Regular polysemy − between semantics and context Cover Image
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Polisemia regularna – między semantyką a kontekstem
Regular polysemy − between semantics and context

Author(s): Anna Czelakowska
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: KSIĘGARNIA AKADEMICKA Sp. z o.o.
Keywords: regular polysemy; meaning shifts; semantics; pragmatics; context; nouns

Summary/Abstract: The paper attempts to answer the question whether the fact that a semantic difference is solely determined by its context, suffices to justify forgoing it in a dictionary, or whether lexicographers should also take other factors into account. The author points out that a considerable part of regular semantic oppositions of nouns follow predictable patterns – which is not to say that all of the products that they might potentially generate must actually appear in the language. The article seeks to answer two questions: 1. where might be the blockages located that disallow certain products of such shifts to operate in the language, and leave others a derivational potential, and 2. is context merely a tool of disambiguation through fixed patterns, or are new meanings constantly created afresh based on it? Definitive answers are not given, but it is shown that it might be unsuitable for a lexicographer to strictly demarcate semantics and pragmatics. In some cases, extralinguistic factors will trigger mechanisms of semantic derivation and accelerate lexicalization, while in others, presumably, they will inhibit the derivational potential of certain regular types of semantic shifts.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 17
  • Page Range: 45-58
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish