LingLunch : Lucie Barque

Thursday 21 December 2023, 12:00 to 13:00
Karen De Clercq et Ira Noveck (LLF)

LLF – Bât. ODG – 5e étage – Salle du conseil (533)

Lucie Barque (Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, LLF)
The ambiguous nature of complex semantic types: an experimental investigation

In this talk, I will present the results of a joint study with R. Huyghe, F. Delafontaine & J. Salvadori (University of Fribourg) dedicated to complex-type words. Words with complex semantic types such as book are characterised by a multiplicity of interpretations that are not mutually exclusive (e.g. as physical object and/or informational content). Their status with respect to lexical ambiguity is notoriously unclear, and it is debatable whether complex types are a particular form of polysemy (closely related to metonymy) or whether they belong to monosemy. We empirically investigated the nature of complex types by conducting two experiments on ambiguous nouns in French. Overall results indicate that, on a continuum of lexical ambiguity, complex types are closer to monosemy than to metonymy and highlight the need for representational models of ambiguous words that can account for the difference between complex types and metonymy.