On Monosemy: A Study in Linguistic Semantics
In this book, the author argues that words should be presumed initially to be monosemic: having a single, highly abstract meaning. Semantic research should first seek a unitary meaning, resorting to polysemy, homonymy or idiomaticity only when an extended attempt fails. Utilizing a large data base, this book shows that some supposed "lexical" semantic meaning is actually pragmatic or extralinguistic. Included are extensive treatments of the verbs bear, hit, kick and slap, the phrase take off, and the noun ice.
Ruhl studies linguistic research methods and theory, most directly relevant to the fields of semantics and pragmatics, and also to lexicography, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence. The hypothesis of monosemy implies significant changes of perspective and application for all fields which deal in lexical definition.
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adjuncts appear argue assume assumption basic bear Bolinger Bolinger's bore Cecelia Holland cheetah Chomsky claim cold color complex compositionality concrete conscious consider context continuum D. H. Lawrence definition degree dictionaries direct object distinction domains effect English examples expressions extralinguistic factors figurative Flannery O'Connor highly abstract human hyponyms IDEAL idiomatic idioms implied individual inference interpretation intransitive intuition Jackendoff James James Herriot John John Jakes John Updike Ken Kesey kick the bucket language lexical linguistic Makkai metaphor metonymic minimal modular modulations movement multiple meaning normal Norman Mailer noted notion noun obvious parallel particular pattern phrasal verbs phrases polysemic possible pragmatic rules prepositions primary range reality relationship relevant require Reynolds Price semantic and pragmatic sense sentence shift siren slapped speakers specific status stereotypic syntactic syntax systematic theory unconscious unity variation verb vocabulary William William Styron word's words
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