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antonymy and negation: the boundedness hypothesis
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Humanities. Engelska.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7240-9003
2006 (English)In: Journal of Pragmatics, Vol. 38, no 7, p. 1051-1080Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract

This paper investigates the interpretation of unbounded (scalar) adjective antonyms with and without

negation such as (not) narrow – (not) wide and bounded adjective antonyms with and without negation such

as (not) dead – (not) alive as well as their interpretations with approximating degree modifiers, fairly and

almost, respectively. The investigation was designed to test the boundedness hypothesis, namely that the

negator is sensitive to the configuration of the adjective in terms of BOUNDEDNESS. The data are Swedish and

the results of the experiments show that negated unbounded adjectives do not evoke the interpretation of

their antonyms, i.e. not wide does not equal ‘narrow’. The results of the experiments with bounded

adjectives with and without negation showed that some of the negated adjectives were interpreted as

synonyms of their antonyms, i.e. not alive equals ‘dead’. However, this pattern was not consistent across the

bounded adjectives, since a number of them readily lent themselves to partial readings. Four types of

bounded antonyms emerged from the participants’ judgements. For both unbounded and bounded

adjectives, the interpretations of the approximating degree modifiers and the adjectives were not significantly

different from the negated adjectives.

# 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 38, no 7, p. 1051-1080
Keywords [en]
"antonymy". "Adjectives", "Negation", "Degree", "Scale", "Boundedness"
Research subject
Humanities, English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-3022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-3022DiVA, id: diva2:202978
Available from: 2007-02-01 Created: 2007-02-01 Last updated: 2017-04-19Bibliographically approved

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Paradis, Carita

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf