Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


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."

E-mail this page 1

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: Conceptual Contrasts: A comparative Semantic Study of Dimensional Adjectives in Japanese and Swedish Add Dissertation
Author: Misuzu Shimotori Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Umeå University, Department of Language Studies
Completed in: 2013
Linguistic Subfield(s): Semantics;
Subject Language(s): Japanese
Director(s): Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm
Ingmarie Mellenius
Andrea Schalley

Abstract: Dimensional expressions describe the extension of entities that we commonly
perceive in the three-dimensional space. Most languages have dimensional
expressions such as dimensional adjectives (e.g. high, long) that are said
to be universal. The present study explores concepts of dimensional
adjectives in Japanese and Swedish in terms of the two knowledge bases,
namely linguistic knowledge and extralinguistic knowledge. The focus is on
examining whether there are any similarities and differences in the
conceptualisation of dimensional adjectives between Japanese and Swedish.In
order to see how concepts underlying dimensional adjectives are represented
in a speaker's mind, data was collected mainly from two word-association
tests that were conducted in different ways with regard to response time
and format of the questions. Other sources are dictionaries and online
corpora. The results show that concepts of dimensional adjectives are
represented differently in these two languages. The most remarkable
difference is that Japanese participants associate dimensional adjectives
mostly with nouns that are generally highlighted by focusing on their
prominent extensions (e.g. long is associated with river), whereas Swedish
participants associate dimensional adjectives with both adjectives and
nouns. Differences in association patterns between the two languages would
qualify as evidence that conceptual representations of dimensional
adjectives have a clear contrast.