Topics in Semantic Theory:
Advanced Lexical Semantics
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Questions and Issues
It is claimed in Cognitive semantics that
frequency is important in the cognitive makeup of the language user's
linguistic network. More frequent items become more entrenched and
therefore more "important" in some sense.
Can this importance be overridden by other cognitive or social
- Are there factors or types of cognitive salience that may play a role
in determining primacy or basicness of units in a network?
- What kinds of cognitive salience are there?
- What is the actual relationship between frequency and cognitive
entrenchment; between frequency and cognitive salience/importance;
between cognitive entrenchment and cognitive salience?
Given that polysemy is generally recognized as important in cognitive
- How should we best think about it? (SK suggests "clouds" of senses
that shade off into one another)
- When should we distinguish between two or more senses?
- Does it matter if we cannot always classify uses in a one-to-one
mapping with senses?
- What ARE the types of possible mappings between instances, uses, senses?
What is the cognitive correlate of a unit's being
Can we, or should we, distinguish between frequency of a given use,
and frequency of the situations that might require that use? Can
frequency of situation types be responsible for frequency in
collocations, without this having consequences for the linguistic system?
© 2007 Suzanne Kemmer
Last modified 14 March 2007