Approaches to Languages in Contrast
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
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The English temporal adverb again and the corresponding adverb igjen in Norwegian are words which do not encode a concept but rather an instruction to the audience to let the inferential phase of their comprehension process be guided by a specific contextual assumption. These adverbs have a procedural semantics in the sense of Relevance Theory, which distinguishes them semantically from an expression like once more or the prefix re-, both of which encode a conceptual meaning. English has a single lexical entry again whose encoded meaning is temporal yet not truth-conditional, and there is an exact correspondent igjen in the Norwegian lexicon, though Norwegian igjen in addition appears as two distinct non-temporal words encoding a concept and as a verbal particle forming a lexical entry together with a preceding verb. The full use range of the form igjen is found to be very similar to that of the Latin(ate) prefix re- as well as to the complex meaning of the verbal prefix ga- in the Niger-Congo language Ewe.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): English/Norwegian; procedural semantics; Relevance Theory
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