Relational Semantics and the Anatomy of Abstraction
By Tamar Sovran
Routledge – 2014 – 188 pages
Series: Routledge Studies in Linguistics
This book presents a study of meaning relations, linking the philosophical tradition of conceptual analysis with recent theories and methodologies in cognitive semantics. Its main concern is the extent to which analyzing meaning relations between cognate words reveal the infrastructure of the actual and mental lexicon, assuming that language mirrors thought. Sovran aims to elucidate their infrastructure and the metaphorical and perceptual models that constitute abstract concepts, dealing finally with the role of abstraction in poetic metaphors. Overall, this volume addresses major contemporary issues in the philosophy of language and theoretical semantics.
This project is clearly indispensable for philosophers and linguists alike. Tamar Sovran’s novel contribution adds greatly, from an original cognitive linguistic point of view, to the conceptual analyses by well-known philosophers such as Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein. The reader may be surprised to realize that beneath the different philosophical debates over each of the major concepts being discussed, there is a common basis for some consent. This is a great novelty, the importance of which cannot be overestimated. -- Amihud Gilead, Department of Philosophy, University of Haifa, Israel
1. Introduction 2. Background and Methods 3. Similarity 4. Difference 5. Negativity 6. Truth 7. Norm 8. Abstraction and Poetic Metaphor 9. Conclusion
Tamar Sovran is Associate Professor in the Hebrew Culture Studies Department at Tel Aviv University, Israel.