Aspects of Semantic Opposition in English by Arthur Mettinger

Aspects of Semantic Opposition in English

byArthur Mettinger

Hardcover | November 1, 1990

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Antonymy is recongized as an important type of meaning relation in natural languages, yet there are very few detailed empirical studies of the topic. Through an analysis of a corpus of 43 contemporary English-language novels Dr Mettinger isolates ten syntactic frames within which antonyms areregularly found: these serve as a useful heuristic tool for eliciting opposites from texts. He argues that there are two kinds of antonyms: systemic opposites which have meaning relations definable in strictly semantic terms, and non-systemic opposites which require contextual and encyclopaedicknowledge for an interpretation of their relationship. The author analyses systemic opposites within an autonomous semantics framework based on semantic field theory, using semantic features, semantic dimensions, and archisememes as descriptive tools. His analysis of 350 pairs of antonyms taken from Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrasesyields a typology of meaning-opposition in English based on syntacticosemantic criteria such as gradability and scalarity which stands in contrast to standard logic-based typologies. Among the specific topics covered are `negative' prefixes, the problem of markedness, and the treatment ofmeaning-opposition from a cognitive point of view.

About The Author

Arthur Mettinger is an Associate Professor of English Linguistics at University of Vienna.

Details & Specs

Title:Aspects of Semantic Opposition in EnglishFormat:HardcoverDimensions:214 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.75 inPublished:November 1, 1990Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198242697

ISBN - 13:9780198242697

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`The lexical entries are highly useful...Anyone who has tried to present an explicit and detailed lexical analysis will appreciate the care that has gone into these entries...Anyone who is interested in the organisation of the lexicon and who has some background knowledge of antonymy willprofit from this book...M has valuable hands-on experience which would be welcomed by readers who wish to become more effective empiricists'Lexicology