Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Intercultural Pragmatics

Editor-in-Chief: Kecskes, Istvan

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.188
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.543

CiteScore 2018: 1.67

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.668
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.292

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 5, Issue 4


The meaning of negated adjectives

Tamar Fraenkel / Yaacov Schul
Published Online: 2008-11-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IPRG.2008.025


The study investigates the way people use and make sense of negated adjectives. Past research showed that by using a negated adjective, instead of an available antonym, one is able to communicate a mitigated sense of that antonym. To illustrate, by saying ‘not hot’ one can communicate ‘neither hot, but not quite cold’. This effect has been termed the mitigation hypothesis. Our theoretical analysis suggests that the extent of mitigation should vary as a function of two factors. First, mitigation should be more pronounced for contraries (adjectives that lie on a continuum) than for contradictories (adjectives that form a dichotomy); Second, the extent of meaning mitigation of marked adjectives should be stronger than that of unmarked adjectives. Finally, we hypothesized that these two factors interact, so that the markedness effect should be stronger for contraries than for contradictories. We report results from three experiments that tested these hypotheses with native speakers of Hebrew and discuss alternative mechanisms that might lead to mitigation of negated terms. We also address the practical importance of our findings for questionnaire design and communication.

About the article

Published Online: 2008-11-20

Published in Print: 2008-11-01

Citation Information: Intercultural Pragmatics, Volume 5, Issue 4, Pages 517–540, ISSN (Online) 1613-365X, ISSN (Print) 1612-295X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IPRG.2008.025.

Export Citation

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Camiel J. Beukeboom, Christian Burgers, Zsolt P. Szabó, Slavica Cvejic, Jan-Erik M. Lönnqvist, and Kasper Welbers
Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 2019, Page 0261927X1986975
Rachel Giora, Inbal Jaffe, Israela Becker, and Ofer Fein
Review of Cognitive Linguistics, 2018, Volume 16, Number 1, Page 19
Bert Weijters, Elke Cabooter, Hans Baumgartner, Amna Kirmani, and Ashwani Monga
Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2018
Carla Canestrari, Ivana Bianchi, and Valerio Cori
Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 2017, Page 1
Erika Branchini, Ivana Bianchi, Roberto Burro, Elena Capitani, and Ugo Savardi
Frontiers in Psychology, 2016, Volume 7
Emilio Sulis, Delia Irazú Hernández Farías, Paolo Rosso, Viviana Patti, and Giancarlo Ruffo
Knowledge-Based Systems, 2016, Volume 108, Page 132
Bob Van Tiel, Emiel Van Miltenburg, Natalia Zevakhina, and Bart Geurts
Journal of Semantics, 2014, Page ffu017
Ivana Bianchi, Roberto Burro, Stefania Torquati, and Ugo Savardi
Acta Psychologica, 2013, Volume 144, Number 1, Page 121
Oleg Gorbaniuk, Anna Budzińska, Martyna Owczarek, Ewelina Bożek, and Karol Juros
European Journal of Personality, 2013, Volume 27, Number 3, Page 304
Rachel Giora, Elad Livnat, Ofer Fein, Anat Barnea, Rakefet Zeiman, and Iddo Berger
Metaphor and Symbol, 2013, Volume 28, Number 2, Page 89
Mao-Yuan Pai, Hui-Chuan Chu, Su-Chen Wang, and Yuh-Min Chen
Expert Systems with Applications, 2013, Volume 40, Number 6, Page 1993
Christian Burgers, Camiel J. Beukeboom, and Lisa Sparks
Patient Education and Counseling, 2012, Volume 89, Number 2, Page 267
Rachel Giora, Vered Heruti, Nili Metuki, and Ofer Fein
Journal of Pragmatics, 2009, Volume 41, Number 11, Page 2222
Ivana Bianchi, Ugo Savardi, Roberto Burro, and Stefania Torquati
Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 2011, Volume 23, Number 3, Page 275
Rachel Giora, Dana Zimmerman, and Ofer Fein
Intercultural Pragmatics, 2008, Volume 5, Number 4

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in