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    Factors Influencing the Interpretation of Noun-Noun Compounds


    Maguire, Phil and Maguire, Rebecca and Cater, Arthur (2007) Factors Influencing the Interpretation of Noun-Noun Compounds. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 30. pp. 167-172. ISSN 1069-7977

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    Abstract

    The Competition Among Relation in Nominals theory (Gagné & Shoben, 1997) asserts that the relation frequency of the modifying noun is the primary determinant of ease of interpretation for noun-noun compounds. It also assumes that the influence of this variable is independent of the head noun. However, we suggest that both constituents exert an influence and that this influence depends on the pairing of nouns as well as the context. We present an experiment that investigates if the influence of the modifier’s relation frequency is fixed or whether it is affected by the head noun. Our results reveal that modifier relation frequency per se is not an accurate predictor of ease of interpretation: low modifier relation frequency combinations were easily interpreted in cases where the modifier’s general bias was overruled by the semantics of the head noun. As a result, we suggest that models predicting ease of interpretation must take into account the interaction of both constituents. The implications for models of conceptual combination are discussed.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Suggested citation: Maguire, P., Maguire, R., & Cater, A. W. (2008). Factors Influencing the Interpretation of Noun-Noun Compounds. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 30. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8tk284bk
    Keywords: Conceptual combination; noun-noun compounds; CARIN theory; modifier primacy; context;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Computer Science
    Item ID: 10333
    Depositing User: Phil Maguire
    Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2018 16:21
    Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
    Publisher: Cognitive Science Society
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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