Numerical Concepts in Context

Autor(en): Gega, P.
Liu, M. 
Bechberger, L.
Stichwörter: Approximator; Corpus linguistics; Experiment; Imprecision; Number; Uncertainty; Unit
Erscheinungsdatum: 2021
Herausgeber: Springer Nature
Journal: Language, Cognition, and Mind
Volumen: 9
Startseite: 93
Seitenende: 119
Numerical concepts are an integral part of everyday conversation and communication. Expressions relating to numbers in natural language can have precise or imprecise interpretations. While the precise interpretation most prominently appears in mathematical contexts, the imprecise interpretation seems to arise when numbers (as quantities) are applied to real world contexts (e.g., the rope is 50m long). Earlier literature shows that the (im)precise interpretation can depend on different factors, e.g., the kind of approximator a numeral appears with (precise vs. imprecise, e.g., exactly vs. roughly) or the kind of numeral itself (round vs. non-round, e.g., 50 vs. 47). We report on a corpus-linguistic study and a rating experiment of English numerical expressions. The results confirm the effects of both factors and additionally an effect of the kind of unit (discrete vs. continuous, e.g., people vs. meters). This shows the contextual variability in the interpretation of numerical concepts in natural language. © 2021, The Author(s).
ISSN: 23644109
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-69823-2_5
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