Polysemy: Flexible Patterns of Meaning in Mind and Language

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About fifty years ago, Stephen Ullmann wrote that polysemy is 'the pivot of semantic analysis'. Fifty years on, polysemy has become one of the hottest topics in linguistics and in the cognitive sciences at large. The book deals with the topic from a wide variety of viewpoints. The cognitive approach is supplemented and supported by diachronic, psycholinguistic, developmental, comparative, and computational perspectives. The chapters, written by some of the most eminent specialists in the field, are all underpinned by detailed discussions of methodology and theory.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"To end on a personal note, I hope that Polysemy: Flexible Patterns of Meaning in Mind and Language will provoke a number of discussions in related fields, leading to a number of interesting findings and the development of polysemy research in the future."Yoshikata Shibuya in: Cognitive Linguistics 4/2007
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Brigitte Nerlich is Senior Research Officer at the University of Nottingham, UK. Zazie Todd is Lecturer at Leeds University, UK. David D. Clarke is Professor at the University of Nottingham, UK. Vimala Herman is Reader at the University of Nottingham, UK.

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Table of Contents

List of contributors
Polysemy and flexibility: introduction and overview 3
Cognitive models of polysemy 31
Polysemy: past and present 49
Polysemy and conceptual blending 79
Reconsidering prepositional polysemy networks: the case of over 95
Polysemy as flexible meaning: experiments with English get and Finnish pitaa 161
Metonymic polysemy and its place in meaning extension 195
Polysemy in derivational affixes 217
The role of links and/or qualia in modifier-head constructions 233
Polysemy and bleaching 253
Polysemy in the lexicon and in discourse 267
Irony in conversation: salience, role, and context effects 297
Young children's and adults' use of figurative language: how important are cultural and linguistic influences? 317
Emerging patterns and evolving polysemies: the acquisition of get between four and ten years 333
"I don't believe in word senses" 361
Senses and texts 393
Index 411
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