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Book Information


Title: Cross-Linguistic Semantics
Edited By: Cliff Goddard
Series Title: Studies in Language Companion Series 102

Cross-linguistic semantics – investigating how languages package and
express meanings differently – is central to the linguistic quest to
understand the nature of human language. This set of studies explores and
demonstrates cross-linguistic semantics as practised in the natural
semantic metalanguage (NSM) framework, originated by Anna Wierzbicka. The
opening chapters give a state-of-the-art overview of the NSM model, propose
several theoretical innovations and advance a number of original analyses
in connection with names and naming, clefts and other specificational
sentences, and discourse anaphora. Subsequent chapters describe and analyse
diverse phenomena in ten languages from multiple families, geographical
locations, and cultural settings around the globe. Three substantial
studies document how the metalanguage of NSM semantic primes can be
realised in languages of widely differing types: Amharic (Ethiopia),
Korean, and East Cree. Each constitutes a lexicogrammatica l portrait in
miniature of the language concerned. Other chapters probe topics such as
inalienable possession in Koromu (Papua New Guinea), epistemic verbs in
Swedish, hyperpolysemy in Bunuba (Australia), the expression of
"momentariness" in Berber, ethnogeometry in Makasai (East Timor), value
concepts in Russian, and “virtuous emotions” in Japanese. This book will be
valuable for linguists working on language description, lexical semantics,
or the semantics of grammar, for advanced students of linguistics, and for
others interested in language universals and language diversity.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: John Benjamins
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Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027205698
ISBN-13: 9789027205698
Pages: 356
Prices: Europe EURO 120.00
U.S. $ 180.00