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Lexical and distributional influences on word association response generation

Thwaites, Peter 2018. Lexical and distributional influences on word association response generation. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis is the result of an attempt to investigate the determinants of word association responses. The aim of this work was to identify those properties of words – their frequency, grammatical class, and textual distribution, for example – which influence the generation of word association responses, and to align these effects with wider sycholinguistic views of the mental lexicon. The experimental work in the early chapters focuses on grammatical influences on wordassociation. In particular, it is demonstrated that both grammatical class and verb transitivity influence the type of response most likely to be selected by participants. The immediately following chapters ask why this would be so. The analysis of several models of word association suggests that the development of a clearer understanding of the way in which a word’s textual distribution impacts upon associative response patterns may be an important stepping stone towards a coherent model of associative response generation. In the later part of the thesis, a series of novel experiments is conducted comparing word association response patterns with corpus-derived data. This work in turn lays the foundation for the development of a new usage-based model of word association, which is shown, in the penultimate chapter, to be capable of explaining a wide range of research findings, including not only the grammatical class and transitivity-related findings described above, but also earlier findings relating to the influence of lexical variables on the structure of the associative network, and to the discovery of individual and age-related response patterns in word association.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 February 2019
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2021 07:40

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