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Concept abstractness and the representation of noun-noun combinations.
J Psycholinguist Res. 2013 Oct; 42(5):413-31.JP

Abstract

Research on noun-noun combinations has been largely focusing on concrete concepts. Three experiments examined the role of concept abstractness in the representation of noun-noun combinations. In Experiment 1, participants provided written interpretations for phrases constituted by nouns of varying degrees of abstractness. Interpretive focus (the modifier, the head noun, or both) for each noun-noun phrase was evaluated. In Experiment 2, a different group of participants directly indicated which noun, the modifier or the head noun, was the focus of the meaning of each noun-noun phrase. Finally, participants in Experiment 3 assessed similarity of noun-noun phrases with overlapping modifiers. If abstractness of constituent nouns affects information distribution between modifier and head noun, it would accordingly affect similarity ratings for noun-noun phrases with overlapping modifiers. Results showed that the pattern of information distribution within a noun-noun phrase differed between phrases with abstract head nouns and phrases with concrete head nouns. Specifically, the center of representation was more on the head noun side for phrases with concrete head nouns, whereas the center seemed to shift to the direction of the modifier for phrases with abstract head nouns. Some issues related to effects of concept abstractness on noun-noun combinations are discussed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Behavioral Sciences and Education, Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg, Middletown, PA, 17057, USA, xuxu@psu.edu.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22798029

Citation

Xu, Xu, and Lisa Paulson. "Concept Abstractness and the Representation of Noun-noun Combinations." Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, vol. 42, no. 5, 2013, pp. 413-31.
Xu X, Paulson L. Concept abstractness and the representation of noun-noun combinations. J Psycholinguist Res. 2013;42(5):413-31.
Xu, X., & Paulson, L. (2013). Concept abstractness and the representation of noun-noun combinations. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 42(5), 413-31. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10936-012-9226-2
Xu X, Paulson L. Concept Abstractness and the Representation of Noun-noun Combinations. J Psycholinguist Res. 2013;42(5):413-31. PubMed PMID: 22798029.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Concept abstractness and the representation of noun-noun combinations. AU - Xu,Xu, AU - Paulson,Lisa, PY - 2012/7/17/entrez PY - 2012/7/17/pubmed PY - 2014/4/24/medline SP - 413 EP - 31 JF - Journal of psycholinguistic research JO - J Psycholinguist Res VL - 42 IS - 5 N2 - Research on noun-noun combinations has been largely focusing on concrete concepts. Three experiments examined the role of concept abstractness in the representation of noun-noun combinations. In Experiment 1, participants provided written interpretations for phrases constituted by nouns of varying degrees of abstractness. Interpretive focus (the modifier, the head noun, or both) for each noun-noun phrase was evaluated. In Experiment 2, a different group of participants directly indicated which noun, the modifier or the head noun, was the focus of the meaning of each noun-noun phrase. Finally, participants in Experiment 3 assessed similarity of noun-noun phrases with overlapping modifiers. If abstractness of constituent nouns affects information distribution between modifier and head noun, it would accordingly affect similarity ratings for noun-noun phrases with overlapping modifiers. Results showed that the pattern of information distribution within a noun-noun phrase differed between phrases with abstract head nouns and phrases with concrete head nouns. Specifically, the center of representation was more on the head noun side for phrases with concrete head nouns, whereas the center seemed to shift to the direction of the modifier for phrases with abstract head nouns. Some issues related to effects of concept abstractness on noun-noun combinations are discussed. SN - 1573-6555 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22798029/Concept_abstractness_and_the_representation_of_noun_noun_combinations_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1007/s10936-012-9226-2 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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