Edited by Manfred Markus, Yoko Iyeiri, Reinhard Heuberger and Emil Chamson
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 50] 2012
► pp. 93–108
The semantic and morphological activities of the terms pope, bishop and priest show uneven distribution in time. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) dating of the first occurrences of semasiological and onomasiological developments related to these terms points to their increased activity in the period 1550–1700. This paper aims to explain the motivation of these processes, viewing them in the context of historical developments. The corpus consists of comic drama texts available from the Literature Online (LION) database. The relevant texts give evidence that semasiology and onomasiology overlap, being governed by the same patterns of motivation. The linguistic processes accounted for in the article are closely related to the social and political events of the post-Reformation period in England.
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