Is a 'friend' an 'enemy'? Between "proximity" and "opposition"

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The article focuses on recurring semantic associations for the terms meaning “friend” in different genetic stocks. The data show a distinction between several semantic networks which partially overlap, and in which “friend” is linked to different terms designating the “other” in a dual relation. The presentation is treefold, according to the semantic associations of “friend” with the following semantic fields: proximity, complementarity, and opposition. The study is based on three types of semantic and formal links as attested in the data: synchronic polysemy, heterosemy (derivation, composition), historical depth (i.e., diachronic links when available). The typological approach also allows to back up some tricky cases of diachronic reconstructions, and to consider new semantic networks which were thought before as doubtful.


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