Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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This paper extends the scope of application of the semantic map model to diachronic lexical semantics. Combining a quantitative approach to large-scale synchronic polysemy data with a qualitative evaluation of the diachronic material in two text languages, ancient Egyptian and ancient Greek, it shows that weighted diachronic semantic maps can capture informative generalizations about the organization of the lexicon and its reshaping over time. The general methodology developed in the paper is illustrated with a case study of the semantic extension of time-related lexemes. This case study shows that the blend of tools well established in linguistic typology with proven methods of historical linguistics enables a principled approach to long-standing questions in the fields of diachronic semasiology and onomasiology.


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