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Analyzability and semantic associations in referring expressions: A study in comparative lexicology

This thesis is a sample-based typological study of formal and semantic patterns in terms for a selection of referring ("nominal") meanings.

Matthias Urban
10 October 2012
Full text in Leiden University Repository

Languages differ considerably in that in some, unanalyzable, monomorphemic terms dominate in the lexicon while in others analyzable items formed by language-specific means of word-formation (which one this is is a typological variable in itself) abound.

The thesis attempts to establish the variation and limits in this variable and to explain why languages vary. Another major concern are semantic associations found in analyzable items as well as in the conflation of several meanings into one lexical item, both from an areal as well as a universal point of view.

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