Questions tagged [lexical-semantics]

A branch of semantics, the study of the meaning of words, affixes and compounds too.

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61 views

Are there languages with separate words for 'mouth opening' and 'mouth cavity'?

I am looking for languages which have separate words for the visible opening of the mouth (the external part, including or not including the lips), and the cavity (the internal part). Put another way, ...
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43 views

Influence of foreign vocabulary on tendency of English to lose inflections, become more analytic

The question is whether pressures to adapt to or incorporate foreign languages have tended to push English in a more analytic, less synthetic or inflected direction over the time from Middle English ...
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Is it possible to infer the meaning of a word of a language based on corpus analysis, without prior knowledge of the language?

If I am totally foreign to a language, are there corpus analysis methodologies and theories that I can employ to figure out the meaning of a word in a corpus based on that language? If yes, do point ...
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Is there a term for when words that sound like antonyms are actually synonyms?

Seeded grapes are actually seedless An inflammable object is really flammable It seems to me that, superficially, the use of those affixes make the words sound like they should be antonyms, but they ...
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80 views

What word category do twink, adonis, muse etc. belong to? [closed]

Terms such as candy, cutie, honey, princess, diamond, queen(?), stud and bunny are terms of endearment (these terms are often used in a relationship to show affection and may also be used, with ...
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209 views

Etymological Fallacy

What is actually wrong with using Etymology to infer a word's meaning? I mean other than semantics( or more subtle meaning, nuance) of what other use could studying etymology be. I cannot see the ...
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152 views

Languages without generic term for animals

I'd recently read in a non-fiction work (reference lost) that there are some languages that have no generic term or category for animals, ie no equivalent of "animal." Does anyone have any information ...
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71 views

How can one describe the relation between concepts, nouns, verbs and other word classes

In Wikidata, we describe concepts (Q items) and lexemes (L items), where the lexemes may be nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. It is usually straightforward to describe the relation from noun lexemes to ...
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in search of nouns with a mismatch between morphological and semantic gender [duplicate]

I am currently trying to identify nouns whose morphological gender differs from their semantic gender. Here are three examples I could identify so far: French: Le laideron - masculine morpho-...
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245 views

What are the reasons to justify that some text is in X language?

Let us say that I am in a library alone and I have a text that I think that is in X language, for example, this fragment of the 9th chapter of the 2nd part of the novel 1984 by George Orwell, that I ...
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96 views

Was there a Proto-Germannic root of “miskunn”

I was not able to find an etymology of ON "miskunn" within PrG. Is the first syllable a prefix "mis-" indicating any "wrong kunn, lack of kunn" or a deformed "midi-" as in E "com-passion", G "Mit-leid"...
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Is there a single origin for the connection between time and weather?

There are several families of languages where the same word can mean either a concept closely related to time or a concept closely related to weather: Romance root: French temps, Italian tempo, ...
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100 views

Is there a word in which the concept and its complement is expressed?

Is there a word in which the concept and its complement is expressed, for example if I would like to express "the dichotomy of truth and falsehood" in one word. Obviously, the construction need not ...
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79 views

“but” usage (redundancy of “but”)

We all know that "but" is used to replace "except" or indicate that the first clause is contrastive to the second in a way, or the logic these two sentences bear is somewhat contradictory. But, I see ...
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433 views

Word meaning as function of the composition of its phonemes

tl;dr Linguists like to claim that the mapping from sounds to word meanings is mostly arbitrary. Can you point out research that supports this claim? Specificllay I am looking for hard evidience in ...
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370 views

How to understand semelfactive aspect of a verb? How is it varied/similar to iterative aspect?

How semelfactive aspect of a verb that represents a single occasion of an event like knock,hit etc..is perfective and moment defined. whereas,iterative aspect is event that is repeated on single ...
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10k views

How are languages deciphered?

How do archaeologists, cryptoanalysts and linguists decipher extinct languages? Has there been a case in history where this was successfully accomplished, without the means of something like the ...
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317 views

Is an empty morph a lexeme?

In the French "A-t-il soif ?" there are several (inflected) lexemes ("A", "il", "soif"), and an empty morph "t". The morph "t" has no meaning which is why it's an empty morph; it's there purely for ...
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How relevant is WordNet nowadays?

How relevant is WordNet (both the original Princeton's and all other WordNets) as a tool for researchers now, decades later? Do researchers consider it valuable? And does the general research ...
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How to define colors in the Natural Semantic Metalanguage?

The Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) attempts to reduce the semantics of all lexicons down to a restricted set of semantic primitives. But in NSM, colors are not semantic primitives. How then to ...
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How can the Arabic word “Hijr” be translated as “perception” or “understanding” or “intellect” [closed]

The sentence I mention is from Quran (written at least 14 centuries ago) verse 89:5. Full phrase is : هل في ذلك قسم لذي حجر And this is translated as: Sahih International: Is there [not] in [all] ...
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38 views

Morphology to generate hyponyms or hypernyms

Is there a natural/constructed language which allows us to express hyponyms from hypernyms or hypernyms to hyponyms. For example, pigeon to bird or bird to pigeon, both don't have any relation to them ...
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What books to read about lexical semantics?

