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 m e n t a l i s m implies that phenomena within language have a mental basis, which

means that language is not seen exclusively as an abstract system existing on its own
 a n t i – m e n t a l i s m implies that language is seen as a structure which is in no way
related to any kind of psychological attributes of the human being
 t h e o r i e s have an explanatory function; they systemise the data according to the general
principles; on the basis of this systematisation things become clearer
 m e t h o d o l o g y is a set of methods by means of which the postulates of the theory are,
hopefully, proven
 l i n g u i s t i c c o n t e x t: immediate syntagmatic environment in which a linguistic
element can appear (+ non-linguistic context + context of situation)

 l i n g u i s t i c s: the scientific study of language (language is seen as an abstract system)

 1916, Saussure’s “Course on General Linguistics” = the beginning of linguistics as a
science, and the beginning of structural linguistics
 it is the scientific study of language which aims at explaining how language functions
 language is seen as a unique system/structure whose basic principles are identified,
explained and can then be applied to all languages
 he distinguished between synchronic and diachronic research
 he distinguished between ‘langue’, ‘parole’ and ‘langage’ (the totality of the linguistic
 he started distinguishing between the psychological and sociological reality of language
 linguistic sign is comprised of form and content (signifié and signifiant)
 paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations
o syntagmatic – linear; they are combinatory sequences determined by the two sets of
rules: those that determine how sequence can appear, and those that are deliminated by
possible choices
o paradigmatic – all the possibilities within language that can be interchanged on the
syntagmatic level
o they pose a unity, i.e. function in unison
 structuralism developed in two major mainstreams
o European
o American
 based on the psychological theory of behaviourism
 very radical kind of anti-mentalism
 basic levels of linguistic analysis from the traditional point of view (i.e. what linguistics
deals with):
o phonology se
o morphology m
o syntax an
o lexicology tic
o semanticss (studies the structure above individual words/phrases)
 impact on other humanities: they could function as a legitimate scientific disciplines

 s e m i o t i c s: the scientific study of signs
 Ogden and Richards:
o semioticians intrigued by meaning in natural languages
o “The Meaning of Meaning” (1923): came up with 22 definitions of meaning
o something radical should be done, through analytical rigour – meaning must have
some kind of structure; they say that analytical rigour is the only way out within any
linguistic discipline that deals with meaning
o knowledge of the language and of the world depends on a cultural background and
on the direction of the development of a language
 eng.: trot > canter > gallop = hrv.: kas > ? > galop => lexical gap
 galop je posuđenica iz engleskog jer to nije bila primarna uloga konja u Hrvatskoj
o triangle
 symbol is any item of language REFERENCE
 reference (‘thought’) is a mental vision that we
get when someone says something
 referent is a real word entity
 meaning can be seen as a process; it is not an SYMBOL REFEREN
 there is an arbitrary relation between a symbol
and a referent
 TUllmann  Pierce
knowledge knowledge
of of
language the world

 the basic f u n c t i o n s o f l a n g u a g e (Leech)

o informational
 based on the assumption that the primary reason is to convey information
 connected with conceptual meaning
o expressive
 use of language for expressing one’s attitudes and feelings
 connected with affective meaning
o directive
 we aim to influence the behaviour and attitudes of others (e.g. demands and
 speech acts: we act through speech and get people to do something; legal acts (‘I
baptise you...’; ‘I pronounce you...’; etc.); for demands – using questions
o aesthetic
 covers various uses of language found in poetry, fiction and various aesthetic uses
 use for the sake of the linguistic artefact itself
o phatic (Malinowski)
 social relations with people kept on a good level – keeps their communication lines
 an intricate system which provides all the social information, so we can coexist with
other people
 today put alongside the informational function: they cover the majority of our
verbal exchanges
 language has strong social and cultural underline; it is our most powerful tool (we
learn the rules as we grow up)

