A Gradualist View of Word Meaning

Lundi 23 Juin 2014, 16:00 to 18:00
Eve Clark

ODG, salle 126

Eve Clark (Stanford University)
A Gradualist View of Word Meaning

Abstract: Does everyone acquire the same lexicon, with the same conventional meanings? Or do people differ, in part as a result of differences in expertise? I first consider the problem of lexical entries that don't match and the extent  to which this matters, and the extent to which people may have different yet partially overlapping meanings for some (maybe many) words. I relate this state of affairs to the gradual nature of meaning acquisition -- from children's initial fast mapping (preliminary inferences about a possible/plausible meaning in context) to their gradual elaboration of word meanings as they are exposed to more uses and as they themselves misuse certain words.