Article published in:From Polysemy to Semantic Change: Towards a typology of lexical semantic associations
Edited by Martine Vanhove
[Studies in Language Companion Series 106] 2008
► pp. 267–289
About 'Eating' in a few Niger-Congo languages
This article is a systematisation of the semantic notion of “eating” in Niger-Congo languages. It is based on lexical material published in dictionaries. It shows, contrary to Gouffé (1966) that “eat”, in its semantic extensions, is not basically a “controlled activity”, but is also an “undergone activity”. This in line with Pardeshi et al. (2006) findings for Asian languages. The semasiological approach shows how the lexical items meaning “eating” broaden to a larger range of polysemous meanings. This is achieved through the study of “eating” (i) as lexical units, (ii) in their linguistic co-texts and their implications for the construction of orthonyms, (iii) in the discursive context and its relations to the polysemous construction of meaning.
Keywords: eat, meaning, polysemy, primitive, reference, semantics, signified, synonymy, translation, universal
Published online: 21 November 2008