Lexical Semantics

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Sep 18, 1986 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 310 pages
Lexical Semantics is about the meaning of words. Although obviously a central concern of linguistics, the semantic behaviour of words has been unduly neglected in the current literature, which has tended to emphasize sentential semantics and its relation to formal systems of logic. In this textbook D. A. Cruse establishes in a principled and disciplined way the descriptive and generalizable facts about lexical relations that any formal theory of semantics will have to encompass. Among the topics covered in depth are idiomaticity, lexical ambiguity, synonymy, hierarchical relations such as hyponymy and meronymy, and various types of oppositeness. Syntagmatic relations are also treated in some detail. The discussions are richly illustrated by examples drawn almost entirely from English. Although a familiarity with traditional grammar is assumed, readers with no technical linguistic background will find the exposition always accessible. All readers with an interest in semantics will find in this original text not only essential background but a stimulating new perspective on the field.
 

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Contents

A contextual approach to lexical semantics
1
13 The data of semantics
8
14 Disciplining intuitions
10
155 The meaning of a word
15
Notes
20
The syntagmatic delimitation of lexical units
23
22 Semantic constituents
24
23 Semantic constituents which fail the test
29
Meronomies
157
72 Defining meronymy
160
integral parts and attachments
165
74 Characteristics of meronomies
168
75 Close relatives of the partwhole relation
172
76 Meronomies and taxonomies
177
Notes
180
Nonbranching hierarchies
181

24 Indicators tallies and categorisers
32
25 Phonetic elicitors of semantic traits
34
26 Words
35
27 Idioms
37
28 Degrees of opacity
39
29 Idioms and collocations
40
210 Idiom and dead metaphor
41
Notes
45
The paradigmatic and syntactic delimitation of lexical units
49
32 Selection and modulation of senses
50
33 Indirect tests for ambiguity
54
34 Direct criteria for ambiguity
58
35 Some difficult cases
62
36 Nonlexical sources of ambiguity
66
38 Sensespectra
71
39 Syntactic delimitation
74
310 Lexemes
76
Notes
80
Introducing lexical relations
84
42 Congruence
86
43 Prepositional synonymy
88
45 Compatibility
92
46 Incompatibility
93
47 Congruence variants
95
48 Partial relations
96
49 Quasirelations
97
410 Pseudorelations
98
411 Pararelations
99
412 Syntagmatic relations of meaning between lexical units
100
Notes
109
Lexical configurations
112
53 Proportional series
118
Notes
134
Taxonomies
136
62 Taxonymy
137
63 Characteristics of natural taxonomies
145
64 Overspecification underspecification and the generic level
153
Notes
155
83 Chains helices and cycles
187
84 Ranks grades and degrees
192
Notes
195
Opposites I complementaries and antonyms
197
92 Complementaries
198
93 Antonyms
204
94 Subclasses of antonyms
206
95 Inherentness
214
96 Implicit superlatives
216
97 Stative verbs
217
98 Contrastive aspects
218
Notes
220
Opposites II directional oppositions
223
103 Antipodals
224
104 Counterparts
225
105 Reversives
226
converses
231
107 Indirect converses
233
108 Congruence variants and pseudoopposites
240
Notes
242
Opposites III general questions
244
112 Polarity
246
113 Linguistic polarity and natural polarity
247
114 Logical polarity
252
115 Neutralisation and semantic markedness
255
116 The nature of opposition
257
117 What makes a good opposition?
262
Synonymy
265
122 Propositional synonyms
270
123 Plesionyms
285
124 Congruence relations and synonymy
289
125 Absolute prepositional and plesio relations outside synonymy
290
Notes
291
References
295
Subject index
302
Author index
309
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