 s e m a n t i c s: the scientific study of meaning (a clear definition of meaning does not
 formal semantics: a group of theoretical assumptions of meaning based on formal logic
and mathematics
 functional semantics: a non-formal linguistic approach to meaning
 syntactic semantics: when we put a word in a sentence, we get a change of meaning
 Reising
o in 1839 wrote a very comprehensive book on Latin verbs
o said that dealing with verbs was impossible without incorporating meaning
o was first to make generalised statements regarding syntax and semantics of Latin
 M. Bréal
o stresses the need for a separate discipline dealing with meaning, and he calls it for
the first time semantics
o in 1897 he writes his famous “Essay on Semantics”: official beginning of semantics
as a linguistic discipline
o semantics should be seen as the integral part of any linguistic study; without it,
descriptions are unproductive and do not serve to understand how language functions
 the related disciplines of semantics (from the traditional point of view):
o philology
 a diachronical approach to languages, a descriptive way of viewing languages until
the beginning of the 20th century
 its aim is to describe different notions in a vast number of mainly Indo-European
 philology > etymology + syntax (seen as a descriptive discipline)
o etymology
 part of philology; predecessor of contemporary semantics
 deals with how words change in form and meaning over time
 primarily a diachronic discipline
 e.g. brijati: change in form (brijati se > brijati) and meaning (brijati = brijati bradu
> brijati = misliti, i sl.)
o lexicology
 analysis of the lexemes of a language (i.e. the meaning of one phonological
sequence) and of certain set phrases
o lexicography
 scientific dissection of all the types of knowledge that we need to have in order to
produce a dictionary
 dictionaries: monolingual, bilingual, encyclopaedic (more scientific information,
extra information, pictures, etc; e.g. Webster’s), thesaurus (conceptual dictionary; the
basis of the organisation are the clusters of concepts)
 a good dictionary has two functions: to unveil anything one does not know, and to
unveil a new meaning one does not know yet
 linguistic corpora
□ provide objective data for analysing linguistic phenomena
□ 1st corpus: Brown Corpus (1960s), 1 million items amassed from 18
different kinds of texts
□ The National British Corpus: the biggest, more than 100 million items

□ The Bank of English: 200 million items
□ concordance: a list of examples that are represented in context
o stylistics
 text/discourse analysis in written and spoken language, applying to any kind of text,
whereas traditional definition related it specifically to literature
 dealing with varieties of style
 the oldest, traditional notions of semantics
o they more or less successfully describe some kind of phenomena, but do not explain
how these phenomena (i.e. their semantic side, their meaning) actually function in
language, nor where they come from
o synonymy
 absolute
□ completely same meaning
□ rare or even non-existent due to limited combinatory possibilities (of
phonemes in words)
□ John Lyons: three criteria have to be satisfied by absolute synonymy
1) synonyms are fully synonymous if all their meanings are identical
2) synonyms are totally synonymous if and only if they are synonymous an all
3) synonyms are completely synonymous if and only if they are identical in all
relevant dimensions of meaning
□ his examples:
radio = wireless (still used in Australian English: has a dialectal/stylistic meaning);
airport (today: with accompanying facilities, standard civil place for air traffic) =
airfield (today: for military purposes, or merely a strip of land) = aerodrome (today:
found in technical manuals) > differences in the dimension of meaning
□ Croatian examples: apoteka = ljekarna; muzika = glazba, sustav = sistem...
 partial
□ large & big: distinguished by the collocational range
□ flaw (personal) & defect (mechanical) & blemish (skin complex):
collocational range, and context (experience)
□ huge & enormous & gigantic & colossal: difference in expressive meaning
o polysemy
 one word has several related meanings
 e.g. neck (of a person, of a bottle, of a shirt...), bat (animal, baseball bat)
 synchronic resemblance – we as speakers recognise it, feel it instinctively
 these native-speaker feelings are based on metaphorical extensions (popular
 conceptual background of polysemy
o homonymy
 one word has more than one unrelated meaning
 absolute homonyms
□ e.g. bank = financial institution / side of a river
□ criteria to be fulfilled
1) their forms must be unrelated in meaning
2) all their forms must be identical
3) identical forms must be syntactically equivalent
 if the above criteria are not met, then we talk about partial homonyms
□ e.g. ‘They found hospitals and charitable institutions.’ (found = p.t. of ‘to
find’ / inf. ‘to found’) = partial homonymy often gives rise to ambiguity

