Semantics: Primes and Universals / Edition 1

Semantics: Primes and Universals / Edition 1

by Anna Wierzbicka
     
 

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

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198700036
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
512
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 9.19(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

1Introduction3
2A Survey of Semantic Primitives35
3Universal Grammar: The Syntax of Universal Semantic Primitives112
4Prototypes and Invariant148
5Semantic Primitives and Semantic Fields170
6Semantics and "Primitive Thought"184
7Semantic Complexity and the Role of Ostension in the Acquisition of Concepts211
8Against "Against Definitions"237
9Semantics and Lexicography258
10The Meaning of Colour Terms and the Universals of Seeing287
11The Semantics of Natural Kinds335
12Semantics and Ethnobiology351
13Semantic Rules in Grammar379
14A Semantic Basis for Grammatical Description and Typology: Transitivity and Reflexives402
15Comparing Grammatical Categories across Languages: The Semantics of Evidentials427
References459
Index488

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