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Title: The Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) approach: An overview with reference to the most important Romance languages
Contributor(s): Goddard, Cliff (author); Peeters, Bert (author)
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: For some thirty-odd years now, Anna Wierzbicka has been a very prolific, insightful, and inspiring scholar in the field of linguistic semantics. For about twenty of them, she has arguably been among the 'most' prolific, insightful and inspiring scholars in her field. Her books and articles encompass areas as diverse and diversified as lexical semantics, grammatical semantics and pragmatics (not to mention bible exegesis; cf. Wierzbicka 2001). At the theoretical level, she is widely known for the twofold claim that the same limited set of universal semantic primes can be identified in all the languages of the world, where they exist as meanings of specific morphemes, words or phrases; and that this universal set of primes makes up the lexicon of a Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) governed by an equally universal set of combinatorial properties. Following in the footsteps of - but at the same time going beyond = Descartes, Pascal, Arnauld and, above all, Leibniz, Wierzbicka views her primes as semantically simple concepts which, duly combined, give rise to articulate thought. To describe her set of semantic primes, she often uses Leibniz's image of an "alphabet of human thoughts".
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Semantic Primes and Universal Grammar: Empirical evidence from the Romance languages, v.81, p. 13-38
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Place of Publication: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ISBN: 9789027230911
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Studies in Language Companion Series (SLCS)
Series Number : 81
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