HistLing Seminar Series 3, ANU, 2003

Normal time: Wednesdays, 11.00am-12.30pm
Nadel Room (Seminar Room C), HC Coombs Building (no.9), Australian National University

Abstracts

26th November, 2003: (room change to Baldessin Precinct Building room, W1.21)

Anna Zalizniak

(Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences)

A "Catalogue of Semantic Parallels":
towards a Typology of Semantic Change

It is well known, that finding semantic parallels is an important part of etymological investigation: it serves as an argument that makes the proposed etymological hypotheses more probable; every instance of semantic shift must be borne in mind by a professional etymologist as any of them can serve as a semantic parallel for a new etymological hypothesis. Hence the need for a formalized catalogue of semantic shifts which would comprise, in a unified, user-friendly format, the database of accumulating facts of the parallel semantic derivation, both synchronic and diachronic. The Catalogue of Semantic Parallels is, basically, an inventory of such semantic parallels, that is semantic shifts from meaning 'A' to meaning 'B' that have taken place synchronically or diachronically in two or more different words. Such an inventory would reveal the most frequent, prominent and significant semantic correlations that occur independently in several languages and epochs. The catalogue would serve (1) as a factual basis for the typology of semantic change, or semantic typology; (2) as a semantic criterion for linguistic reconstruction; (3) as a contribution to the "history of ideas"; (4) as a linguistic evidence for the nature of cognitive processes.


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