Blog Archives

The secret history of grammaticalization

James McElvenny Universität Potsdam Research into grammaticalization has an established pedigree, first certified by Lehmann (2015[1982]: 1-9) and confirmed, with various additions, by Heine et al (1991: 5-23) and Hopper & Traugott (2003[1993]: 19-38).[1] The standard genealogy records the birth

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Posted in 19th century, 20th century, Europe, History, Linguistics, Pragmatics, Semantics

Christian Karl Reisig as an upholder of philosophical linguistics in 19th century Germany

Jacques François Université de Caen & CNRS In his introduction (p.6-18) to the Vorlesungen über lateinische Sprachwissenschaft (Lectures on Latin Linguistics, 1839), Christian Karl Reisig offered a philosophically grounded account of the epistemology of language as a Prinzipienwissenschaft (“Science of

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Posted in 19th century, Europe, Germany, History, Linguistics, Pragmatics, Semantics

Family resemblance and semantics: the vagaries of a not so new concept

Jean-Michel Fortis Université Paris Diderot The motivation for writing this post is twofold: first, there is still something to be said about the origins of the notion of family resemblance and its application to semantics, most notably in the version

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Posted in 20th century, Cognitive Linguistics, Europe, History, Linguistics, Semantics

Some Remarks on Objectivity in Pragmatics

Samuel Lewin University of Sydney I Let me start with some background. In recent decades, linguists and philosophers have debated the role played by context in determining what we say, as opposed to what we imply or otherwise mean, when

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Posted in Linguistics, Philosophy, Pragmatics, Semantics

Language and smell: traces of synesthesia in premodern learning

Raf Van Rooy PhD fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) University of Leuven It is well known that, in present-day English, the verb ‘smell’ can obtain a negative connotation when used intransitively; the adjective derived from it, ‘smelly’,

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Posted in Europe, History, Linguistics, Semantics

No beetle? Wittgenstein’s ‘grammatical illusions’ and Dalabon emotion metaphors

Maïa Ponsonnet Australian National University and Dynamique du Langage (CNRS/Université Lyon 2) Apart from a few fruitful but pointed encounters, linguistics and philosophy of language often talk past each other. In this post, I try and establish a dialogue between

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Posted in Australia, Linguistics, Philosophy, Semantics

Der Artikel ist keine ‘Wortart’! Zur synthetischen Grammatik von Sekiguchi

Kennosuke Ezawa Ost-West-Gesellschaft für Sprach- und Kulturforschung, Berlin Die Linguistik war lange nicht zur Erkenntnis dessen gekommen, was durch den Artikel geschieht, wenn er verwendet wird. „Allheit“ ist bekanntlich ein Inhalt, der im Deutschen mit dem sogenannten bestimmten Artikel realisiert

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Posted in Linguistics, Semantics, Syntax

Do linguists measure anything?

Nick Riemer University of Sydney and Laboratoire d’histoire des théories linguistiques, Université Paris-Diderot Few questions in linguistics can be as hoary, fundamental or, perhaps, as unsatisfactorily handled, as that of the discipline’s empirical status – a question typically presented as

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Posted in Linguistics, Philosophy, Semantics

Analyses du fonctionnement sémantico-référentiel du nom propre dans l’Inde ancienne

Émilie Aussant Laboratoire d’histoire des théories linguistiques (CNRS) – Université Paris Diderot Introduction La question du « sens » des noms propres a suscité, aussi bien en Occident qu’en Inde, de nombreuses réflexions. Si les débats ont longtemps concerné, en Occident, la

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Posted in History, India, Linguistics, Semantics

The notion of stereotype in language study

Elena L. Vilinbakhova St. Petersburg State University 1. Introduction Originally, the word stereotype derives from two Ancient Greek roots: στερεός ‘solid’ and τύπος ‘impression’. It was first used by the French printer Firmin Didot in 1796 as a typographical term. Later,

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Posted in Linguistics, Semantics