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Linguistics

An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: van der Auwera, Johan

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1613-396X
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Lexical typology through similarity semantics: Toward a semantic map of motion verbs

Bernhard Wälchli,
  • Stockholm University
  • :
/ Michael Cysouw,
  • Ludwig Maximilians University Munich
Published Online: 2012-05-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2012-0021

Abstract

This paper discusses a multidimensional probabilistic semantic map of lexical motion verb stems based on data collected from parallel texts (viz. translations of the Gospel according to Mark) for 100 languages from all continents. The crosslinguistic diversity of lexical semantics in motion verbs is illustrated in detail for the domain of ‘go’, ‘come’, and ‘arrive’ type contexts. It is argued that the theoretical bases underlying probabilistic semantic maps from exemplar data are the isomorphism hypothesis (given any two meanings and their corresponding forms in any particular language, more similar meanings are more likely to be expressed by the same form in any language), similarity semantics (similarity is more basic than identity), and exemplar semantics (exemplar meaning is more fundamental than abstract concepts).


Received: 2010-04-24

Revised: 2011-03-18

Published Online: 2012-05-05

Published in Print: 2012-05-18


Citation Information: . Volume 50, Issue 3, Pages 671–710, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2012-0021, May 2012

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[2]
Iren Hartmann, Martin Haspelmath, and Michael Cysouw
Studies in Language, 2014, Volume 38, Number 3, Page 463

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