A new book: From Polysemy to Semantic Change. Towards a typology of lexical semantic associations

Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm tamm at LING.SU.SE
Sun Jan 4 20:57:43 UTC 2009

 From Polysemy to Semantic Change. Towards a typology of lexical  
semantic associations
Edited by Martine Vanhove. Llacan (Inalco, CNRS), Fédération TUL

Studies in Language Companion Series 106. 2008. xiii, 404 pp.


This book is the result of a joint project on lexical and semantic  
typology which gathered together field linguists, semanticists,  
cognitivists, typologists, and an NLP specialist. These cross- 
linguistic studies concern semantic shifts at large, both synchronic  
and diachronic: the outcome of polysemy, heterosemy, or semantic  
change at the lexical level. The first part presents a comprehensive  
state of the art of a domain typologists have long been reluctant to  
deal with. Part two focuses on theoretical and methodological  
approaches: cognition, construction grammar, graph theory, semantic  
maps, and data bases. These studies deal with universals and  
variation across languages, illustrated with numerous examples from  
different semantic domains and different languages. Part three is  
dedicated to detailed empirical studies of a large sample of  
languages in a limited set of semantic fields. It reveals possible  
universals of semantic association, as well as areal and cultural  

Table of contents

Semantic associations': A foreword
Martine Vanhove vii–xiii
Part I. State of the art

Approaching lexical typology
Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm 3–52
Part II. Theoretical and methodological issues

Words and their meanings: Principles of variation and stabilization
Stéphane Robert. 55–92

The typology of semantic affinities
Bernard Pottier. 93–105

Cognitive onomasiology and lexical change: Around the eye
Peter Koch. 107–137

Mapping semantic spaces: A constructionist account of the "light  
verb" xordæn 'eat' in Persian
Niloufar Family. 139–161

Semantic maps and the typology of colexification: Intertwining  
polysemous networks across languages
Alexandre Francois. 163–215

A Catalogue of semantic shifts: Towards a typology of semantic  
Anna Zalizniak. 217–232

Semantic associations and confluences in paradigmatic networks
Bruno Gaume, Karine Duvignau and Martine Vanhove. 233–264
Part III. Case studies

About 'eating' in a few Niger-Congo languages
Emilio Bonvini. 267–289

Eating beyond certainties
Christine Hénault. 291–301

 From semantic change to polysemy: The cases of 'meat/animal' and  
Pascal Boyeldieu. 303–315

Is a 'friend' an 'enemy'? Between "proximity" and "opposition"
Sergueï Sakhno and Nicole Tersis. 317–339

Semantic associations between sensory modalities, prehension and  
mental perceptions: A crosslinguistic perspective
Martine Vanhove. 341–370

Cats and bugs: Some remarks about semantic parallelisms
Michel Masson. 371–386

General index. 387–395

Index of languages. 397–400

Index of names. 401–404

Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm
Dept. of linguistics, Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
tel.: +46-8-16 26 20
tamm at ling.su.se

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