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Semantic change

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					    Semantic change

Meaning changes in various ways
           Semantic change


• Metaphorical Extension is a very important
  process of semantic change
       Metaphorical Extension


• 道dao traveling
    → a route
    → a channel
    → a way
    → doctrine, politics
    → a religious philosophy
       Metaphorical Extension


• 封 feng1 grant of land
    → seal
    → envelope
    → Classifier
       Metaphorical Extension


• One or more semantic features are
  extended such that the word is applied to
  a wholly new context
        Metaphorical Extension
• foot ‘body part’ → base of a mountain, bed,
  stairs, etc.
• broadcast ‘throw seeds out broadly’→ send out
  TV, radio waves
• homerun (baseball) → (football ) touchdown →
  a big success
• hail mary ‘a prayer’ → a long pass for a
  touchdown at the end of a half or game
• prayer → a shot with little chance to go in
• ace ‘highest card’ → to get an A on a test
      Metaphorical Extension


nuclear weapon/s
→ [via clipping] nuke/s (N)
→ [via functional shift] nuke (V) ‘destroy
   with nuclear weapons’
→ ‘to microwave’ as in nuke some
   popcorn
    Metaphorical extension

• Metaphorical extension is probably the
  primary means of vocabulary expansion
               Reduction
• Applies to a smaller circle of meaning

 hund ‘all dogs’ → hound; specific breed
 (dog < docga took over as general word)
 corn ‘grains’ (usually referred to principle
 crop in a region) → maize
 meat ‘all food’ → animal flesh
               Elevation
• Applies to a higher value of meaning

 knight ‘youth’ → honorable rank’
 squire ‘attendant’ → gentleman;
                       landowner
              Degradation
• Applies to a lower value of meaning
  lust ‘enjoyment, pleasure’ → sinful
  pleasure (usu.) of sexual nature
  lewd ‘of laity, not clerical’ → ignorant →
  base → obscene
  wench ‘female child, servant’ → lewd
  woman
  mistress ‘woman in authority, ownership’
  → a woman kept by a (usu. married) man
   Change in circumstances



hall ‘large room in a castle or building’
   → corridor
crescent ‘increasing’
   → shape of moon in 1st Quarter
   → a shape, as in a crescent roll

				
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posted:6/25/2012
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