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Title: Contrastive semantics of physical activity verbs: 'Cutting' and 'chopping' in English, Polish, and Japanese
Contributor(s): Goddard, Cliff  (author); Wierzbicka, Anna (author)
Publication Date: 2009
DOI: 10.1016/j.langsci.2007.10.002
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Abstract: This study explores the contrastive lexical semantics of verbs comparable to 'cut' and 'chop' in three languages (English, Polish, and Japanese), using the natural semantic metalanguage (NSM) technique of semantic analysis. It proposes a sixpart semantic template, and argues that this template can serve as a basis for a lexical typology of complex physical activity verbs in general. At the same time, it argues that language-specific aspects of the semantics are often culturally motivated. Nine verbs are examined (English 'cut', 'chop', 'slice', Polish 'ciąć' "cut", 'krajać' "cut/slice", 'obcinać' "cut around", 'rąbać' "chop", Japanese 'kiru' "cut", 'kizamu' "chop"), and NSM explications are proposed for each one based on its range of use in natural contexts, thus capturing the semantic similarities and differences in fine-grained detail.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Language Sciences, 31(1), p. 60-96
Publisher: Indiana University Research Center for the Language Sciences
Place of Publication: Bloomington, United States of America
ISSN: 0388-0001
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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