SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Chao, Wynn and Bach, Emmon (2012) 'Semantic types across languages.' In: Maienborn, Claudia, Heusinger, Klaus von and Portner, Paul, (eds.), Semantics - An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning, vol 3. Berlin: De Gruyter. (Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science 33.3)

This is the latest version of this item.

Full text not available from this repository.


A semantic perspective on language universals deals with absolute universals of meaning and the semantic import of syntactic and infl ectional categories, and lexical items. This paper takes a model-theoretical basis as primary and looks both at the independent semantics and at the mappings from syntax to semantics and from semantics to syntax. Denotational semantics is contrasted with conceptual semantics. The grammatical side of the discussion works mainly with categorial and cartographic approaches. The general approach is hypothetico-deductive and at every point in a description it is necessary to ask whether we are dealing with a universal property of human Language or with a property or distinction that is limited to one or several languages. In the latter case we need to ask about the space of variation and about dependencies across such spaces. Looking from grammar to meaning, the paper takes up nominal, verbal, and clausal constructions as well as subtopics: mass and count nouns, numbers and number, adjectival modification, kinds of verbs and verbal complexes.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: semantic universals: inductive and deductive approaches, absolute and implicational universals; semantic types and syntactic categories: reference, propositions, properties; lexical heads and functional projections.
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
ISBN: 9783110253382
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2012 13:47
Related URLs: http://www.degr ... ew/serial/16647 (Publisher URL)
http://www.degr ... /product/175240 (Publisher URL)
http://www.degr ... w/product/43478 (Publisher URL)

Altmetric Data

There is no Altmetric data currently associated with this item.

Available Versions of this Item


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item