Conceptual Semantics

Conceptual Semantics is a framework for semantic analysis developed mainly by Ray Jackendoff. Its aim is to provide a characterization of the conceptual elements by which a person understands words and sentences, and thus to provide "an explanatory semantic representation" (title of a Jackendoff 1976 paper). "Explanatory" in this sense refers to the ability of a given linguistic theory to describe how a component of language is acquired by a child (as proposed by Noam Chomsky; see Levels of adequacy ).

Background

Recently, conceptual semantics in particular, and lexical semantics in general, have taken on increasing importance in linguistics and psycholinguistics. Many contemporary theories of syntax (how sentences are constructed from individual words) rely on elements that are idiosyncratic to words themselves. As a result, a sound theory accounting for the properties of the meanings of words is required.

References

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ee also

*semantics
*lexical semantics
*Levels of adequacy
*conceptual metaphor


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