Web Guide (GPG)

webguide iconLexical semantics
The nature of lexical semantics has changed markedly in the twenty-to-thirty years since classic texts like Lyons (1977) and Cruse (1986) were published. Such texts were written at a time when Structuralist lexical semantics essentially carried on separately from major [Generative] theories of grammar. During and since the 1980s, however, theories of grammar have become much more lexically-driven, necessitating much deeper attention to issues of lexical meaning. Unfortunately, there is a tendency in lexical semantics courses and in semantics textbooks to present lexical semantics essentially as it was 30 years ago, with the focus limited to polysemy/homonymy and the ‘nym’ relations (synonym, antonym, etc.). This guide examines ways to construct a modern classroom approach to lexical semantics, with a broader definition of the field.