□ e.g. ‘The bell was rung at midnight.’ / ‘A rung in the ladder was broken.’
(verb / noun)
o three groups of the theories of semantics
 structuralistic approach: lexemes learnt on the basis of their relationship to others
 cognitive approach: lexical concepts behind words learnt
 meaning explained with the help of other sciences (denotatum)

 m e a n i n g is all-prevailing; “...meaning will escape any cage you put it in...” (J.
 meaning is totally out of structures, and structures are totally devoid of meaning
(Bloomfield, “Language”, 1933)
 words have meanings, but one cannot scientifically define them without other sciences
interfering (e.g. salt = NaCl)
 different types of meaning:
o conceptual
 the central factor in linguistic communication
 enables us to use and understand a certain word
 it changes through time – it’s not fixed, it is dynamic
 an open-ended list of possible features
o secondary
 stylistic
□ what is communicative of the social circumstances of the language used
□ depends on the text (= decoding a text)
□ languages provide us words which are themselves stylistically marked
 affective
□ what is communicative of the feelings/attitude of the speaker/writer
□ related to stylistic meaning
□ e.g. ‘You’re a vicious tyrant, and I hate you for it.’ = depending on
intonation, it can have different meanings
 reflected
□ what is communicated through association with another sense of the same
□ e.g. taboo words (an intercourse = a dialogue,...; an erection = a building,...;
etc.): one of the senses/meanings becomes prominent
□ e.g. euphemism (a comfort station = a toilet,...; physically challenged =
retarded,...; African-American = black; etc.)
 collocative
□ what is communicated through an association with words that tend to occur
in the environment of another word
□ the typical instance of how an adjective and noun are used (pretty woman;
handsome man)
□ can be found between a subject and its verbs (e.g. cow wandered, not
strolled across the field)
 these differences in meanings can be found in the contrastive analysis of a language
(which decodes the text for stylistic meaning)
 Noam Chomsky emphasised the importance of the native speaker and took the meaning
back to the focal point of cognitive sciences: ‘...because the language doesn’t exist as an
abstract structure, but it is an integral part of our brain; every single speaker of every single
natural language can make accurate judgements whether the statement is acceptable or not,

and whether meaning in any sentence is presented as acceptable to other speakers of that

 componential analysis
o approach to the analysis of the meaning of lexemes by breaking down the meaning
into components; meaning is a structure we try to analyse
o very strict attempt of analytical rigour
o began within the realm of European structuralism (1930s)
o these definitions are inadequate in traditional sense
o componential analysis is very alive today, but has changed drastically – it started off
as a theory, and then between 1930s and 1960s still remained in linguistics, but as a
methodology, not theory
o a semantic field: set of lexemes on the paradigmatic level that are grouped together
on the basis of similar meaning
e.g. 1
woman + HUMAN + ADULT - MALE
o e.g. 2. (Pottier, 1964)
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6
chaise/chair + + + + - +
fauteil/armchair + + + + + +
tabouret/stool - + + + - +
canapé/sofa + + - + + +
pouffe/pouf - + + + - -
 S1: with a back; S2: raised above the ground; S3: for one person; S4: to sit in/on;
S5: with arms; S6: with/made out of solid material
 introduces descriptive components, more precision, but the choice of components is
still arbitrary
o e.g. 3 (E. Nida) – see the handouts
 loosens the approach to componential analysis, retaining groups (e.g. verbs of
 alongside binary oppositions introduces numerals and descriptive terms
o e.g. 4 (Anna Wierzbicka) – see the handout
 gets a detailed contrastive analysis
 a series of descriptive components, each showing that all features are inter-related –
it’s a network, a mental picture (common to all people), not a list
 her aim is to produce a definition of meaning that would describe the most fully the
concepts of mental images
o the selection of the components is optional – analysts decide upon them by
o if one wants a true meaning, the componential definitions must be very detailed

o the components are optional, but there is a problem of defining components
o therefore, componential analysis should only be performed with kinship terms
o componential analysis works only if it reflects close semantic relatedness

o different words may have related meanings – basic relations between related
words (basis for understanding vocabulary meaning – what happens on the paradigmatic
 inclusion
□ in many instances the meaning of one word may be set to be included within
the meaning of another
□ e.g.
animal colour
dog red
poodle scarlet

 overlapping
□ the meanings are not identical, but they do overlap
□ they can be substituted on for the other in at least certain contexts, without
significant changes in the conceptual context of the utterance
□ more general term can usually be substituted for another, but not other way
□ e.g. big-large dog

 complementation
□ meanings complementary to each other involve a number of shaped features
of meaning, but show marked contrasts and often opposite meanings
□ e.g. big-small, high-low, buy-sell, now-then, here-there,...

