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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Turkce Eylemlerde Cokanlamlilik: Uygunluk kurami cercevesinde bir cozumleme/Polysemy in Turkish Verbs: An analysis in the frame of Optimality Theory Add Dissertation
Author: Aygül Uçar Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Ankara University, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2009
Linguistic Subfield(s): Psycholinguistics; Semantics;
Subject Language(s): Turkish
Director(s): Leyla Uzun

Abstract: Polysemy as a type of lexical ambiguity has been defined as having multiple
but related meanings. This definition raises a number of conceptual and
methodological problems like determining the prototype meaning and
distinguishing polysemy from homonymy. The aims of this thesis are to
analyse the polysemous verbs in Turkish with respect to the definition and
representation problems of polysemous verbs, to determine the prototype
meanings of polysemous verbs, to demarcate the prototype meanings from
other meanings of the polysemous verbs and to put forward which meaning of
the verb is used in which situation by means of linguistic justifications,
representing their conceptual structures.

Within this framework, first, a two-step questionnaire has been applied to
the native speakers in order to determine the prototype meaning and to rate
the semantic relatedness between the prototype meaning and the other
meanings. In the first step, with the Meaning Production Questionnaire, the
prototype meanings of each verb have been determined by evaluating the
meanings first comes to the native speakers’ minds. In the second step, the
Semantic Relatedness Questionnaire has been applied to the subjects to
measure the ratings of semantic relatedness between the meanings determined
in the first questionnaire. The answers that the subjects have given in
these questionnaires are important because they are also the reflections of
the mental lexicon. This mental lexicon shows that polysemous verbs
correspond to a wide set of meanings that is the combinations of properties
including strong and weaker meanings. Then, the way of telling which
meaning is chosen in a particular context for polysemous verbs is to
determine the constraints and evaluate meanings by means of these
constraints in the frame of Optimality Theory. In order to determine the
constraints, the Classification Questionnaire has been given to the native
speakers. In this questionnaire, the subjects have determined the criteria
while grouping the meanings of the polysemous verbs according to their
similarities or differences. In accordance with the aims of this thesis,
these criteria have been the basis for determining the constraints. 50
polysemous verbs in Turkish have been analyzed by means of these constraints.