This book offers a comprehensive overview of the major traditions of word meaning research in linguistics. It charts the evolution of lexical semantics from the mid nineteenth century to the present day, presenting the main ideas, landmark publications, and the dominant figures ofthe the five semantic traditions.
It is widely believed by historians of linguistics that the 19th-century was largely devoted to historical and comparative studies, with the main emphasis on the discovery of soundlaws. Syntax is typically portrayed as a mere sideline of these studies, while semantics is seldom even mentioned. If it comes into view at all, it is usually assumed to have been confined to diachronic lexical semantics and the construction of some (mostly ill-conceived) typologies of semantic change. This book aims to destroy some of these prejudices and to show that in Europe semantics was an important, although controversial, area at that time. Synchronic mechanisms of semantic change were discovered and increasing attention was paid to the context of the sentence, to the speech situation and the users of the language. From being a semantics of transformations', a child of the biological-geological paradigm of historical linguistics with its close links to etymology and lexicography, the field matured into a semantics of comprehension and communication, set within a general linguistics and closely related to the emerging fields of psychology and sociology.
Now in paperback for the first time since its original publication, the material gathered here is perfect for anyone who needs a detailed and accessible introduction to the important semantic theories. Designed for a wide audience, it will be of great value to linguists, cognitive scientists, philosophers, and computer scientists working on natural language. The book covers theories of lexical semantics, cognitively oriented approaches to semantics, compositional theories of sentence semantics, and discourse semantics. This clear, elegant explanation of the key theories in semantics research is essential reading for anyone working in the area.
This book examines the nature of the interface between word meaning and syntax, one of the most controversial and elusive issues in contemporary linguistics. It approaches the interface from both sides of the relation, and surveys a range of views on the mapping between them, with an emphasis on lexical approaches to argument structure. Stephen Wechsler begins by analysing the fundamental problem of word meaning, with discussions of vagueness and polysemy, complemented with a look at the roles of world knowledge and normative aspects of word meaning. He then surveys the argument-taking properties of verbs and other predicators, and presents key theories of lexical semantic structure. Later chapters provide a description of formal theories and frameworks for capturing the mapping from word meaning to syntactic structure, as well as arguments in favour of a lexicalist approach to argument structure. The book will interest scholars of theoretical linguistics, particularly in the fields of syntax and lexical semantics, as well as those interested in psycholinguistics and philosophy of language.
Release on 2019-02-12 | by Shalom Lappin,Chris Fox
Author: Shalom Lappin,Chris Fox
Pubpsher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
The second edition of The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory presents a comprehensive introduction to cutting-edge research in contemporary theoretical and computational semantics. Features completely new content from the first edition of The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory Features contributions by leading semanticists, who introduce core areas of contemporary semantic research, while discussing current research Suitable for graduate students for courses in semantic theory and for advanced researchers as an introduction to current theoretical work
Theta Theory explores the lexicon as an interface in the strict sense, as facilitating the flow of information between cognition and the computational system of language. It argues for the traditional concept of a listed lexicon, where semantic roles are encoded as features of verbs, and against event decomposition. Part one of the book discusses the link between cognition and the lexicon. Mainstream theories of lexical semantics are critically reviewed. Furthermore, this part provides an extensive description of the relevant data in German, including agentivity, causation, psychological predicates, and different types of diathesis alternations. Part two is devoted to the link between the lexicon and syntax. It develops a parallel model of grammatical derivation, which allows the formulation of robust generalizations over thematic role assignment, but at the same time acknowledges the relevance of other components, in particular morpho-phonology and narrow syntax. The theory is applied to a wide range of German constructions including modal infinitives, the present and gerundive participle, the past/passive/adjectival participle, verbal particles, auxiliary selection, and unaccusatives/reflexives. The book is of interest for students and scholars of lexical semantics, for descriptive German linguistics, and for linguists concerned with the development of the Minimalist Program.
The question of how to determine the meaning of compounds was prominent in early generative morphology, but lost importance after the late 1970s. In the past decade, it has been revived by the emergence of a number of frameworks that are better suited to studying this question than earlier ones. In this book, three frameworks for studying the semantics of compounding are presented by their initiators: Jackendoff's Parallel Architecture, Lieber's theory of lexical semantics, and Štekauer's onomasiological theory. Common to these presentations is a focus on English noun-noun compounds. In the following chapters, these theories are then applied to different types of compounding (phrasal, A+N, neoclassical) and other languages (French, German, Swedish, Greek). Finally, a comparison highlights how each framework offers particular insight into the meaning of compounds. An exciting new contribution to the field, this book will be of interest to morphologists, semanticists and cognitive linguists.
Seminar paper from the year 2011 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1,0, University of Wurzburg, language: English, abstract: This term paper will focus on an aspect of lexical semantics: interrelations of word meanings on a paradigmatic, as well as on a syntagmatic level. Starting with paradigmatic word relations, the paper will cover the topic of semantic fields first, describing the history of how this aspect was introduced to semantics and explaining the theoretical background behind the topic. Furthermore the development of different theories from the first structuralist approaches in the 1930s to the more recent approaches of cognitive semantics and the frame theory will be outlined. In the second part, the paper will cover the topic of syntagmatic relations of word meanings, namely collocations. The term will be defined and examples will be mentioned, before dealing with the important concepts of 'statistically significant' and 'institutionalized collocations'. Finally there will be a demarcation to the phenomenon of idioms, before the term paper finishes with a conclusion about the whole topic."
The book investigates the interface structure of the lexicon from various perspectives, including typology and processing. It surveys work on verb classes, verb-noun similarities, semantic representations, concepts and constructions of polysynthetic languages, research on the processing of inflectional and derivational elements, and new work on inheritance-based network models. The book will be of interest to researchers and advanced students in all fields of linguistics and in the cognitive sciences.