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Additional info for Linguistic Categorization: Prototypes in Linguistic Theory
Katz and Postal state that a 'full analysis' of the meaning of a word involves decomposing the meaning 'into its most elementary components' (1964: 13). Bicrwisch expresses a similar view, adding that the elementary components have the status of universals, cf. e. word meanings in a particular language are composed of 'basic elements, Tlie Classical Approach to Categorization 33 that are true candidates for the universal set of semantic markers' 5 (Bierwisch 1967: 35). Chomsky, too, has made claims for the universality of semantic features.
For instance, a second meaning of bachelor (as in bachelor of arts), is characterized by the marker [HUMAN] and the distinguisher [having the academic degree conferred for completing the first four years of college]. The latter is the kind of meaning component which is not exploited systematically in the language. In no way can it be regarded as primitive. e. places of higher education and their system of conferring degrees). ) To complete the analogy between semantic and phonological features, we need to consider the abstractness and innateness of semantic features, cf.
It is, namely, with respect to the classical theory that cognitive linguistics claims to offer a viable, and descriptively more adequate alternative. A brief overview, like that attempted in this chapter, is obviously open to criticism on several points; not only does it grossly oversimplify a vast and complex subject-matter, it also exaggerates the hegemony of the classical theory. Nevertheless, a grasp of the basic principles of the classical theory, and an appreciation of the role it has played in twentieth-century linguistics, form the essential background for a proper understanding of the remainder of this book.
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