Journal article

Neological intuition in French: A study of formal novelty and lexical regularity as predictors


  • 2021
Published in:
  • Lingua. - Elsevier BV. - 2021, vol. 254, no. 103055, p. 1-17
English This paper investigates how neological intuition (NI), i.e., the metalinguistic ability to evaluate lexical novelty, is influenced by the linguistic properties of novel words. We focus on two properties: (i) formal novelty, depending on whether neologisms result from a morphological operation or are already existing forms that take on new meanings, and (ii) lexical regularity, depending on whether neologisms are created through regular linguistic processes or not. We hypothesize that morphological neologisms are more salient than semantic ones, and that irregular neologisms are more salient than regular ones. We designed a behavioral experiment to test these hypotheses with French native speakers, measuring detection rates and response times for various types of neologisms. The results support our main hypotheses, additionally showing that lexical regularity is a stronger predictor than formal novelty, and that an interaction effect exists between the two factors.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Département de français
  • English
Open access status
Persistent URL

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