SUMMARY : Session O39-W Lexicons, Semantics, Clustering Tools


Title Proper Names and Linguistic Dynamics
Authors R. Marinelli, R. Bindi
Abstract Pragmatics is the study of how people exchange meanings through the use of language. In this paper we describe our experience with regard to texts belonging to a large contemporary corpus of written language, in order to verify the uses, changes and flexibility of the meaning of Proper Names (PN). As a matter of fact, while building the lexical semantic database ItalWordNet (IWN), a considerable set of PN (up to now, about 4,000) has been inserted and studied. We give prominence to the polysemy of PN and their shifting or moving from one class to another as an example of the extensibility of language and the possibility of change considering meaning as a dynamic process. Many examples of the sense shifting phenomenon can be evidenced by textual corpora. By comparing the percentages regarding the texts belonging to two different periods of time, an increasing use of the PN with sense extension has been verified. This evidence could confirm the tendency to consider the derived or extended senses as more salient and prevailing on the base senses, confirming a “gradual fixation” of meaning during the time. The object of our study (in progress) is to observe the uses of sense extensions also examining in detail “freshly coined” examples and taking into account their relationship with meta representational capacity and human creativity and the ways in which linguistic dynamics can activate the meaning potential of the words.
Keywords Lexical databases, Figurative Language
Full paper Proper Names and Linguistic Dynamics