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Title: Universal human concepts as a basis for contrastive linguistic semantics
Contributor(s): Goddard, Cliff  (author); Wierzbicka, Anna (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: This study sets out to demonstrate that the NSM metalanguage of semantic primes provides a stable language-neutral medium for fine-grained contrastive semantic analysis, in both the lexical and grammatical domains. The lexical examples are drawn from "yearning-missing" words in English, Polish, Russian and Spanish, while the grammatical examples contrast the Spanish diminutive with the hypocoristic "diminutive" of Australian English. We show that the technique of explication (reductive paraphrase) into semantic primes makes it possible to pin down subtle meaning differences which cannot be captured using normal translation or grammatical labels. Explications for the Polish, Russian and Spanish examples are presented both in English and in the language concerned, thus establishing that the metalanguage being used is transposable across languages.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Current Trends in Contrastive Linguistics: Functional and Cognitive Perspectives, p. 205-226
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Place of Publication: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ISBN: 9027215715
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics
Series Number : 60
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