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Title: Semantic feature
Contributor(s): Gladkova, Anna  (author)
Publication Date: 2009
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Abstract: n. A term adopted in the componential analysis approach to semantics to refer to a minimal contrastive element of a word's meaning. For example, the words man, woman, boy, and girl can be represented as a combination of features "male," "adult," and "human" (man: +MALE, +ADULT, +HUMAN). It is a compact and visual way of representing meaning, but it cannot provide an exhaustive description of the meaning of any word. It only accounts for those aspects which are in systematic opposition to other words in a given set. The idea that word meanings can be represented via simpler concepts is also adopted in the natural semantic metalanguage approach developed by Anna Wierzbicka and Cliff Goddard. It proposes an inventory of 65 empirically tested indefinable human concepts, which can be used to formulate reductive paraphrases of word meanings in any language. The use of semantic primes like someone, people, thing, do, good, bad, feel, because, words, and say has enabled the meanings of terms from numerous semantic domains to be described successfully.
Publication Type: Entry In Reference Work
Source of Publication: The Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology, p. 482-483
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: Cambridge, United Kingdom
ISBN: 9780511633980
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
HERDC Category Description: N Entry In Reference Work
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