Contextual Dependency and Lexical Sets
Preliminary findings from corpus analysis suggest that the semantics of each verb in the language are determined by the totality of its complementation patterns. Accurate description of those patterns requires a level of analytic delicacy which was not possible until the advent of large bodies of data, along with techniques for distinguishing significant patterns from mere noise. Such analysis is in its infancy, but it is already clear that, in order to analyse the semantics of verbs empirically, it is necessary to identify typical subjects, objects, and adverbials and to group individual lexical items into sets within those clause roles. The nature of lexical sets is discussed and an attempt is made to indicate the range of semantic and syntactic phenomena likely to be encountered in lexical analysis of this kind.
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