Salience phenomena in the lexicon

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As essentially an analysis of the various types of salience, this essay develops an original notion of structure as constituted by the interplay between the semantic and the pragmatic perspectives. The distinction drawn by the author between semasiology and onomasiology clarifies the difference between an analysis of salience conducted on the basis of words and one conducted on the basis of concepts. Since onomasiological research has largely concerned itself with lexical fields, Geeraerts’s analysis relates closely to Wildgen’s essay in the book; while his discussion of semasiological salience — which involves the polysemy and vagueness pertinent to the problem of prototypicality — links with Violi’s treatment of the same topic. In many respects, in fact, the essays by Geeraerts and Viola represent two complementary approaches to the problem of conceptual universals. The emphasis placed by Geeraerts on the linkage between the naming function in onomasiology and perception relates to several aspects discussed in the essays by Albertazzi (the perception-based foundational approach to semantics), Croft and Wood, Wildgen (Gestalt aspects in imagery) and Peruzzi.


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