Semantic Primes and Universal Grammar
Empirical evidence from the Romance languages
This volume is part of a research program which started with the publication, in 1972, of Anna Wierzbicka’s groundbreaking work on <i>Semantic Primitives</i>. The first within the program to focus on a number of typologically similar languages, it proposes a French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian version of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) elaborated over the years by Wierzbicka and colleagues. Repetition is avoided through teamwork: a number of authors working on the languages under examination have had equal input in a set of five papers dealing with distinct parts of the metalanguage. Some of the findings presented here invite us to have a fresh look at what has already been achieved, and to amend some of the working hypotheses of the NSM approach accordingly. The volume also contains six case studies (on Italian <i>sfogarsi</i>, Portuguese <i>saudades</i>, Spanish <i>crisis</i>, French <i>certes</i>, Spanish expressions of sincerity and Italian and Spanish diminutives, respectively).