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Linguistic Typology

Founded by Plank, Frans

Editor-in-Chief: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria

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CiteScore 2017: 0.45

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Volume 11, Issue 1


Typological approaches to lexical semantics

Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm / Martine Vanhove / Peter Koch
Published Online: 2007-07-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LINGTY.2007.013


1. Introduction

Although the term “lexical typology” is often used as if it were self-explanatory there is not much consensus on what exactly it can refer to, apart from the evident fact that it involves crosslinguistic research on the lexicon. Many linguists will probably agree with Lehrer's (1992: 249) widely quoted definition that lexical typology is concerned with the “characteristic ways in which language […] packages semantic material into words” (cf. the overviews in Koch 2001 and Brown 2001). This would make lexical typology a sub-branch of semantic typology concerned with the lexicon, where semantic typology, in the definition of Evans (forthcoming), is “the systematic cross-linguistic study of how languages express meaning by way of signs”. Other definitions of lexical typology, clinging to the apparently safer interface with grammar, focus on “typologically relevant features in the grammatical structure of the lexicon” (Lehmann 1990: 163) or on typologically relevant vs. language-specific patterns of the lexicon-grammar interaction (Behrens & Sasse 1997).

About the article

1Correspondence address:Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden

2Correspondence address:Llacan, CNRS, B.P. 8, 7, rue Guy Môquet, 94801 Villejuif Cedex, France

3Correspondence address:Romanisches Seminar, Universität Tübingen, Wilhelmstr. 50, 72074 Tübingen, Germany

Received: 2007-03-15

Revised: 2007-04-05

Published Online: 2007-07-31

Published in Print: 2007-07-20

Citation Information: Linguistic Typology, Volume 11, Issue 1, Pages 159–185, ISSN (Online) 1613-415X, ISSN (Print) 1430-0532, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LINGTY.2007.013.

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