Cognitive Linguistics 31 (2):251-278 (2020)

Abstract
Because they involve individual-level cognitive processes, psychological explanations of linguistic phenomena are in principle testable against individual behaviour. The present study draws on patterns of individual variation in corpus data to test explanations of productivity. Linguistic patterns are predicted to become more productive with higher type frequencies and lower token frequencies. This is because the formation of abstract mental representations is encouraged by varied types but counteracted by automation of high-frequency types. The predictions are tested for English -ly and -ness-derivation, as used by 698 individual journalists in the New York Times Annotated Corpus and 171 members of Parliament in the Hansard Corpus. Linear regression is used to model individual variation in productivity, in relation to type and token frequency, as well as several other predictor variables. While the expected effects are observed, there is also robust evidence of an interaction effect between type and token frequency, indicating that productivity is highest for patterns with many types and not-too-infrequent tokens. This fits best with a view of entrenchment as both a conservative and creative force in language. Further, some variation remains irreducibly individual and is not explained by currently known predictors of productivity.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1515/cog-2019-0026
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 55,825
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Cognitive Grammar.John R. Taylor - 2003 - Oxford University Press UK.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Productivity, Relevance and Natural Selection.Stuart Glennan - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):325-339.
Types and Tokens.Linda Wetzel - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Problem Productivity Of Work In The Light Of Marxian Theory Of Value.Marek Łagosz - 2010 - Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia 5 (4):97-113.
Token Causal Powers.Jeff Engelhardt - 2016 - Philosophical Papers 45 (1-2):159-180.
Teleosemantics and Productivity.Manolo Martinez - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):47-68.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-06-10

Total views
2 ( #1,363,049 of 2,401,526 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #551,447 of 2,401,526 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes