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Empirical evidence for context - sensitive lexical semantics

Empirical evidence for context-sensitive lexical semantics

Elisabetta Jezek (Professoressa di Linguistica, Unversit di Pavia)

Tuesday, December 13th 2016 - 4.p.m.

Sala del Camino - Palazzo del BrolettoPiazza della Vittoria 15 - Pavia


In this talk I will first present linguistic evidence why we need a context-sensitive model of lexical semantics to account for how lexical information, cognitive knowledge, pragmatic inference and compositionality interact in language use. This linguistic evidence focuses on different polysemy types and meaning modulations we can detect in language, particularly in verb-argument ​syntactic ​composition. Based on empirical data, I will argue that an account which stresses the interplay between lexical meaning and concepts, preserving at the same time the distinction between the two, is more likely to succeed in helping us understand of how the dimensions above interact. Finally, I will address the question of how vector-based analyses of language can be useful to gain evidence-based insight on the relational structure of the mental lexicon, its interplay with conceptual knowledge, and the way meaning is built compositionally using words and their associated information as basic blocks.

Recently Published: The Lexicon: An Introduction. Oxford, Oxford University Press.