeni rad, znanstveni

11th International Conference of the Spanish Cognitive Linguistics Association: Cognitive linguistic research in metonymy, metaphor, constructions and frames: Scope, models and methods

Mjesto i datum
Cordoba, Španjolska, 17-19.10.2018.

Vrsta sudjelovanja

Vrsta recenzije
Međunarodna recenzija

Ključne riječi
Abstractness, imageability, thing, relation, Croatian

In traditional psycholinguistic studies (cf. e.g. Paivio and Madigan 1968), concrete words are usually defined as those which can be experienced through one’s senses, whereas abstract words are those where other words are used to explain them (e.g. salty as concrete vs. sense as abstract). Imageable words are defined as those which excite mental imagery easily and quickly as opposed to non-imageable ones (e.g. house vs. aspect). Normed ratings of word concreteness and imageability are routinely used in psycholinguistic studies for word selection. However, what is frequently not taken into consideration when producing the normed ratings is the grammatical nature of the lexical items in question (one exception is Simonsen et al 2013). If, in line with cognitive linguistic tenets, grammar and lexicon form a continuum, characteristics such as abstractness and imageability should not only depend on specific conceptual content (i.e. its lexical features – the fact that salty refers to taste), but also its grammatical features (for instance, the fact that salt is a noun and salty is an adjective). These – seemingly metalinguistic features – should also form at least part of the effects evident in normed ratings. The aim of this paper is to show that lexical class as a grammatical feature has an influence on concreteness and imageability ratings. More specifically, in line with Langackerian distinctions of things vs. relations, we claim that nouns, being prototypical things, will be rated as most concrete and imageable, followed by verbs (as prototypical relations) and adjectives (as non-prototypical relations). We present the results of concreteness and imageability ratings of 30 sets of 100 adjectives, nouns and verbs in Croatian. The sets were obtained from the 1.4 billion hrWaC corpus of Croatian based on a frequency criterion (raw frequency grater than 3000) and were rated in a pen-and-paper study by 900 native speakers of Croatian. Our results confirm the hypothesis for both concreteness and imageability, with significant differences between word classes in the order nouns > verbs > adjectives (concreteness: F (2/2997) = 212.7 ; p < .01 ; 2 = .124 ; imageability: F (2/2997) = 131.2 ; p < .01 ; 2 = .070). This gives psycholinguistic credence to the lexicon – grammar continuum. Moreover, the distinctions are in line with the Natural Partitions Hypothesis, which suggests that nouns are learned prior to verbs (Gentner 1982). However, the fact that decontextualized ratings of single words are routinely used in such studies (and have been used in the present one) raises the question of whether abstractness and imageability are simply effects of the creation of minimal context, rather than a necessary representational level. Such a view is in line with some recent neuroimaging evidence (Vigliocco et al 2011). In the discussion we will explore the consequences of such a view for grounding. References Gentner, Dedre (1982). Why nouns are learned before verbs: Linguistic relativity versus natural partitioning. Stan Kuczaj, ur. Language development. Volume 2: Language, thought and Culture, 301–334. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Paivio, Allan, John C. Yuille i Stephen A. Madigan (1968). Concreteness, imagery, and meaningfulness values for 925 nouns. Journal of Experimental Psychology 76(1, Pt.2): 1–25. doi:10.1037/h0025327. Simonsen, Hanne Gram, Marianne Lind, Pernille Hansen, Elisabeth Holm i Bjørn-Helge Mevik (2013). Imageability of Norwegian nouns, verbs and adjectives in a cross-linguistic perspective. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics 27(6–7): 435–446. doi:10.3109/02699206.2012.752527. Vigliocco, Gabriella, David P. Vinson, Judit Druks, Horacio Barber i Stefano F. Cappa (2011). Nouns and verbs in the brain: A review of behavioural, electrophysiological, neuropsychological and imaging studies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 35(3): 407–426. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2010.04.007.

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Znanstvena područja


Projekt / tema
HRZZ-IP-2016-06-1210 - Modeliranje mentalne gramatike hrvatskoga: ograničenja informacijske strukture (Anita Peti-Stantić, )

Filozofski fakultet, Zagreb

Autor s matičnim brojem:
Mateusz-Milan Stanojević, (254513)