Date of Original Version
Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society., 2005
Abstract or Description
We investigate how people process negation in semantically distorted and metaphoric sentences. We present three experiments in which participants judged the truth of affirmative and negative sentences that were either literal or contained semantic illusions (Erickson & Mattson, 1981) or metaphors. In all experiments, negation increases processing times; although for semantic illusions, negation preserves the ordering of judgment times for literal and nonliteral sentences, for metaphors this ordering is reversed, with nonliteral negatives taking less time than literal negatives. This result presents evidence against the traditional Clark and Chase (1972) model of negation. We propose the negation-as distortion model and discuss how this model can explain the data.