ERIC Number: ED125299
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Being Precise about Lexical Vagueness. York Papers in Linguistics., No. 6.
Leech, Geoffrey N.
This paper accepts Labov's (1973) criticisms of the categorial approach, i.e., the view that linguistic units are categories which are discrete, invariant, qualitatively distinct, conjunctively defined, and composed of atomic primes, and follows Labov in attempting to develop a non-categorial (or fuzzy-categorial) approach to lexical semantics, based on experimental evidence. At the same time, it is argued that Labov's method of investigation, whereby informants name pictured objects, suffers from built-in limitations and distortions. An alternative method is proposed, in which informants respond to linguistic rather than pictorial stimuli. This method, though perhaps not superior to Labov's, at least has complementary advantages and disadvantages, so that its use, when combined with Labov's method, may be said to widen the empirical basis for the study of lexical semantics. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: York Univ. (England). Dept. of Language.