Analogical Generalization and Retrieval for Denominal Verb Interpretation


The creativity of natural language poses a significant theoretical problem. One example of this is denominal verbs (those derived from nouns) such as spoon in “She spooned me some sugar”. Traditional generative approaches typically posit a unique entry in the lexicon for this usage, though this approach has difficulty scaling. Construction Grammar has evolved as a competing theory which instead allows the syntactic form of the sentence itself to contribute semantic meaning. However, how people learn syntactic constructions remains an open question. One suggestion has been that they are learned through analogical generalization. We evaluate this hypothesis using a computational model of analogical generalization to simulate Kaschak and Glenberg’s (2000) study regarding interpretation of denominal verbs.

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