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
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.
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