A gay paper: why should sociolinguistics bother with semantics?

Robinson, Justyna (2012) A gay paper: why should sociolinguistics bother with semantics? English Today, 28 (4). pp. 38-54. ISSN 0266-0784

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Abstract

The study of meaning and changes in meaning has enjoyed varying levels of popularity within linguistics. There have been periods during which the exploration of meaning was of prime importance. For instance, in the late 19th century scholars considered the exploration of the etymology of words to be crucial in their quest to find the ‘true’ meaning of lexemes (Geeraerts, 2010; Malkiel, 1993). There have also been periods where semantic analysis was considered redundant to linguistic investigation (Hockett, 1954: 152). In the past 20–30 years semantics has enjoyed a period of revival. This has been mainly led by the advances in cognitive linguistics (and to some extent, historical linguistics) as well by the innovations associated with the development of electronic corpora and computational methods for extracting and tracing changes in the behaviour of the lexicon (cf. Geeraerts, 2010: 168ff, 261ff). However, there are still areas of linguistics which hardly involve lexis in their theoretical and epistemological considerations. One such area is sociolinguistics.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English > PE1001 Modern English
Depositing User: Justyna Robinson
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2013 14:30
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2013 14:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/41279
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