Contribution of sublexical information to word meaning: An objective approach using latent semantic analysis and corpus analysis on predicates

Keisuke InoharaThe University of Electro-Communications, Chofu, Tokyo, Japan
Taiji UenoNagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan / Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Abstract

Past studies have employed a subjective rating/categorization methodology to investigate whether radicals, an example of sub-lexical visual information in Chinese/kanji, contribute to computation of character/word meaning, with conflicting results. This study took an objective, corpus-based approach for the first time. Specifically, we conducted a Latent Semantic Analysis based on Japanese newspaper text (Experiment 1), and found that radical friends (kanji characters with the same radicals) appeared in more similar linguistic contexts than radical enemies (kanji characters that do not include the same radicals). In addition, we consulted a noun-verb predicate corpus extracted from Japanese web texts (Experiment 2), and showed that nouns including radical friends tended to take more similar predicates than nouns with radical enemies. These findings suggest that characters/words with similar meanings tend to share radicals in kanji, which may explain how children are able to efficiently learn to use the vast number of characters in Chinese/Japanese.

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Contribution of sublexical information to word meaning: An objective approach using latent semantic analysis and corpus analysis on predicates (4.0 MB)



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