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Diachronic Prototype Semantics : A Contribution to Historical Lexicology - Dirk Geeraerts

Diachronic Prototype Semantics

A Contribution to Historical Lexicology

Hardcover

Published: 1st April 1997
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Prototype theory makes a crucial distinction between the central and peripheral sense of words. Geeraerts explores the implications of this model for a theory of semantic change, in the first full-scale treatment of the impact of the most recent developments in lexicological theory on the study of meaning change. He identifies structural features of the development of word meanings which follow from a prototype-theoretical model of semantic structure, and incorporates these diachronic prototypicality effects into a theory of meaning change. The author strikes a balance between theoretical exploration and diachronic description, supporting each step in the argumentation with detailed case studies which chart the semantic development of particular words, or illustrate specific mechanisms of semantic change. Thus the book provides both a theoretical model for diachronic semantics and a number of methodological strategies and representational formats that exemplify how changes of word meaning can be studied in practice.

`an important contribution to historical semantics ... The chapters of this book are mainly based on earlier publications of the author, the materials are, however, combined in such a fashion as to produce a new, coherent whole. ... Geeraerts presents historical semantics as an exciting field where there is much interesting work to do. He raises many important questions ... and he provides very useful empirical analyses.' Prof Dr Gerd Fritz, Lexicology `A well written and useful book. Rigorous studies of how lexical meaning changes over time, such as Geeraerts's, are exactly what are needed to shed light on this essential problem.' William Frawley, Dictionaries - Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America

Introductionp. 1
Cognitive Semantics and Prototype Theoryp. 6
The Prototypical Characteristics of Semasiological Changep. 32
Prototypicality in a Classification of Lexical Changep. 84
Prototypical Polysemization and the Isomorphic Principlep. 123
Prototype Theory as a Scientific Paradigmp. 157
Referencesp. 191
Indexp. 203
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198236528
ISBN-10: 0198236522
Series: Oxford Studies in Lexicography and Lexicology
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 1st April 1997
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.6 x 15.1  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.4