 contiguity
□ these relations can be found between closely related meanings occupying a
well-defined restrictive semantic domain in exhibiting certain well-marked
□ e.g. colours and verbs are a restricted semantic domain and hard to describe

o theory of semantic fields
 when the meaning of a word is viewed, it is easier to take notions close to its
meaning, i.e. semantically related lexemes
 Jost Trier sees the organisation on the paradigmatic level as fields
 the meaning of a lexeme is determined by the other lexemes in the lexical field
 a set of lexemes on the paradigmatic level are grouped together on the basis of
similar meaning
 e.g.
boil strike
steam simme kic punc sla
r k h p

boil fry broil
simmer saut deep gri barbec
é fry ll ue

 a change in reality changes the concepts, causes a change in lexical inventory, and a
change in semantic field
 cultural gap
strina, ujna, teta = aunt
 systemic gap
sg. pl. non- pas hum anim pla
past t an al nt
cup cups can cou corp carca -
ld se ss
dress dress may mig
es ht
- trouse must -
chaos -
o dichotomisation
 a set of semantically related lexemes is necessary to make binary oppositions
 these lexemes need to be a reflection of paradigmatic level of language
 binary oppositions

□ gradable: e.g. high-low
□ non-gradable: e.g. male-female
 spatial relations
□ directional opposites: e.g. up-down, arrive-depart; come-go (context
dependent, therefore deixis)
 orthogonal relations (N, S, E, W)
 The child broke the toy. paradigmatic level

syntagmatic level

 taxonomy
o describing the structure of a larger set of lexemes
o borrowed from biology
o rarely more than 5 levels
o hyponymy
 the basis of taxonomic organisation
 the notion of inclusion = one lexeme is superordinate to a subordinate one =
hierarchical relationship
 superordinate is more general, subordinate is more specific
 ‘a kind of’ or ‘a type of’ relationship
□ e.g. dog (hyperonym)

Dalmatian (hyponym) Lab (hyponym) Poodle (hyponym)

□ e.g. creature

animal bird fish insect

dog elephant robin eagle cod trout ant butterfly

 ‘a part for the whole’ relationship

□ e.g. body

head neck trunk limbs

arm leg

palm finger foot toe

o taxonomies function up to a certain level – they are limited and cannot be applied to
all words
o generic terms:
 more neutral, neither too general, nor too specific
 the middle one is usually the most important for our everyday communication: the
generic level (e.g. plant > bush > rose > hybrid tea > Peace)
 they can also cover two sexes in the same context (e.g. man-woman, dog-bitch,
cow-bull, duck-drake…)

 metonymy
o works by contiguity rather than similarity
o arises between words which are already related to each other
o has a referential function: one entity is used to refer to another
o it is not arbitrary nor random
o always focuses on the most dominant (expressive) feature
o ‘to fish pearls’ = metonymy / ‘to fish for information’ = metaphor
o “I’m reading Kafka.”, “The White House said...”, “I’ve got a new set of wheels.”,
“We need some new blood in our organisation.”, “The ham sandwich left without
paying.”, “The Times hasn’t arrived at the press conference yet.”
o ‘producer for product’ relationship: “I’ll have a Heineken.”, “He bought a
o ‘place for institution’ relationship: “Paris is introducing long skirts this season.”,
“Wall Street is in panic.”
o names for discoveries = names of inventors: Ampere, Ohm, Volt...
o one-time metonymy – occur once and never again: “The ham sandwich is waiting
for you to check.”, “The Times hasn’t arrived at the press conference yet.”

 phrasal lexemes
o very strict order of their constituent elements, e.g. to put up with someone
o unpredictable on the basis of their syntactic and semantic constituents
o syntactically they function as a compact
o if the nature of the subject is changed, the meaning of what follows is automatically
changed: e.g. to go out (= I have to go out) > cigarette went out (= no fire)

 idioms
o function as a whole (less syntactically flexible than phrasal lexemes)
o some are completely non-transparent, some have a degree of transparency

o to kick the bucket, to cook someone’s goose, to have a bee in one’s bonnet, to go
around the bend, to spill the beans, to pull someone’s leg, to be in the know...

 metaphor
o metaphoric expressions = condense comparison; works on the principle of
o fulfils the need for the economy of language – no need to invent new terms
o A = B; A: tenor, B: vehicle (Ullmann) – their relationship is based on the similarity
of senses, which can be objective (physically recognisable) or emotive (e.g. bitter
o traditional view
 the basic tendency in metaphor is to translate abstract entities or expressions into
concrete terms, e.g. to throw light upon sb, to be in the limelight, to put sth in
favourable light...
 dead metaphors: metaphors in everyday language that we do not even recognise,
the meaning is not transparent at all
 the only live metaphors are found in literature, especially in poetry
o cognitive view
 Labov says that the most lively part of language are dead metaphors that we do not
notice owing to their frequent use and them becoming conventional metaphors, but that
they are still highly productive
 human thought processes are largely metaphoric – we understand one thing in terms
of another, organising our knowledge by associations on the basis of differences and
 basic conceptual metaphors
□ metaphors are not arbitrary nor random, but are systematically organised in
classes and also culturally specific
□ they are the systems of metaphors according to which specific linguistic
terms are formed

