The history and future of field semantics

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Various features of the space of semantic conceptualization, and specifically position, obstacles, path and motion, are discussed in the essay. These characteristics of conceptual space are applied to the dynamics of field semantics on the basis of concepts from Gestalt theory. Wildgen’s main contentions are that there exist different geometries of lexical fields, and that there is a linear array of ideas, concepts and words, the extremes of which may be glued together. He argues these theses by drawing on such authors as Lullus (linear field), Bruno (regular surface, as a sort of generative mechanism of infinite spaces filling the system), Peirce and Lewin. Some aspects of Wildgen’s treatment — those concerning antonomy, hyponomy, synonymy and metonymy — are also covered by Violi’s essay in this book. Others — in particular the schemes of path and barrier, the concept of routes — are discussed in the essays by Albertazzi (force dynamics), Croft and Wood (phenomenological and Gestalt approach) and Peruzzi (semantic fields).


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