Lexical Semantic Modelling in Cross-Linguistic Perspective

  • O. V. Demenchuk Rivne State University for the Humanities
Keywords: semantic models, semantic dimensions, model of situation, concept of situation, participant, tertium comparationis, method of subjective scaling, directed associative experiment


The paper focuses on model of situation concept – a representation that is thought to constitute the basis for comparison (tertium comparationis) of lexical semantics in related and non-related languages. The model is considered to represent the content of a lexical item through a sampling of a multidimensional concept. The relevance of the model being a representation of multidimensional semantic space is verified based on the results of the subjective scaling experiment. The concept of situation is considered as a configuration of semantic linguistic dimensions – the characteristics that encode information on how a situation is construed by the semantics of a lexical item. It has been ascertained that the lexical items’ semantics of contrasted languages (English, German, Polish, and Ukrainian) encode and distribute information within four semantic linguistic dimensions: representational, sentential, constructional, and epidigmatic. It is posited that the representational semantic dimension encodes information on the gnoseological values of situation participants, the sentential one – on a set and relations of situation participants, the constructional one – on the degree of positional activities or salience of situation participants, the epidigmatic one – on the semantic associations of situation participants. In order to ascertain the content of a situation concept and to establish the ways the information is encoded and distributed in the semantics of lexical items, a directed associative experiment has been used. In reproducing the specificity of the worldview, the expediency of further psycholinguistic research of lexical semantic models is claimed.


Arnauld, A., Lancelot, C. (1966). Grammaire générale et raisonnée, ou La Grammaire de Port-Royal [Grammar General and reasoned, or The Grammar of Port-Royal]. Stuttgart & Bad Cannstatt: Friedrich Frommann Verlag. 161.

Arutjunova, N. D. (1976). Predlozhenie i ego smysl. Logiko-semanticheskie problemy [The sentence and its meaning. Logic-semantic problems]. M.: Nauka. 384.

Boguslavskij, I. M. (1985). Issledovanija po sintaksicheskoj semantike: sfery dejstvija logicheskih slov [Studies on syntactic semantics: the scope of logical words]. M.: Nauka. 173.

Brychcín, T., Konopik, M. (2015). Latent semantics in language models. Computer speech and language. 33. 1. 88–108.

Cross-linguistic semantics: Explications, metalanguage, grammar (2008). ed. C. Goddard. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publ. 356.

Dalgarno, G. (1661). Ars signorum, vulgo character universalis et lingua philosophica [Art standards, generally the character of a universal language guidebook]. Londoni: Excudebat J. Hayes. 127.

Dekker, P. (2012). Dynamic semantics. Dordrecht: Springer. 127.

Dik, S. (1997). The theory of functional grammar. The structure of the clause. ed. K. Hengeveld. 2nd ed. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 1. 509.

Dowty, D. (2001). The semantic asymmetry of ‘argument alternation’ (and why it matters). Making sense: From lexeme to discourse, in honor of Werner Abraham at the occasion of his retirement. eds Geart van der Meer and G. B. Alice. Groningen: Center for Language and Cognition. 171–186.

Eger, S., Mehler, A. (2016). On the linearity of semantic change: Investigating meaning variation via dynamic graph models. Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. eds K. Erk, N. A. Smith. Berlin: Association for Computational Linguistics. 52–58.

Elliott, R. (1957). Isaac Newton’s ‘Of an universall language’. Modern Language Review. 52(1). 1–18.

Falk, Y. (2001). Lexical-functional grammar: An introduction to parallel constraint-based syntax. Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information. 253.

Fillmore, Ch. (1977). The case for case reopened. Syntax and Semantics. eds P. Cole, J. M. Sadock. New York; San Francisco; London: Academic Press. 59–81.

François, A. (2008). Semantic maps and the typology of colexification. Intertwining polysemous networks across languages. From polysemy to semantic change. Towards a typology of lexical semantic association. ed. M. Vanhove. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publ. 163–215.

Godfrey, R. (1960). The language theory of Thomas of Erfurt. Studies in Philology. 57(1). 22–29.

Goldberg, A. (1995). Constructions: A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 271.

Iriskhanova, O. K. (2014). Igry fokusa v iazyke. Semantika, sintaksis i pragmatika defokusirovaniia [Games of focus in the language. Semantics, syntax and pragmatics of defocusing]. M.: Yazyki slavianskoi kultury. 320.

Jackendoff, R. (1992). Semantic structures. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. 336.

Kibrik, A. E. (2005). Konstanty i peremennye jazyka [Constants and language variables]. SPb.: Aletejja. 720.

Kobozeva, I. M. (2004). Lingvisticheskaja semantika [Linguistic semantics]. 2-e izd. M.: Editorial URSS. 352.

