Antonym canonicity: Temporal and contextual manipulations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Abstract in Undetermined
Previous research on antonyms has shown that some pairings form more felicitous couplings than others. Following up on that research, we conducted two semantic categorization experiments using Event Related Potentials to establish whether there are neurophysiological differences related to levels of antonym canonicity. In Experiment 1, the members of canonical antonym pairs (e.g. black-white), non-canonical antonym pairs (e.g. white-dark) and unrelated word pairs (e.g. bumpy-small) were presented in isolation separated either by a short (200ms) or a long (800ms) time interval. The canonical antonyms gave rise to significantly lower N400 amplitudes than both non-canonical antonyms and unrelated pairs, but no significant difference in N400 amplitudes for non-canonical and unrelated pairs was found. In Experiment 2, the same pairs were presented in a congruent context. Significant differences in N400 amplitudes across all three conditions were found, also between non-canonical antonyms and unrelated word pairs.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
  • Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Department of Psychology (012010000), English Studies (015008010), Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

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