Semantic Theories in Europe, 1830 1930: From etymology to contextuality

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John Benjamins Publishing, Mar 26, 1992 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 359 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

10 Introduction
1
PART I
27
20 The Development of Semasiology in Germany
29
PART II
123
30 The Development of la Sémantique in France
125
PART III
205
40 The Development of Semantics in England From Sematology to Significs and Beyond
207
Notes
269
Abbreviations
293
BIBLIOGRAPHIES OF PRIMARY SOURCES
295
REFERENCES SECONDARY SOURCES
333
Index of Authors
347
Index Rerum
356
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About the author (1992)

Brigitte Nerlich is Professor of Science, Language and Society at the Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham.

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