□ they do not have to be linguistically expressed, but the structure of metaphor
is the same: A = B
□ love is war: he won her hand in marriage, he made an ally of her mother,
she pursued him relentlessly, he fled from her advances, she fought for him...
□ love is magic: she had me hypnotised, she cast a spell over me...
□ love is madness: I’m crazy about you...
□ people are plants: she’s in the full flower of youth, she’s a late bloomer,
that’s a budding theory, fertile imagination, to plant the seeds of sth...
□ time is money: you’re wasting my time, the flat cost me an hour... (not in E
 anthropomorphic expressions: transfer of body parts to inanimate objects, e.g.
hands of a clock, foot of a mountain, neck of a bottle...

 semantics and grammar

o sentence is a product of what we usually call lexical and grammatical meaning, that
is, the meaning of the constituent lexemes and grammatical structures that relate one
lexeme syntagmatically to another
o e.g. The dog bit the postman. / The postman bit the dog.
 the change happened in the grammatical meaning
 the meaning of the lexemes is derived from their position on the syntagmatic level
(word order)
 it does not suffice to know lexical meanings of constituent lexemes
 the key of understanding the meaning: the subjects and objects have grammatical

o word order
 provides additional information for understanding any sentence or utterance –
makes conceptual meaning more precise
 it is multifunctional; there is a nucleus of grammatical meaning
 Will you come? & Come, will you? (more harsh and severe; emphasis on the
predicate; used if angry)
o social meaning
 in certain grammatical elements in different languages grammar carries some kind
of social meaning
 e.g. social meaning expressed through ‘vi’ and ‘ti’ pronouns
 this shows that grammatical categories can carry social meaning: pronouns of
power and solidarity
 in English this is compensated by other means: titles Mr, Sir, Lady, royal 1 st person
(‘we’ instead of ‘I’)...
o full and functional words
 the distinction goes back to Aristotle
 full words: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs; very numerous
 functional words: articles, prepositions, conjuncts, negative particles; depend on
the sets restricted by semantic rules; not semantically empty, as they can alter the
meaning (e.g. in three days / for three days)
 in Croatian, čestice cannot be classified in either of the two above because they are
o utterances and sentences
 utterance

□ technical term
□ utterance meaning: belongs to spoken language; has an extra-linguistic
entity – context, and is very context-dependent
 sentence: in written communication
□ sentence meaning: belongs to written language; the context is provided with
more linguistic explanations, more text, more paragraphs...
□ sentence, as an entity, is not simply something that we communicate with,
something that belongs to ‘la parole’ (the concrete manifestation of language) – it
also belongs to ‘la langue’ (the abstract manifestation of language)
□ sentences have to have all elements – they have to connect both of the above
 we speak more than we write
 it is easier to deal with grammar in full sentences – utterances are often incomplete,
whereas sentences are usually complete
 utterance and sentence meanings reflect the knowledge of structures
 whatever one touches in grammar, one is always dealing with meaning in some
 they don’t function if they have form, but not context
o deixis
 generally universal, but language-specific
 a single language has a set of symbolic structures for connecting utterances (and
sentences – different rules apply here) to the context of a situation
 time, space, personal deictics (time and space are always interrelated in Indo-
European languages because we generally express time through social expressions)
 the way speakers perceive space is probably one of the most important facets of a
 in Croatian: ovdje (speaker) – tu (hearer) – ondje; directional: ovamo–tamo–onamo
 in urban areas the perception of space changes (due to closed spaces)

o syntax
 can be viewed as a set of rules that explain the linear ordering of the syntagmatic
level of language
 Lyons: the syntax of a language is a set of rules that account for the distribution of
word-forms throughout the sentences of a language, in terms of permissible
combinations of classes of word-forms
□ the above approach ignores the matters of meaning (e.g. The postman bit the
dog. / Milk gets rotten.)
□ the syntagmatic level is a combination of syntactic rules and in this way
formed sentences native speakers are able to interpret and understand (e.g. John
rang me up. / *John rang up me.)
□ deviant sentences (*): semantically incorrect sentences, those that native
speakers do not find correct
□ prototypical sentences: semantically correct; more-or-less-prototypical-
□ prototypical syntactic environment
 if there is a verb of motion (e.g. walk), the prototypical structure is
S+V(+Prep): The man walked down the street.
 if one changes S, metamorphosation occurs: The ghost walked around the
 pseudo-object: The children walked the village streets.
 a less frequent usage = a less prototypical environment

