LINGUIST List 31.1585
Tue May 12 2020
Qs: Seeking superordinate nouns not present in English
Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <laurenlinguistlist.org>
Lilia Rissman <lilrissman
Seeking superordinate nouns not present in English E-mail this message to a friend
I'm researching superordinate nouns (e.g., fruit, mammal, food) and how they vary cross-linguistically. I am looking for examples of superordinate nouns that don't have a close translational equivalent in English. For example, Jahai has been argued to have a term meaning 'edible thing found in a forest' but not terms corresponding to English 'plant' or 'animal' (Levinson & Burenhult, 2009). Does anyone know of other examples? Pointers to the literature are also welcome – so far I have only seen this type of variability discussed in a piecemeal way. I am interested in superordinates from any semantic domain (e.g., natural kind terms such as 'animal,' artifact terms such as 'tool,' etc.).
Levinson, S. C., & Burenhult, N. (2009). Semplates: A new concept in lexical semantics? Language, 85(1), 153-174.
Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
Page Updated: 12-May-2020