Signals of Contrastiveness: But, Oppositeness, and Formal Similarity in Parallel Contexts
By examining contexts in which “emergent” oppositions appear, we consider the relative contribution of formal parallelism, connective type, and semantic relation (considered as an indicator of relative semantic parallelism) in generating contrast. The data set is composed of cases of ancillary antonymy—the use of an established antonym pair to help support and/or accentuate contrast between a less established pair. Having devised measures for formal and semantic parallelism, we find that but is less likely to appear in contexts with high levels of formal parallelism than non-contrastive connectives like and or punctuation. With respect to semantic parallelism, we find that contrastive connectives are less likely to occur with pairs that are in traditional paradigmatic relations (“nym relations”: antonymy, co-hyponymy, synonymy). The article’s main hypothesis—that non-paradigmatic relations need more contextual sustenance for their opposition—was therefore supported. Indeed, pairs in nym relations were found to be more than twice as likely to be joined by a non-contrastive connective as by a contrastive one.
Citation : Murphy, M. L. , Jones, S. and Koskela, A. (2015) Signals of contrastiveness: But, oppositeness, and formal similarity in parallel contexts. Journal of English Linguistics, 43 (3), pp. 227-249
Research Institute : Institute of English
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities