Melanie J. Bell

Dr. Melanie J. Bell is fascinated by words: how people coin and understand new words, how small differences in pronunciation can reflect differences in meaning, and how understanding varies between individuals.

Her research has concerned how we store and retrieve words from memory, how we interpret words and word combinations we haven’t heard before, and how we coin new words for new concepts or for the purposes of creativity. In 2015 she was awarded a Mercator Fellowship at the University of Düsseldorf, to investigate how information is conveyed by small variations in the pronunciation of complex words. In 2017-18, she was Principal Investigator for the EU-funded project, Default Meanings in Compound Interpretation, which explored the relationship between word meanings and other sources of information, such as context.

Recent publications

Lexical deconstruction - review of Giegerich, H., Lexical structures: Compounding and the modules of grammar

Edinburgh studies in theoretical linguistics, vol. 1. Morphology 28(1)

Bell, Melanie J. 2018

Modelling semantic transparency

Morphology 26(2)

Bell, Melanie J. & Martin Schäfer. 2016

Introduction: Modelling compound properties

Morphology 26(2)

Arndt-Lappe, Sabine, Melanie J. Bell, Martin Schäfer & Barbara Schlücker. 2016