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ERIC Number: EJ845381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Sentential Context and the Interpretation of Familiar Open-Compounds and Novel Modifier-Noun Phrases
Gagne, Christina L.; Spalding, Thomas L.; Gorrie, Melissa C.
Language and Speech, v48 n2 p203-221 2005
Two experiments investigated the influence of sentential context on the relative ease of deriving a particular meaning for novel and familiar compounds. Experiment 1 determined which of two possible meanings was preferred for a set of novel phrases. Experiment 2 used both novel (e.g., "brain sponge") and familiar compounds (e.g., "bug spray"). The compounds appeared in a sentential context that supported either the dominant or subdominant meaning. Next, participants saw either the dominant or subdominant definition and indicated whether it was plausible. When the definition was consistent with the preceding sentence, the participants were more likely to consider the definition plausible regardless of whether the compound was novel or familiar, although this difference was more pronounced for novel phrases than for familiar phrases. In terms of response times, the effect of sentential context also depended on the degree of dominance. The data suggest that the interpretation of compounds is affected by at least two sources of information: sentential context and the relative dominance of the preferred meaning. (Contains 3 figures and 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A