The phenomenon of systematic polysemy offers a fruitful domain for examining the theoretical differences between lexicological and lexicographic approaches to description. We consider here the process that provides for systematic conversion of count to mass nouns in English (a chicken Æ chicken, an oak Æ oak etc.). From the point of view of lexicology, we argue, standard syntactic and pragmatic tests suggest the phenomenon should be described by means of a single unindividuated transfer function that does not distinguish between (...) interpretations (rabbit = "meat" vs. "fur"). From the point of view of lexicography, however, these pragmatically determined"sense precisions" are made part of explicit description via the inclusion of semantic "licenses," a mechanism distinct from lexical rules. (shrink)
Prototype theory makes a crucial distinction between central and peripheral sense of words. Geeraerts explores the implications of this model for a theory of semantic change, in the first full-scale treatment of the impact of the most recent developments in lexicological theory on the study of meaning change. He identifies structural features of the development of word meanings which follow from a prototype-theoretical model of semantic structure, and incorporates these diachronic prototypicality effects into a theory of meaning change.
This book explores how some word meanings are paradigmatically related to each other, for example, as opposites or synonyms, and how they relate to the mental organization of our vocabularies. Traditional approaches claim that such relationships are part of our lexical knowledge (our "dictionary" of mentally stored words) but Lynne Murphy argues that lexical relationships actually constitute our "metalinguistic" knowledge. The book draws on a century of previous research, including word association experiments, child language, and the use of synonyms and (...) antonyms in text. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Meaning and the Lexicon: 1. The lexicon - some preliminaries; 2. What do we mean by meaning?; 3. Components and prototypes; 4. Modern componential approaches - and some alternatives; Part II. Relations Among Words and Senses: 5. Meaning variation: polysemy, homonymy and vagueness; 6. Lexical and semantic relations; Part III. Word Classes and Semantic Types: 7. Ontological categories and word classes; 8. Nouns and countability; 9. Predication: verbs, events, and states; 10. Verbs and time; (...) 11. Adjectives and properties. (shrink)
Recently, there has been a surge of interest in the lexicon. The demand for a fuller and more adequate understanding of lexical meaning required by developments in computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science has stimulated a refocused interest in linguistics, psychology, and philosophy. Different disciplines have studied lexical structure from their own vantage points, and because scholars have only intermittently communicated across disciplines, there has been little recognition that there is a common subject matter. The conference on which this (...) volume is based brought together interested thinkers across the disciplines of linguistics, philosophy, psychology, and computer science to exchange ideas, discuss a range of questions and approaches to the topic, consider alternative research strategies and methodologies, and formulate interdisciplinary hypotheses concerning lexical organization. The essay subjects discussed include: * alternative and complementary conceptions of the structure of the lexicon, * the nature of semantic relations and of polysemy, * the relation between meanings, concepts, and lexical organization, * critiques of truth-semantics and referential theories of meaning, * computational accounts of lexical information and structure, and * the advantages of thinking of the lexicon as ordered. (shrink)