[Lexicog] Semantic extensions

Mike Maxwell maxwell at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Fri May 21 13:41:33 UTC 2004

Chaz and Helga Mortensen wrote:

>>In N. Embera the basic term "tooth" also means:
>>- a knife blade
>     - a bird's beak
>     - snake venom
> "Eye" is extended to round objects. The human posterior, mentioned above, is
> actually a combination of "hip" plus "eye". Round object?! A kernel of corn,
> a star, the sun, all have "eye" as one element.
> "Mouth" also refers to openings but it must be used in combination with
> another noun or derivational noun root. The human mouth is "lip mouth",
> river mouth is "river mouth" (surprise), and so on.

Sounds like an incipient noun classifier system, as is common in
Amazonian languages of Colombia (and many other places in the world).
The diff would be that the classifiers have (usually, but not always)
been bleached of all meaning except the shape.
	Mike Maxwell
	Linguistic Data Consortium
	maxwell at ldc.upenn.edu

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