[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Vol 45, Issue 20

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Sep 18 16:05:32 EDT 2006


Yes, you did jump in late.

I have repeatedly acknowledged that idiomatic phrases and compound
lexemes have their own semantic domains separate from the semantic
domains of the stand alone terms that make up an idiom or compound

However, when defining according to function, "bad" has the same
functional semantic domain in all the examples you gave. Similarly
both uses you gave of "spoiled" have the same functional meaning.

With "speedy" you have a point, but even there for an action it refers
to actual motion, while for an object it refers to the potential of
that motion provided it can be kept in repair. We are not talking
about a decidedly different semantic domain, just a minor nuance, the
same minor nuance that exists in all adjectives modifying velocity.

Where the disagreement lies is that I claim that a stand alone lexeme
(not counting the times it is used as a compound lexeme) has only one
semantic domain, whereas others claim that one term can have multiple
semantic domains. I define according to function, while most
lexicographers define according to form.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 9/17/06, Dr. Joel M. Hoffman <joel at exc.com> wrote:
> >modifying a noun attached to an object. In other words, the subject of
> >a noun can and does modify the meaning of an adjective modifying that
> >noun.
> Unfortunately, this is exactly how language works.  Adjectives do mean
> different things depending on the nouns they modify.  (I'm joining
> this thread late, so I don't know if the theoretical point supports
> either or both positions, but it is nonetheless true.)
> We can look at examples from English.
> A "speedy (military) advance" has different qualities than a "speedy
> car," notably in that one possesses actual speed while the other does
> not, though it probably possesses potential for speed.  (It might
> not.  It might be permanently broken.   Surprisingly to logicians,
> such a broken car is still a speedy car, even though it can't move.)
> A "bad idea" (an idea likely to produce unwanted results) has
> different qualities than a "bad dessert" (which is not tasty) or a
> "bad example" (which fails to prove a point).
> A "spoiled child" has very different qualities than a "spoiled
> surprise."
> Sometimes adjective and nouns for idiomatic groups.  "Gray market"
> camera equipment has nothing to do with the color "gray."  "White
> noise" has nothing to do with a "white lie."
> Other examples abound.
> -Joel
> Joel M. Hoffman, PhD
> http://www.exc.com/JoelHoffman

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