Model of Situation as Basis for Comparison of Lexical Semantics

Keywords: semantic models, semantic dimensions, model of situation, concept of situation, participant, tertium comparationis, method of subjective scaling, associative experiment


The paper focuses on the model of situation concept – a representation that constitutes the basis for comparison (tertium comparationis) in contrasting the semantics of lexical items in related and non-related languages. The expediency of using the model of situation concept as the basis for comparison agrees with an assumption of universality and uniqueness of situation conceptualization. From this viewpoint, the content of a linguistic item’s semantics is viewed within the dialectics of relations between the universality of human cognition and the uniqueness of conceptualization. The model of situation concept is analyzed as a propositional function in which the arguments represent the conceptualization of a perception object, whilst the predicate – a cognitive conception of the conceptualization itself. From this perspective, the model of situation concept represents the content of a lexical item as the realization of relations between the basic participants of a given situation. The concept of situation is represented as a configuration of semantic linguistic dimensions – the characteristics of lexical items’ planes of content that encode information on a certain aspect of a situation or its fragment conceptualization. The relevance of the model being a representation of multidimensional semantic space is verified based on the results of the subjective scaling procedure. It has been ascertained that the lexical items’ semantics of contrasted languages encode and distribute information among four semantic linguistic dimensions: representational, sentential, relational, and epidigmatic. It is posited that the representational semantic dimension encodes information on cognitive values of situation participants, the sentential one – on a set and relations of situation participants, the relational one – on the degree of positional activities or salience of situation participants, the epidigmatic one – on the mechanisms and strategies of a situation concept extension. In order to ascertain the content of situation concept and to establish the ways the information is encoded and distributed in the semantics of lexical items, a directed associative experiment has been used. In reproducing the specificity of the worldview, the expediency of further psycholinguistic research of lexical semantic models in cognitive, functional, and comparative aspects is claimed. 


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How to Cite
Demenchuk, O. (2018). Model of Situation as Basis for Comparison of Lexical Semantics. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, (23(2), 51-65.