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Centre for Language Studies | Faculty of Arts | Radboud University Nijmegen

Asifa Majid: Comparing lexicons cross-linguistically

Comparing lexicons cross-linguistically

Date: Tuesday March 26, 2013

Time: from 12:30 to 13:30

Location: E1.06

Non-nativeness in communication and Persuasive Communication

Speaker: Asifa Majid

The lexicon is central to the concerns of disparate disciplines and has correspondingly elicited conflicting proposals about some of its foundational properties. Some suppose that word meanings and their associated concepts are largely universal, while others note local cultural interests infiltrate every category in the lexicon.

I review recent research across semantic domains in order to illustrate cross-linguistic similarities and differences in semantic fields. Data is considered from a wide array of languages, especially those from small-scale indigenous communities which are often over-looked. In every lexical field we find considerable variation across cultures, raising the question of where this variation comes from. Is it the result of different ecological or environmental niches, cultural practice, or accidents of historical pasts? Current evidence suggests diverse pressures differentially shape lexical fields.

Contact: Béryl Hilberink and Ulrike Nederstigt

Phone number: 024-3612875

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