Semantics ' Primes and Universals ' (St. in Classification Data Analysis) (Paperback)

By Anna Wierzbicka

OUP Oxford, 9780198700036, 512pp.

Publication Date: March 28, 1996

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Conceptual primitives and semantic universals are the cornerstones of a semantic theory which Anna Wierzbicka has been developing for many years. Semantics: Primes and Universals is a major synthesis of her work, presenting a full and systematic exposition of that theory in a non-technical and readable way. It delineates a full set of universal concepts, as they have emerged from large-scale investigations across a wide range of languages undertaken by the author and her colleagues. On the basis of empirical cross-linguistic studies it vindicates the old notion of the "psychic unity of mankind," while at the same time offering a framework for the rigorous description of different languages and cultures.