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Re: Letf / Right, was Re: Count and mass nouns

From:Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>
Date:Monday, January 26, 2004, 4:10
Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> Except that I don't believe in the existence of such primitives. The way I > see the lexicon of any language built, each word is defined in relationship > with others, but also with its own specific primitive nucleus. The area of > meaning is necessarily continuous. I don't believe you can cut it into > primitive units of meaning.
Lakoff's "Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things" is an interesting argument for that very notion. Basic terms, he believes, are concepts that can be applied to sensory gestalts. Terms like "man" or "cat" or "tree" are the basic terms, and other concepts are derived from basic terms by either refining (old man, Persian cat, Elm) or grouping (person, animal, plant). That's somewhat simplifying his notion, but it makes much more sense to me than the "primitives" notion. Those primitives aren't concepts that are easily conceived by the conscious mind, so I have a hard time believing that a child learning a language uses them. I agree with Lakoff's belief that language uses the same cognitive capacities as other forms of reason and thought. -- "There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd, you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." - overheard ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42


Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>Primitives, was Re: Left / Right, was Re: Count and mass nouns