The Conceptual Basis of Antonymy and Synonymy in Adjectives

Gregory L. Murphy, Jane M. Andrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four experiments investigated the nature of the lexical relations of synonymy and antonymy in adjectives. The experiments contrasted the hypothesis that these relations are a form of lexical association with the view that they have a conceptual basis. The results showed that the antonyms and synonyms provided to adjectives in isolation were often not the same as those provided to the same adjectives within a noun phrase. This effect of context is consistent with models of conceptual combination, but cannot be easily explained by lexical associations. Thus, the results support a conceptual basis of antonymy and synonymy. The specific responses given provide some insight into the process by which adjective and noun meanings are combined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-319
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'The Conceptual Basis of Antonymy and Synonymy in Adjectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this