Lexical Meaning

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-11-29
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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"The ideal introduction for students of semantics, Lexical Meaning fills the gap left by more general semantics textbooks, providing the teacher and the student with insights into word meaning beyond the traditional overviews of lexical relations. The book explores the relationship between word meanings and syntax and semantics more generally. It provides a balanced overview of the main theoretical approaches, along with a lucid explanation of their relative strengths and weaknesses. After covering the main topics in lexical meaning, such as polysemy and sense relations, the textbook surveys the types of meanings represented by different word classes. It explains abstract concepts in clear language, using a wide range of examples, and includes linguistic puzzles in each chapter to encourage the student to practise using the concepts. 'Adopt-a-Word' exercises give students the chance to research a particular word, building a portfolio of specialist work on a single word"--

Table of Contents

List of figuresp. xii
Preface: using this bookp. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvi
Typographical conventionsp. xvii
Meaning and the lexiconp. 1
The lexicon - some preliminariesp. 3
Overviewp. 3
What is a lexicon?p. 3
What is a word?p. 11
How to research words and their meaningsp. 18
Structure of this bookp. 24
Further readingp. 24
Answers to puzzlesp. 25
Exercisesp. 27
What do we mean by meaning?p. 29
Overviewp. 29
The boundaries of lexical semanticsp. 29
The nature of denotative meaningp. 34
Are senses ˘images in the mind÷?p. 37
Meaning and conceptsp. 38
Summary and conclusionsp. 39
Further readingp. 39
Answers to puzzlesp. 40
Exercisesp. 41
Components and prototypesp. 43
Overviewp. 43
Senses as definitions: Classical Theoryp. 43
An early componential approach - Katzp. 49
Against the classical approach: prototypesp. 51
Summaryp. 54
Further readingp. 55
Answers to puzzlesp. 55
Exercisesp. 55
Modern componential approaches - and some alternativesp. 58
Overview and questionsp. 58
Jackendoff: Conceptual Semanticsp. 59
Pustejovsky: the Generative Lexiconp. 66
Wierzbicka: Natural Semantic Metalanguagep. 69
Alternatives to componential approachesp. 73
Summary and conclusionp. 76
Further readingp. 77
Answers to puzzlesp. 77
Exercisesp. 78
Relations among words and sensesp. 81
Meaning variation: polysemy, homonymy, and vaguenessp. 83
Overviewp. 83
Polysemy, homonymy, vaguenessp. 83
Meaning variation and language changep. 94
Approaches to polysemyp. 98
Summary and conclusionp. 104
Further readingp. 104
Answers to puzzlesp. 105
Exercisesp. 106
Lexical and semantic relationsp. 108
Overviewp. 108
Paradigmatic relations: synonymy, antonymy, hyponymyp. 108
Two approaches to relations and the lexiconp. 123
Summary and conclusionp. 129
Further readingp. 129
Answers to puzzlesp. 129
Exercisesp. 131
Word classes and semantic typesp. 133
Ontological categories and word classesp. 135
Overviewp. 135
Ontological categories and semantic typesp. 135
Word class prototypesp. 139
Ontological categories and lexical semantics: some conclusionsp. 144
Further readingp. 145
Answers to puzzlesp. 145
Exercisesp. 146
Nouns and countabilityp. 148
Overviewp. 148
Thinking about nouns and thingsp. 148
Nouns and number: grammar and semanticsp. 151
Variation in countability: the Conceptual Semantics approachp. 155
Mass nouns as pluralsp. 160
Cultural habits and countability: the NSM approachp. 162
Summary and conclusionsp. 168
Further readingp. 168
Answers to puzzlesp. 169
Exercisesp. 170
Predication: verbs, Events, and Statesp. 172
Overviewp. 172
The semantics of verbsp. 172
States and Eventsp. 179
Motion verbsp. 180
Non-verb predicatesp. 190
Summary and conclusionp. 195
Further readingp. 196
Answers to puzzlesp. 196
Exercisesp. 199
Verbs and timep. 201
Overviewp. 201
Tense, aspect, and Aktionsartp. 201
Aktionsart categoriesp. 203
Vendler classesp. 210
Boundedness and telicityp. 211
Semantic relations among verbsp. 214
Summary and conclusionp. 217
Further readingp. 217
Answers to puzzlesp. 218
Exercisesp. 219
Adjectives and propertiesp. 222
Overviewp. 222
Adjectives and the nouns they modifyp. 222
Absolute adjectivesp. 224
Gradable adjectives and semantic scalesp. 227
Properties of scales and types of scalar adjectivesp. 230
Summary and conclusionp. 239
Further readingp. 239
Answers to puzzlesp. 240
Exercisesp. 242
Referencesp. 243
Indexp. 250
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