Semantics: Primes and Universals / Edition 1

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Overview

Conceptual primitives and semantic universals are the cornerstones of a semantic theory which Anna Wierzbicka has been developing for many years. Semantics: Primes and Universals is a major synthesis of her work, presenting a full and systematic exposition of that theory in a non-technical and readable way. It delineates a full set of universal concepts, as they have emerged from large-scale investigations across a wide range of languages undertaken by the author and her colleagues. On the basis of empirical cross-linguistic studies it vindicates the old notion of the "psychic unity of mankind", while at the same time offering a framework for the rigorous description of different languages and cultures.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198700036
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3
2 A Survey of Semantic Primitives 35
3 Universal Grammar: The Syntax of Universal Semantic Primitives 112
4 Prototypes and Invariant 148
5 Semantic Primitives and Semantic Fields 170
6 Semantics and "Primitive Thought" 184
7 Semantic Complexity and the Role of Ostension in the Acquisition of Concepts 211
8 Against "Against Definitions" 237
9 Semantics and Lexicography 258
10 The Meaning of Colour Terms and the Universals of Seeing 287
11 The Semantics of Natural Kinds 335
12 Semantics and Ethnobiology 351
13 Semantic Rules in Grammar 379
14 A Semantic Basis for Grammatical Description and Typology: Transitivity and Reflexives 402
15 Comparing Grammatical Categories across Languages: The Semantics of Evidentials 427
References 459
Index 488
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