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Neutralisation and semantic markedness: an inquiry into types of lexical opposition in German

(2013) SPRACHWISSENSCHAFT. 38(3). p.343-382
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Abstract
In linguistic theory, the concepts of markedness and neutralisation play a central role in describing the asymmetry inherent in numerous linguistic contrasts, or oppositions. The two concepts gained wide currency in structural-functional theories on meaning, notably through the work of Roman Jakobson (markedness) and Eugenio Coseriu (neutralisation). Although neutralisation and especially markedness have been the subjects of considerable attention from generations of linguists, the difference between the two concepts regarding the interpretation of the marked/unmarked contrast in semantics has not yet been addressed in scholarly research. One purpose of the present article is to elucidate this theoretical difference. A second aim of the study is to provide empirical evidence, drawn from present-day German, to support the claim that a rigid application of either Jakobson's or Coseriu's theory to all lexical and grammatical relations is problematic. Based on the results of the empirical study, a revised semantic markedness model is outlined.
Keywords
structuralist theories and methods, questionnaire research, opposition, semantics, semantic markedness, neutralisation, sentence processing task, systemic theories of language

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MLA
De Backer, Maarten. “Neutralisation and Semantic Markedness: An Inquiry into Types of Lexical Opposition in German.” SPRACHWISSENSCHAFT, vol. 38, no. 3, 2013, pp. 343–82.
APA
De Backer, M. (2013). Neutralisation and semantic markedness: an inquiry into types of lexical opposition in German. SPRACHWISSENSCHAFT, 38(3), 343–382.
Chicago author-date
De Backer, Maarten. 2013. “Neutralisation and Semantic Markedness: An Inquiry into Types of Lexical Opposition in German.” SPRACHWISSENSCHAFT 38 (3): 343–82.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Backer, Maarten. 2013. “Neutralisation and Semantic Markedness: An Inquiry into Types of Lexical Opposition in German.” SPRACHWISSENSCHAFT 38 (3): 343–382.
Vancouver
1.
De Backer M. Neutralisation and semantic markedness: an inquiry into types of lexical opposition in German. SPRACHWISSENSCHAFT. 2013;38(3):343–82.
IEEE
[1]
M. De Backer, “Neutralisation and semantic markedness: an inquiry into types of lexical opposition in German,” SPRACHWISSENSCHAFT, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 343–382, 2013.
@article{4148527,
  abstract     = {{In linguistic theory, the concepts of markedness and neutralisation play a central role in describing the asymmetry inherent in numerous linguistic contrasts, or oppositions. The two concepts gained wide currency in structural-functional theories on meaning, notably through the work of Roman Jakobson (markedness) and Eugenio Coseriu (neutralisation). Although neutralisation and especially markedness have been the subjects of considerable attention from generations of linguists, the difference between the two concepts regarding the interpretation of the marked/unmarked contrast in semantics has not yet been addressed in scholarly research. One purpose of the present article is to elucidate this theoretical difference. A second aim of the study is to provide empirical evidence, drawn from present-day German, to support the claim that a rigid application of either Jakobson's or Coseriu's theory to all lexical and grammatical relations is problematic. Based on the results of the empirical study, a revised semantic markedness model is outlined.}},
  author       = {{De Backer, Maarten}},
  issn         = {{0344-8169}},
  journal      = {{SPRACHWISSENSCHAFT}},
  keywords     = {{structuralist theories and methods,questionnaire research,opposition,semantics,semantic markedness,neutralisation,sentence processing task,systemic theories of language}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{3}},
  pages        = {{343--382}},
  title        = {{Neutralisation and semantic markedness: an inquiry into types of lexical opposition in German}},
  volume       = {{38}},
  year         = {{2013}},
}

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