Lexical meaning as a testable hypothesis

The case of English look, see, seem and appear

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ISBN 9789027200426 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027264343 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
 
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This book offers an original treatment of the lexical form look. The work is innovative in that it establishes that the Columbia School conception of an invariant meaning – hitherto found primarily in grammar – is equally operative in core vocabulary items like look and see. The upshot is that grammar and lexicon are both amenable to synchronic monosemic analysis. The invariant meaning proposed for look explains the full range of its distribution, without the need to posit as linguistic units ‘look-noun’ and ‘look-verb’, ‘look-visual’ and ‘look-intellectual’, or constructions such as have-a-look, look-like, etc. The analysis places look in opposition with see, seem and appear for which tentative meanings are posited as well. The hypotheses are supported through qualitative analyses of attested examples and quantitative predictions tested in a massive corpus. These predictions offer new knowledge about the distribution of look, see and other forms that may provide useful for other scholars.
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Table of Contents
“A model of lexical analysis, demonstrating in a masterful manner that meaning is the central driver of usage, and that specific, explicit, well-articulated hypotheses about what a word means can be justified theoretically and lead to testable quantitative scientific predictions. A linguistic tour de force.”
“This book presents a radical turn in the field of lexical semantics, using qualitative and quantitative research to argue convincingly for a single meaning of the English word look that explains a range of newly discovered distributional generalizations. Within the Columbia School framework, it is a model of rigor, clarity, and responsible engagement with the wider linguistic community.”
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de Jonge, Bob
2019. The relevance of relevance in linguistic analysis. In Columbia School Linguistics in the 21st Century [Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 77],  pp. 122 ff. DOI logo
Hesseltine, Kelli & Joseph Davis
2020. The communicative function of adjective-noun order in English. <i>WORD</i> 66:3  pp. 166 ff. DOI logo
Otheguy, Ricardo & Naomi L. Shin
2022. A Columbia School Perspective on Explanation in Morphosyntactic Variation. In Explanations in Sociosyntactic Variation,  pp. 90 ff. DOI logo
Reid, Wallis
2019. The object of explanation for linguistics. In Columbia School Linguistics in the 21st Century [Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 77],  pp. 103 ff. DOI logo
Sabar, Nadav
2019. Using big data to support meaning hypotheses for some and any. In Columbia School Linguistics in the 21st Century [Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 77],  pp. 33 ff. DOI logo
Stern, Nancy
2019. Introduction. In Columbia School Linguistics in the 21st Century [Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 77],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Whitty, Lauren
2022. Repositioning Can: Modifications to the English “Modal” System. <i>WORD</i> 68:4  pp. 439 ff. DOI logo
Whitty, Lauren
2023. A Sign-Based Analysis ofMust,MayandCould. WORD 69:4  pp. 299 ff. DOI logo
Xiang, Xuehua
2019. A comparative study of the restrictive markings of mandarin Jiù, Cái, and Zhǐ. In Columbia School Linguistics in the 21st Century [Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 77],  pp. 259 ff. DOI logo

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Subjects

Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN016000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Semantics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2017056558 | Marc record