A distributional semantic approach to the periodization of change in the productivity of constructions

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A distributional semantic approach to the periodization of change in the productivity of constructions. / Perek, Florent; Hilpert, Martin.

In: International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Vol. 22, No. 4, 01.12.2017, p. 490-520.

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@article{cc1caebc79424e81a7f9f8ea6550785b,
title = "A distributional semantic approach to the periodization of change in the productivity of constructions",
abstract = "This paper describes a method to automatically identify stages of language change in diachronic corpus data, combining variability-based neighbour clustering, which offers objective and reproducible criteria for periodization, and distributional semantics as a flexible and objective representation of lexical meaning. This method partitions the history of a grammatical construction according to qualitative stages of productivity corresponding to different sets of semantic classes attested in one of its lexical slots. Two case studies are presented. The first case study on the “Verb the hell out of NP” construction shows that the semantic development of a construction does not always match that of its quantitative aspects, like token or type frequency. The second case study on the way-construction compares the results of the present method with those of collostructional analysis. While the results overlap to some degree, it is shown that the former measures semantic change with greater precision, both regarding the nature of changes and their chronology. In sum, this method offers a promising exploratory approach to capturing variation in the semantic range of lexical fillers of constructions and to modeling constructional change.",
keywords = "constructions, diachrony, distributional semantics, periodization, productivity",
author = "Florent Perek and Martin Hilpert",
year = "2017",
month = dec,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1075/ijcl.16128.per",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "490--520",
journal = "International Journal of Corpus Linguistics",
issn = "1384-6655",
publisher = "John Benjamins Publishing",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - A distributional semantic approach to the periodization of change in the productivity of constructions

AU - Perek, Florent

AU - Hilpert, Martin

PY - 2017/12/1

Y1 - 2017/12/1

N2 - This paper describes a method to automatically identify stages of language change in diachronic corpus data, combining variability-based neighbour clustering, which offers objective and reproducible criteria for periodization, and distributional semantics as a flexible and objective representation of lexical meaning. This method partitions the history of a grammatical construction according to qualitative stages of productivity corresponding to different sets of semantic classes attested in one of its lexical slots. Two case studies are presented. The first case study on the “Verb the hell out of NP” construction shows that the semantic development of a construction does not always match that of its quantitative aspects, like token or type frequency. The second case study on the way-construction compares the results of the present method with those of collostructional analysis. While the results overlap to some degree, it is shown that the former measures semantic change with greater precision, both regarding the nature of changes and their chronology. In sum, this method offers a promising exploratory approach to capturing variation in the semantic range of lexical fillers of constructions and to modeling constructional change.

AB - This paper describes a method to automatically identify stages of language change in diachronic corpus data, combining variability-based neighbour clustering, which offers objective and reproducible criteria for periodization, and distributional semantics as a flexible and objective representation of lexical meaning. This method partitions the history of a grammatical construction according to qualitative stages of productivity corresponding to different sets of semantic classes attested in one of its lexical slots. Two case studies are presented. The first case study on the “Verb the hell out of NP” construction shows that the semantic development of a construction does not always match that of its quantitative aspects, like token or type frequency. The second case study on the way-construction compares the results of the present method with those of collostructional analysis. While the results overlap to some degree, it is shown that the former measures semantic change with greater precision, both regarding the nature of changes and their chronology. In sum, this method offers a promising exploratory approach to capturing variation in the semantic range of lexical fillers of constructions and to modeling constructional change.

KW - constructions

KW - diachrony

KW - distributional semantics

KW - periodization

KW - productivity

U2 - 10.1075/ijcl.16128.per

DO - 10.1075/ijcl.16128.per

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 490

EP - 520

JO - International Journal of Corpus Linguistics

JF - International Journal of Corpus Linguistics

SN - 1384-6655

IS - 4

ER -