Koptjevskaja-Tamm, M. (2016). The lexical typology of semantic shifts: An introduction. The lexical typology of semantic shifts. eds P. Juvonen, M. Koptjevskaja-Tamm. Berlin; Boston: Walter de Gruyter. 1–20.

Kustova, G. I. (2004). Tipy proizvodnyh znachenij i mehanizmy jazykovogo rasshirenija. M.: Jazyki slavjanskoj kultury. 472.

Lakoff, G., Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 242.

Leibniz, G. (1999). Philosophische Schriften [Philosophical writings]. Berlin: Akademie Verlag. 4. 3449.

Lewandowka-Tomaszczyk, B. (1985). On semantic change in a dynamic model of language. Historical Semantics: Historical Word-Formation. ed. J. Fisiak. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 297–323.

Melčuk, I. (2015). Semantics. From meaning to text: in 3 vol. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publ. 3. 566.

Millrood, R. (2014). Cognitive models of grammatical competence of students. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 154. 259–262.

Mitchell, J., Lapata, M. (2010). Composition in distributional models of semantics. Cognitive Science. 34. 8. 1388–1429.

Mukhtarullina, A., Issakova, S., Kuzdibaeva, A., Esenova, K. (2015). The cognitive modelling of textual modality. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 214. 970–976.

Multidimensional models of perception and cognition (1992). New York & London: Taylor & Frencis Group & Psychology Press. 544.

Narrog, H. (2012). Modality, subjectivity, and semantic change. A cross-linguistic perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 333.

Nerlich, B., Clark, D. D. (1988). A dynamic model of semantic change. Journal of Literary Semantics. 17. 2. 73–90.

Nisnevich, A., Hall, D., Klein, D. (2015). Probabilistically modeling semantic change. Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2015-36. Berkley, CA: Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences University of California at Berkeley. Retrieved from http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu /Pubs/TechRpts/2015/EECS-2015-36.html

Paducheva, E. V. (2004). Dinamicheskie modeli v semantike leksiki [Dynamic models in the semantics of vocabulary]. M.: Jazyki slavjanskoj kultury. 608.

Pinborg, J. (1977). Sigerus de Cortraco. Summa modorum significandi [Sigerus of Cortracum. The sum of the modes of signifying]. Sophismata. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publ. 108.

Plungjan, V. A., Rahilina, E. V. (1998). Paradoksy valentnostej [Paradoxes of valencies]. Semiotika i informatika. otv. red. V. A. Uspenskij. M.: Jazyki russkoj kultury; Russkie slovari. 36. 108–119.

Pustejovsky, J. (1998). The generative lexicon. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. 312.

Radden, G., Kӧvecses, Z. (1999). Towards a theory of metonymy. Metonymy in language and thought. eds. K.-U. Panther, G. Radden. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publ. 17–60.

Rahilina, E. V. (2002). Osnovnye idei kognitivnoj semantiki [Main ideas of cognitive semantics]. Sovremennaja amerikanskaja lingvistika: Fundamentalnye napravlenija. pod red. A. A. Kibrika, I. M. Kobozevoj i I. A. Sekerinoj. 2-e izd., ispr. i dop. M.: Editorial URSS. 370–389.

Roos, H. (1952). Die “Modi significandi” des Martinus de Dacia: Forschungen zur Geschichte der Sprachlogik im Mittelalter [The “Modi significandi” of Martinus de Dacia: Research on the History of Language Logic in the Middle Ages]. Münster: Asschendorffsche Verlasbuchhandlung; Kopenhagen: Arne Frost. 167.

Skarabela, B., Srinivasan, M., Rabagliab, H. (2017). The development of a generative lexicon: Evidence from instrument verbs. A Handbook of the 42-nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Boston: Boston University. 77.

Talmy, L. (2000). Toward a cognitive semantics: in 2 vol. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000. Vol. 1: Concept Structuring Systems. 565; Vol. 2: Typology and Process in Concept Structuring. 503.

Taylor, J. R. (1995). Linguistic categorization. Prototypes in linguistic theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 312.

Therriault, D. J., Rinck, M. (2007). Multidimentional situation models. Higher level language processes in the brain: inference and comprehension processes. eds F. Schmalhofer, C. A. Perfetti. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. 311–328.

Traugott, E. C., Dasher R. B. (2005). Regularity in semantic change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 341.

Wierzbicka, A. (1980). Lingua Mentalis: The semantics of natural language. Sydney; New York: Academic Press. 367.

Wierzbicka, A. (1992). Semantics, culture, and cognition: Universal human concepts in culture-specific configurations. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. 496.

Wilkins, J. (1668). An essay towards a real character and a philosophical language. London: S. Gellibrand. 627.
How to Cite
Demenchuk, O. (2018, August 21). Lexical Semantic Modelling in Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Scientific Journal of National Pedagogical Dragomanov University. Series 9. Current Trends in Language Development, (17), 32-42. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.31392/NPU-nc.series9.2018.17.03