The Nawatl verb kīsa: A case study in polysemy

Statement of Responsibility:
Tuggy, David
Authors:
Other Contributors:
Date:
2003
Part Of Series:
Cognitive Linguistics Research, 23
Extent:
pages 323-62
Abstract:
Even a cursory examination of the meanings of the Orizaba Nawatl verb kīsa (perhaps best glossed as ‘emerge’) illustrates a number of basic principles that are relevant to debates about the status of polysemy. These principles are commonsensical, so ubiquitously evident that it is difficult not to call them “facts” or “truths”; yet they have been denied by some linguists, so it is useful to reaffirm them. Among them are the following: (i) polysemy is rampant; (ii) polysemous meanings are related in multiple, reasonable, even systematic ways; (iii) context is necessary for the establishing and maintenance of these meanings and for choice among them; (iv) nevertheless, all of this does not amount to prediction or allow meanings to be omitted from the theoretical lexicon because of their relation to more basic meanings or to context. Learning a language still involves learning which of these meanings are and which are not established.
Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Mexico
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Field:
Work Type:
Subject:
Semantics
Nature of Work:
Relation Text:
Hubert Cuyckens, René Dirven and John R. Taylor, eds., Cognitve Approaches to Lexical Semantics. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 3110177099
Entry Number:
2162