Lexical meaning as a testable hypothesis
The case of English look, see, seem and appear
This book offers an original treatment of the lexical form look. The work is innovative in that it establishes that the Columbia School conception of an invariant meaning – hitherto found primarily in grammar – is equally operative in core vocabulary items like look and see. The upshot is that grammar and lexicon are both amenable to synchronic monosemic analysis. The invariant meaning proposed for look explains the full range of its distribution, without the need to posit as linguistic units ‘look-noun’ and ‘look-verb’, ‘look-visual’ and ‘look-intellectual’, or constructions such as have-a-look, look-like, etc. The analysis places look in opposition with see, seem and appear for which tentative meanings are posited as well. The hypotheses are supported through qualitative analyses of attested examples and quantitative predictions tested in a massive corpus. These predictions offer new knowledge about the distribution of look, see and other forms that may provide useful for other scholars.
[Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 75] 2018. xv, 144 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
List of tables
List of figures
Chapter 1. The problem, methodology and theoretical background
Chapter 2. ATTENTION, VISUAL as the explanation for the choice of look
Chapter 3. Using big data to support the hypothesized meaning ATTENTION, VISUAL
Chapter 4. ATTENTION, VISUAL in competition with the meanings of see, seem, and appear
Chapter 5. Competing analyses of the meaning of look
Chapter 6. Theoretical excursus: A critique of William Diver’s approach to the grammar-lexicon divide and a recapitulation of analytical assumptions and findings
“A model of lexical analysis, demonstrating in a masterful manner that meaning is the central driver of usage, and that specific, explicit, well-articulated hypotheses about what a word means can be justified theoretically and lead to testable quantitative scientific predictions. A linguistic tour de force.”
Ricardo Otheguy, Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society
“This book presents a radical turn in the field of lexical semantics, using qualitative and quantitative research to argue convincingly for a single meaning of the English word look that explains a range of newly discovered distributional generalizations. Within the Columbia School framework, it is a model of rigor, clarity, and responsible engagement with the wider linguistic community.”
Juliette Blevins, The City University of New York, Graduate Center
Bybee, J, & P. Hopper
(1976) Universal categories: on the semantics of classifiers and children’s early word meanings. In A. Juilland (Ed.), Linguistic studies offered to Joseph Greenberg (pp.449–462). Saratoga, CA: Anma Libri.
(2004) But still a yet: the quest for a constant semantic value for English yet. New Brunswick, NJ: State University of New Jersey dissertation.
(1976) Ferdinand de Saussure. Fonatan / Collins.
(2008–) The corpus of contemporary American English: 450 million words, 1990–present.
(1969) The system of relevance of the Homeric verb. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 12 , 45–68. Revised and reprinted in A. Huffman & J. Davis. (Eds.), Language: Communication and human behavior: The linguistic essays of William Diver (pp.135–159). Leiden / Boston: Brill.
(1974) Substance and value in linguistic analysis. Semiotext(e) 1 , 11–30. Revised and reprinted A. Huffman & J. Davis. (Eds.), Language: communication and human behavior: The linguistic essays of William Diver (pp.23–45). Leiden / Boston: Brill.
(1995) Theory. In E. Contini Morava & B. Sussman-Goldberg (Eds.), Meaning as explanation: advances in linguistic sign theory (pp.43–114). Revised and reprinted A. Huffman & J. Davis. (Eds.), Language: communication and human behavior: The linguistic essays of William Diver (pp.445–519). Leiden / Boston: Brill.
(2012) The elements of a science of a language. In A. Huffman & J. Davis (Eds.), Language: communication and human behavior: The linguistic essays of William Diver (pp.65–84). Leiden / Boston: Brill.
Diver, W., J. Davis & W. Reid
(2012) Traditional grammar and its legacy in twentieth-century linguistics. In A. Huffman & J. Davis (Eds.), Language: communication and human behavior: The linguistic essays of William Diver (pp.371–443). Leiden / Boston: Brill.
(1995) Constructions – a construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
(1994) Introduction to government and binding theory. Second edition. Oxford UK and Cambridge USA: Blackwell.
(1998) Attention in early scientific psychology. In R. Wright (Ed.), Visual attention (pp.3–25). New York / Oxford: Oxford University press.
(1989) Teaching the English tenses. In W. Diver (Ed.), Columbia University working papers in linguistics (pp.10.1–1065).
(2012) Introduction: the enduring legacy of William Diver. In A. Huffman & J. Davis (Eds.), Language: communication and human behavior: The linguistic essays of William Diver (pp.9–20). Leiden / Boston: Brill.
Huffman, A. & J. Davis
(Eds.) (2012) Language: Communication and human behavior: The linguistic essays of William Diver. Leiden / Boston: Brill.
(1993) The contemporary theory of metaphor. In A. Ortony (Ed.), Metaphor and thought, Volume 2 (pp. 202–251). Cambridge University Press.
Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson
(1980) Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
and L. Gleitman (1985) Language and experience: evidence from the blind child. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
(1993) English verb classes and alternations: a preliminary investigation. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
(2015) “look, v.”; “look, n.” Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/110130?rskey=ltooak&result=2
Otheguy, R., B. Rodriguez-Bachiller & E. Canals
(1985) The nature of English grammar. English teaching forum, July: 2–8.
(1974) The Saussurean sign as a control in linguistic analysis. Semiotext(e)1.31–53.
(1991) Verb and noun number in English: a functional explanation. London: Langman.
(1916) Cours de linguistique generale. Translated by Roy Harris as Course in general linguistics. La Salle, Illinois: Open Court Classics, 1972 .
(1980) Practical English usage. Oxford University Press.
(1993) Aspect in the English verb: process and result in language. London and New York: Longman.
(2003) Constructing a language – a usage-based theory of language acquisition. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: Harvard University Press.
(1738) Psychologia empirica. Frankfurt and Leipzig: Officina Libraria Rengeriana. Cited by section number.
Cited by other publications
de Jonge, Bob
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 14 december 2019. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.