Synonyms and then hypernyms or ...?

ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
I have been teaching Dutch as a foreign language and i have got interested in semantic aspects especially. I am interested in relations between words (or concepts rather), but the kinds of links I see/ perceive/ seem to perceive are not too common - and for some they will be very strange, I suppose. However, can you imagine a term for such links? Hypernyms is too narrow, I think. Have they been treated in a certain context?

I think of :
- eating, learning, reading: some kind of "acquiring"
- striving for, trying to, (maybe) focus on, turn to
- to keep, to remember (keeping, but in mind...)

Some, like 2, might look like hypernyms, but... I wonder if Case Grammar could be useful in this respect. I suppose Lakoff/Johnson ("Living By Metaphors") might have something to say on that, but I do not think they refer to these things… Any reference to that can be helpful. Thanks in advance.
 
  • ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I happened to have a look at Hebrew and noticed that the roots lead to similar interesting links: the root 'clean' can - according to Google T - lead to or at least be linked with free, pure, purge, innocent, etc. That is the kind of semantic links I am interested in: there is a fundamental link (if you wish?) and here it is simply part of the language. But how can you describe such links in linguistic terms? Not synonyms. Of course you could say those are different meanings, but where is the link explored in semantics?
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    There is perhaps a parallel with Indo-European as well. There were a limited number of roots with a "basic" meaning, but those words developed into numerous others, though the semantic is not always self-evident. But OK, the question remains whether there is a name for such "basic concepts", as I would like to describe them.
    I thought of Wierzbicka's "semantic primes" too, but I had expected - as I pointed out above - things like acquiring/…, (perhaps one might combine eating, learning and reading "under" that heading, though acquiring might be too positive, not enough). storing or saving (including remembering). clean vs. dirty (black/white), wishing and striving, ...
    I ought to "admit": my starting point was didactic in the sense that those are topics that one can start from and develop in a conversation - and they might be more interesting and more fundamental than the common topics (at the supermarket, at the station, etc.), which are so specific that they require lots of energy for little long-term results…
     
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