Effects of online abstraction on adjective order preferences
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Language, cognition and neuroscience. - Abingdon, s.a.
, p. 816-831
University of Antwerp
This study investigates whether the generalisation of prenominal adjective order preferences is best accounted for by a linear precedence relationship between persistent abstract adjective categories (category precedence) or by online abstraction over adjective exemplars. In a two-alternative forced-choice task, participants had to select which of two adjective orders they preferred for low-frequency adjective pairs. Online abstraction over exemplars, operationalised in a range of exemplar-based variables, explained variation in the participants' adjective order choices that category precedence could not account for. However, category precedence still explained variation in adjective order preferences that was not captured by the exemplar-based variables. Although these findings might support a dual-mechanism model of adjective order preferences, with additive roles for abstract adjective categories and online abstraction, an improved operationalisation of online abstraction and a stricter control of the covariates introduced through the implementation of both approaches may eliminate the effect of category precedence.