 the relationship between syntactic elements (subject and object) changes the
basic meaning of the verb: change in syntax = change in the verb
□ meaning is seen as the backbone of word-classes and intricate mechanisms
found on the syntagmatic level
 verbo-centric theories
□ L. Tesnier (1959) “Elements of Structural Syntax”: t h e v a l e n c y t h e o
r y (the verb is the focal point in the analysis, and it dictates what can come before
and after it)
□ C. Filmore “The Case for Case” (1968)
 aiming for mechanisms that will explain the difference between e.g.
 the verb, in its semantic aspect, is the key for the rest of the sentence
 although syntax is still his focal point, he tries to explain what actually
happens in the deep structure: in it there are covert categories, d e e p c a s e s,
which determine the relation of sentential elements that appear on the surface
 the problem of deep cases is that one does not know how many of them are
 they are descriptive relations (experiencer, instrumental, receiver...)
 subjects are not merely the agents, but can be in other deep cases as well
o all major semantic and basic syntactic processes happen in the deep structure
o collocative meaning
 collocations (Lyons): grammatically connected combinations of lexemes
(semantically connected as well, but this connection is not always transparent); usually
Adj + N
 a bay horse, but a blond boy = yellow hair
 sour milk, but rotten meat = bad
 functioning of deep syntagmatic relationships

 cognitive semantics
o 1923: “Language”, Edward Sapir – linguistic phenomena can’t be explained
without social and psychological phenomena
o 1933: “Language”, Leonard Bloomfield – anti-psychological view of language;
dealing with phonology and morphology
o 1957: “Syntactic features”, Noam Chomsky: revolutionises linguistics – a switch
from morphology and phonetic to syntax; introduces the notions of surface and deep
structure in syntax
o 1965: “The Aspects of the Theory of Syntax”, Noam Chomsky – all semantic
procedures happen in the deep structure; on the basis of rules from the deep structure, we
get the surface structure where we get well formed sentences (he never explained these
o transformational grammar
 attempts to deal with the matters of meaning with generative framework
 produced syntactically wonderful sentences, but semantics did not function =
inability to deal with meaning in syntagmatic level – it falls
 later: realisation that meaning is anthropomorphic, not only linguistic phenomena

 takes into consideration the psychological reality and pays attention to cultural
framework (and the environment)
o categories are difficult to define in terms of necessary insufficient features
o classicist approach: all members of a category are considered equal
o traditional approach: in a category, there is the most typical example of the whole
o prototype: the central member of a category, an ideal example of a category, a focal
point around which all other members are organised, determined by the environment,
culture, etc. (e.g. the Eskimos and the snow)
e.g.: eagle, chicken, robin, penguin
2. 3. 1. 4.
the most typical example of the category of birds
o the categorisation of colours:
 depends on a culture, on a language
 all the labels are based on typical colours
 focal colours: no in-between colours, just the main ones; they are salient/significant
 Dani tribe in Papua-New Guinea knew only two terms for colours, those for warm
and cold colours; Eleanor Rosch taught the, the focal colours
 black, white > red > green, yellow > blue > brown > purple, pink, orange, grey
o lexeme is viewed as a category where one member is a prototype and the others are
arranged around it, e.g. mouse (animal + object), root (plant + of a problem + in Maths)
o prototypical word order in English: S-V-O
o prototypes are required for everyday communication because they represent the
shared knowledge we have
o minimum concepts: sufficient for everyday communication – prototypical
knowledge of a concept (e.g. potato: no need to know its anatomy)
o maximum concepts: all other things (e.g. the flower of a potato, its Latin name,
o classification of all other notions according to the centre, core prototype
o scenes: systems of concepts that structure and form various aspects of human
experience; our knowledge of the world is organised in scenes (not a list of information);
prototypical images we have in our head, not only about things and entities, but about
events as well
o frames: the linguistics means that are available to refer to the aspects of the scene;
lexical set whose members index portions or aspects of some conceptual whole; words
interrelate so that they activate one another, forming correct sentences