Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Polysemy: polysemy is an expression for the ambiguity of characters or linguistic expressions. See also ambiguity, indeterminacy.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 201
Polysemy/Gärdenfors: many words seem to have a large number of different meanings that have little to do with each other. There are two ways to deal with this within the framework of a semantic theory. (Lakoff, 1987, p.420(1), Tyler & Evans, 2001, pp.727-733(2), Zlatev, 2003 (3), Van der Gucht, Klaas, & De Cuypere, 2007(4)).
1. Full specification: every single meaning is listed in the lexicon, but also the semantic relations between them can be specified. (Lakoff, 1987, pro)(1)
I 202
2. Minimum specification: a word meaning is assumed to be central, the others are derived either by context information or by semantic transformations.
Jackendoff: (1983, pp. 118-189)(5): Thesis: The mind does not form abstract concepts out of nothing.
Lakoff (1987)(1) Thesis: our mind would be overburdened if it had to store all 24 meanings of "over" individually. Solution: Remembrance of prototypes plus general semantic principles for the formation of other meanings.
Gärdenfors dito: I call the means for this semantic transformation.

1. Lakoff, G. (1987). Women, fire, and dangerous things. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2. Tyler, A., & Evans, V. (2001). Reconsidering prepositional polysemy networks: The case of over. Language, 77, 724–765.
3. Zlatev, J. (2003). Polysemy or generality? Mu. In H. Cuyckens, R. Dirven, & J. R. Taylor (Eds.), Cognitive approaches to lexical semantics (pp. 447–494). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
4. Van der Gucht, F., Klaas, W., & De Cuypere, L. (2007). The iconicity of embodied meaning: Polysemy of spatial prepositions in the cognitive framework. Language Sciences, 29, 733–754.
5. Jackendoff, R. (1983). Semantics and cognition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gä I
P. Gärdenfors
The Geometry of Meaning Cambridge 2014

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-07-02
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