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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Artificial Intelligence