1887
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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Abstract

In the NSM approach to semantic analysis, semantic molecules are a well-defined set of non-primitive lexical meanings in a given language that function as intermediate-level units in the structure of complex meanings in that language. After reviewing existing work on the molecules concept (including the notion of levels of nesting), the paper advances a provisional list of about 180 productive semantic molecules for English, suggesting that a small minority of these (about 25) may be universal. It then turns close attention to a set of potentially universal level-one molecules from the “environmental” domain (‘sky’, ‘ground’, ‘sun’, ‘day’, ‘night’ ‘water’ and ‘fire’), proposing a set of original semantic explications for them. Finally, the paper considers the theoretical implications of the molecule theory for our understanding of semantic complexity, cross-linguistic variation in the structure of the lexicon, and the translatability of semantic explications.
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/content/journals/10.1075/rcl.8.1.05god
2010-01-01
2019-10-13
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References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/rcl.8.1.05god
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): lexical semantics , NSM , semantic molecules , semantic primes and semantic universals
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