(searched for: doi:10.1075/avt.34.01aud)
Adpositions of Movement, Volume 34, pp 332-344; https://doi.org/10.1075/bjl.00057.tar
This article aims to encourage a discussion of how evaluative morphemes conform to the principles of iconicity and Construction Grammar through the examination of English Adj+ie/y nominalisations (e.g. brownie, softie). Our analysis of the Adj+ie/y paradigm investigates conceptual processes that employ these evaluative morphological forms. We propose a Bidirectional Conceptualisation Model (BCM) to demonstrate a templatic correlation between iconic morphological components and evaluative connotations, by means of which the suffix -ie/y is employed to instantiate a specific iconic value of the [[x-]Aie/y]N construction. The BCM incorporates the Diminution: Pejoration ↔ Endearment scale, which accounts for the semantic duality of appreciative and depreciative values realised by the morphological concept of diminution. The results of the study support the idea that superficially different functions realised by one and the same morphological form are related through interaction of Idealised Cognitive Models.
Language and Cognition, Volume 12, pp 203-224; https://doi.org/10.1017/langcog.2019.49
Words like ‘waddle’, ‘flop’, and ‘zigzag’ combine playful connotations with iconic form–meaning resemblances. Here we propose that structural markedness may be a common factor underlying perceptions of playfulness and iconicity. Using collected and estimated lexical ratings covering a total of over 70,000 English words, we assess the robustness of this association. We identify cues of phonotactic complexity that covary with funniness and iconicity ratings and that, we propose, serve as metacommunicative signals to draw attention to words as playful and performative. To assess the generalisability of the findings we develop a method to estimate lexical ratings from distributional semantics and apply it to a dataset 20 times the size of the original set of human ratings. The method can be used more generally to extend coverage of lexical ratings. We find that it reliably reproduces correlations between funniness and iconicity as well as cues of structural markedness, though it also amplifies biases present in the human ratings. Our study shows that the playful and the poetic are part of the very texture of the lexicon.