Ontology of landscape in language

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I make the case for ontology of landscape in language, addressing a series of concerns that are hindering a broader take-up of ontology as a tool for intra- and cross-linguistic research. The bottom line of my argument is that ontologies, as formal specifications of vocabularies, address a core need of language studies and that the complications arising from different philosophical views on ontology are largely irrelevant for the practical task of studying landscape in language. I propose a view of ontologies as systems of constraints on interpretations of vocabularies, allowing language researchers to describe conceptualizations partially, but down to an arbitrarily fine level of detail. Foundational ontologies help to structure such specifications and to link them across languages and domains.


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