Activation of Alternatives by Mandarin Sentence-initial and Sentence-internal Foci: A Semantic Priming Study

Tsun Ming Ma, Yu-yin Hsu (Corresponding Author), Tianyi Han, Daria Tack

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper reports results of a semantic priming study on the activation of semantic alternatives by focus phrases in Mandarin introduced by focus-operators – zhiyou ‘only’ and lian ‘even’ – located in two sentence positions (initial and internal). In this study, we used a lexical semantic priming paradigm to study how native mature readers of Mandarin Chinese response to three types of semantic associations (alternative, non-contrastive, and unrelated) through ratings of 7-point Likert Scales. According to Rooth’s Alternative Semantics, focus units activate a set of alternative units semantically. Our results show that the activation of semantic alternatives was indeed sustainably more prominent for words occurring in focus constructions than when they occurred in canonical, non-focus, sentences. However, neither the focus type nor the focus position had specific effects on the activation of alternatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese Lexical Semantics
Subtitle of host publication22nd Workshop, CLSW 2021 Nanjing, China, May 15–16, 2021 Revised Selected Papers, Part I
EditorsMinghui Dong, Yanhui Gu, Jia-Fei Hong
PublisherSpringer Cham
Pages263-270
ISBN (Electronic)9783031067037
ISBN (Print)9783031067020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2022
Event22nd Chinese Lexical Semantic Workshop
(CLSW 2021)
- Online, Nanjing Normal University
Duration: 15 May 202116 May 2021
https://clsw2021.kurenai.me/index_en

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer
Volume13249
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349
NameLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
ISSN (Print)2945-9133
ISSN (Electronic)2945-9141

Workshop

Workshop22nd Chinese Lexical Semantic Workshop
(CLSW 2021)
Period15/05/2116/05/21
Internet address

Keywords

  • Semantic priming
  • Focus alternative
  • zhiyou ‘only’
  • lian ‘even’
  • Sentence-initial focus
  • Sentence-internal focus
  • Mandarin

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