Contrastive Lexical Semantics

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Edda Weigand
J. Benjamins, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 270 pages
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Contrastive lexical semantics was the main topic of an International Workshop at the University of Münster in May, 1997. It was addressed from different perspectives, from the pragmatic perspective of a corpus-oriented approach as well as from the model-oriented perspective of sign theoretic linguistics. Whereas the rule-governed model-oriented approach is necessarily restricted to subsets of vocabulary, the pragmatic approach aims to analyse and describe the whole vocabulary-in-use. After the pragmatic turn, lexical semantics can no longer be seen as a discipline on its own but has to be developed as an integral part of a theory of language use. Essential features of individual languages can be discovered only by looking beyond the limits of our mother languages and including a contrastive perspective. Within a pragmatic, corpus-oriented approach essential new ideas are discussed, mainly the insight that single words can no longer be considered to be the lexical unit. It is the complex multi-word lexical unit a pragmatic approach has to deal with.

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