Antonyms in English: Construals, Constructions and Canonicity

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 23, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 170 pages
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The study of antonyms (or 'opposites') in a language can provide important insight into word meaning and discourse structures. This book provides an extensive investigation of antonyms in English and offers an innovative model of how we mentally organize concepts and how we perceive contrasts between them. The authors use corpus and experimental methods to build a theoretical picture of the antonym relation, its status in the mind and its construal in context. Evidence is drawn from natural antonym use in speech and writing, first-language antonym acquisition, and controlled elicitation and judgements of antonym pairs by native speakers. The book also proposes ways in which a greater knowledge of how antonyms work can be applied to the fields of language technology and lexicography.
 

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Contents

1 Antonymy and antonyms
1
2 Antonyms in context
20
3 Antonyms and canonicity
43
4 Antonyms in acquisition
71
5 Antonyms and negation
88
6 Antonyms as constructions
102
7 The cognitive construal account
127
8 Conclusions looking backward looking forward
145
References
154
Index
166
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About the author (2012)

Steven Jones is Senior Lecturer in English Language in the School of Education at the University of Manchester.

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