The typology of semantic affinities

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Following previous research by the author, this chapter shows how semantic proximity (or proxemy) may result from meaning divergence in one lexical item (polysemy) or from meaning convergence of different lexical items (parasemy). Polysemous variations are explained by the interplay of several parameters: domains of instantiation, synaesthesic fields, and universal visualized cognitive schemas. In parasemy, a referential domain is conceived and uttered through several optional solutions, i.e., polysemiosis, within one and the same language as well as crosslinguistically (e.g., correspondences between proverbs in spite of distinct cultural environments). The paper shows how taxemic paradigms are expressed by roots, stems, classifiers, determiners, a compromise between the necessary multiplicity of lexical items and memory limitations.


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