This chapter proposes a conception of lexical meaning as use-potential, in contrast to prevailing atomistic and reificational views. The issues are illustrated on the example of spatial expressions, pre-eminently prepositions. It is argued that the dichotomy between polysemy and semantic generality is a false one, with expressions occupying points on a continuum from full homonymy to full monosemy, and with typical cases of polysemy falling in between. The notion of use-potential is explored in connectionist models of spatial categorization. Some possible objections to the use-potential approach are also addressed.
|Research areas and keywords
- General Language Studies and Linguistics
- connectionist modeling, creativity, epigenesis, hermeneutics, meaning-holism, monosemy, polysemy, semantic generality, situatedness, spatial expressions, use-potential
|Title of host publication||Cognitive Approaches to Lexical Semantics|
|Editors||Hubert Cuyckens, René Dirven, John R. Taylor|
|Publisher||Mouton de Gruyter|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|