Predictability and prefab status: the case of adjective + noun sequences in English

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The main arguments of the chapter are that frequency or predictability effects are most appropriately applied within constructions, and that prefab status can lead to phonetic effects independently of frequency. The analysis uses tokens of adjective-noun sequences taken from conversational corpora. Study 1 applies diagnostics for conventionalization to establish prefab vs. free combination status in 239 bigrams. As expected from previous research, the criterion of non-compositional meaning gives clear results, while the criterion of fixedness runs into difficulties, especially as clusters of related prefabs are revealed. Study 2 examines the effect of prefab status vs. the effect of bigram frequency on the duration of the vowel in the adjective. Both prefab status and high bigram frequency lead to a shorter vowel, though the effect is not statistically significant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFormulaic Language : Theory and Methods
EditorsAleksandar Trklja, Łukasz Grabowski
Number of pages28
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherLanguage Sciences Press
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-98554-006-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-96110-310-2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NamePhraseology and Multiword Expressions
PublisherLanguage Science Press
ISSN (Print)2627-5945
ISSN (Electronic)2625-3127

Fields of Science

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