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Language Sciences
Other literature type . Article . 2021 . Peer-reviewed
License: Elsevier TDM
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Article . 2020
License: CC BY
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Article . 2020
License: CC BY
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Hyphenation as a compounding technique in English

Authors: Sun, Kun; Harald Baayen, R.;

Hyphenation as a compounding technique in English

Abstract

Abstract Hyphenated compounds have largely been neglected in the studies of compounding, which have seldom analysed compounds in context. In this study, we argue that the hyphen use in compounds is strongly motivated. Hyphenation is used when words form a unit, which reduces the possibility of parsing them into separate units or other forms. The current study adopts a new perspective on contextual factors, namely, which part of speech (PoS) the compound as a whole belongs to and how people correctly parse a compound into a unit. This process can be observed and analysed by considering examples. This study therefore holds that hyphenation might have gradually become a compounding technique that differs from general compounding principles. To better understand hyphenated compounds and the motivation for using hyphenation, we conduct a quantitative investigation into their distribution frequency to explore how English hyphenated compounds have been used in over the last 200 years. Diachronic change in the frequency of the distribution for compounds has seldom been considered. This question is explored by using frequency data obtained from the three databases that contain hyphenated compounds. Diachronic analysis shows that the frequencies of tokens and types in hyphenated compounds have been increasing, and changes in both frequencies follow the S-curve model. Historical evidence shows that hyphenation in compounds, as an orthographic form, does not seem to disappear easily. Familiarity and economy, as suggested in the cognitive studies of compounding, cannot adequately explain this phenomenon. The three databases that we used provide cross-verification that suggests that hyphenation has evolved into a compounding technique. Language users probably unconsciously take advantage of the discriminative learning model to remind themselves that these combinations should be parsed differently. Thus the hyphenation compounding technique facilitates communication efficiency. Overall, this study significantly enhances our understanding of the nature of compounding, the motivations for using hyphenation, and its cognitive processing.

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Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Process (engineering) Computer science Context (language use) computer.software_genre Historical evidence Diachronic analysis Hyphen Parsing business.industry Part of speech Compounding Artificial intelligence business computer Natural language processing

Keywords

Linguistics and Language, Right-headedness, Language and Linguistics, The S-Curve model, Correct parsing, Discriminative learning, Hyphenation

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    2
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
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    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
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download
citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
views
OpenAIRE UsageCountsViews provided by UsageCounts
downloads
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2
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Wide Incremental learning with Discrimination nEtworks
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 742545
  • Funding stream: H2020 | ERC | ERC-ADG
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