I want to have a systematic understanding on semantic field, lexical semantics, and semantic change. Skimming at Kate Kearns' Semantics, it seems that its focus is more about formal semantics, with ...
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54 views

How to apply TF-IDF on my bows after generating frequencies

I'm working on document similarity using WordNet, though I have no idea how to apply the IDF weighting at this point in my code. I'm sure this weighting is one of the most simple things out there, but ...
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62 views

Word with separate translations in another language

Is there a name for the linguistic phenomenon of a word in language or dialect X with two or multiple meanings that have individual translations in language or dialect Y? For example, escada in ...
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80 views

Algorithm for identifying “secondary roots”

In machine learning on text data (aka natural language processing), it's common to apply a stemming or lemmatization algorithm to the text. However, sometimes you want to go a step further. For ...
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52 views

Metalanguage to describe expressing an idea in many different ways

I am looking for a term to describe expressing an idea in many different forms yet the meaning remains the same in each rendition. An example of this: The Australians, Australians, the Australian ...
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2answers
309 views

Which other languages have idiomatic meaning for words meaning 'blue'? [closed]

I came across culture-specific meanings of concept 'blue' (that is, of a colour hue between green and violet) in various languages. We know its idiomatic meanings in Standard or American Englishes, ...
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Definition of “concept” and "conceptual field in cognitive linguistics

I am writing a Master's thesis dedicated to the conception field "business" in Modern English Language. The definition of "concept" and "conceptional field" is greatly discussed by Russian linguists, ...
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Can we use etymology to determine the nature of synchronic semantic and morphosyntactic differences between (near-)synonyms?

I've recently joined a discussion in which some of the participants insist that if one doesn't understand the nature of the difference between two or more words (the ones discussed by us are synonyms ...
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'sibling-in-law' constructions: Why the polysemy/vagueness?

A holds the 'sibling-in-law' relation to B only in the case when: (1) A is a sibling of C and C is married to B; or (2) A is married to C and C is a sibling of B. What is common to (1) and (2) is ...
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Help with distributional analysis of verb phrases

For my semantics homework we are asked to test different verb phrases in different environments. I am asked to categorize the different verb phrases (on the basis of their distributions. I am not ...
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138 views

(A)Telicity & Events

Dowty's (1979) classified predicates into: 1. States 'the woord is burning' ---Atelic 2. Activities 'Mary pushed the cart' ---Atelic 3. Accomplishments 'Mary melted the chocolate' ---Telic 4. ...
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202 views

formula for Brunét's index

I am having trouble figuring out the formula for Brunet's index which can be found in this paper http://csbapp.uncw.edu/data/mscsis/annalspaper.aspx?v=6&i=1&p=11. I tried to apply it to ...
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41 views

davidsonian semantics

I hope everyone is fine. I was wondering if you could help me with some suggestions about which book(s) should I start with to learn the Davidsonian semantics, so that I will be able to read and write ...
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128 views

4 or 5: is thumb a finger? Distribution across languages

Researching the origins of counting systems, I came across the question I cannot seem to find an answer for: what is the typological distribution of languages that consider thumb a finger (5 fingers ...
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What is the source of knowledge/discovery for the semantics? Automation of semantic science?

Natural sciences observe facts and make models. Mathematics more or less arbitrarly generates axioms and investigates all the possible consquences of them. What is the source of semantic knowledge (e....
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88 views

Semantic parsing vs Propositional Representation

Propositional representation is explained on Wikipedia. How is semantic parsing different from propositional representation? Or is propositional representation the next step after you do semantic ...
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729 views

Methods for meaning extraction

Let someone wants to know what some word (concrete as "chair" or abstract as "happiness") mean. What methods, experimental techniques are there for extracting word's meaning? I found next ways: Study ...
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Name of the theory of lexical semantics that distinguishes consonants by the values “up” and “down”?

I'm reading "Cognitive interpretation of Czech verse" by Pavel Jiráček about a way to analyze poetry by reading how the consonants, syllables and words conotate "up" and "down". What is the best ...
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What is the hypernym of names, unique titles, and definite descriptions?

The name Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, the unique title The Queen of England, and the definite description the elder daughter of Cecilia Bowes Lyon all refer to the same unique entity. We might think of ...
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What's the difference between metonymy, meronymy, meronomy and mereology?

I know that these terms are used in different subfields of linguistics: Metonymy and metonyms are used in rhetorics and metaphor theory. Meronymy and meronyms are used in lexical semantics. Meronomy, ...
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Online Semantic Relatedness Database?

I'm looking for something like the (really excellent and useful) MRC database that includes a measure of semantic relatedness for a given pair or set of words in colloquial American English. I've ...
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106 views

Where can I find a lexicon of adjectives?

I am currently looking for a list of adjectives that I can use as a seed for a machine learning model. These do not need to be annotated. Are there any open source lexicons that exist which could be ...
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147 views

'Literally' non-literally

There has been a recent popularization over the questionable use of the word 'literally' as an intensifier rather than as a marker of non-figurative, especially since it seems to be used non-literally ...
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89 views

semantics of bizarre usages in view of a second-language-speaker

Generative tradition, as far as I (an amateur) understand, revolves around the 'poverty of the stimulus' argument. So I can understand why I clearly get the meaning 'she shelved her books' or at ...
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1answer
425 views

Dictionaries with binary semantic features

In lexical semantics, a lot of meaning in individual words, the concept behind the utterance, is captured in ontological relations: is-like for synonymy, is-a for a hypernym hierarchy. But this doesn'...
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1answer
206 views

Is the use of a word in a morphological gap technically a speech production error?

Typically, speech production errors such as phoneme or morpheme exchange, anticipation, etc. are the result of interference in the speech production process. However, the use of a word in a ...
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323 views

Lexical Distance, is there a table?

I was looking (for a statistics project) to the Lexical Distance between languages and I came across this post Worldwide map or data for linguistic distance? I was wondering if there is any "...
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Are “mother” and “father” antonyms?

I think that this is not pure antonymy. If it's still antonymy, do linguists have a separate term for this type of semantic relationship?