Semantic Theories in Europe, 1830–1930

From etymology to contextuality

Brigitte Nerlich | University of Nottingham
ISBN 9789027245465 (Eur) | EUR 125.00
ISBN 9781556193545 (USA) | USD 188.00
ISBN 9789027277268 | EUR 125.00 | USD 188.00
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It is widely believed by historians of linguistics that the 19th-century was largely devoted to historical and comparative studies, with the main emphasis on the discovery of soundlaws. Syntax is typically portrayed as a mere sideline of these studies, while semantics is seldom even mentioned. If it comes into view at all, it is usually assumed to have been confined to diachronic lexical semantics and the construction of some (mostly ill-conceived) typologies of semantic change. This book aims to destroy some of these prejudices and to show that in Europe semantics was an important, although controversial, area at that time. Synchronic mechanisms of semantic change were discovered and increasing attention was paid to the context of the sentence, to the speech situation and the users of the language. From being a semantics of transformations', a child of the biological-geological paradigm of historical linguistics with its close links to etymology and lexicography, the field matured into a semantics of comprehension and communication, set within a general linguistics and closely related to the emerging fields of psychology and sociology.
Publishing status: Available
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Cited by 31 other publications

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Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  91042523 | Marc record