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Title: The lexical semantics of 'language' (with special reference to 'words')
Contributor(s): Goddard, Cliff  (author)
Publication Date: 2011
DOI: 10.1016/j.langsci.2010.03.003
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Abstract: 'Language' can be regarded as one of the key words of English, as well as the foundational term of the discourse of linguistics. It is well to remember, however, that the concept of a 'language' lacks precise semantic equivalents in many languages. This study presents a semantic-lexicographic analysis of several meanings of the word 'language' in contemporary English, using the Natural Semantic Metalanguage method of semantic description ([Wierzbicka, 1996], [Wierzbicka, 1997], [Goddard, 1998] and [Goddard, 2008]). The study is similar in scope and approach to an earlier study (Goddard, 2005) of the word culture, which resembles 'language' in several important respects. One distinctive aspect of the explications for language is their reliance on the proposed semantic prime words, which is discussed at some length. Though primarily focused on English, the study makes reference to Yankunytjatjara, Chinese, and Russian, among other languages.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Language Sciences, 33(1), p. 40-57
Publisher: Elsevier
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1873-5746
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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