Semantic Field

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Field, Semantic


a group of words united by sense connections that are determined by like features in the words’ lexical meanings. For example, the field of the German verb fehlen encompasses seven verbs united by the feature of absence: fehlen, abgehen, mangeln, gebrechen, vermissen, entbehren, missen. The concept of a field makes it possible to describe precisely the microstructural systemic semantic interrelationship between linguistic units. The theory was developed in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s by a number of German scholars. J. Trier studied groups of words from the point of view of their material and conceptual ties. W. Porzig studied single words and their semantic and syntactic ties. Other German scholars included A. Jolles, who linked the study of a field to the etymological and derivational analysis of a word, and G. Ipsen. In the 1950’s the semantic field theory was developed by L. Weisgerber of the Federal Republic of Germany. These German scholars have been criticized for using the concept of a field to prove the idealist thesis of a linguistic intermediary world (die sprachliche Zwischenwelt) and for subjectivity in the delimitation of fields. Their theories have been criticized for not allowing the whole lexicon to be included and for slighting the independent role of the individual word.

Since the 1960’s, scholars have studied the lexical and semantic fields of words and the syntactic and semantic field of individual words. The concept of the field has been broadened; lexical-grammatical, functional-semantic, derivational, and other kinds of fields are all now distinguished.


Ufimtseva, A. A. Opyt izucheniia leksiki kak sistemy. Moscow, 1962.
Kuznetsova, A. I. Poniatie semanticheskoi sistemy iazyka i metody ee issledovaniia. Moscow, 1963.
Vasil’ev, L. M. “Teoriia semanticheskikh polei.” Voprosy iazykoznaniia, no. 5, 1971.
Shchur, G. S. Teorii polia v lingvistike. Moscow-Leningrad, 1974.
Trier, J. Der deutsche Wortschatz im Sinnbezirk des Verstandes. Heidelberg, 1931.
Porzig, W. Das Wunder der Sprache, 3rd ed. Bern, 1962.
Weisgerber, L. Grundziige der inhaltbezogenen Grammatik, 3rd ed. Düsseldorf, 1962.
Hoberg, R. Die Lehre vom sprachlichen Feld. Düsseldorf, 1970.
Minina, N. Semantische Felder. Moscow, 1973.


References in periodicals archive ?
All these above-mentioned compounds have the meaning of 'collectiveness', which regroup these words under the same semantic field.
The database contains various pieces of information regarding the entries, including variables, among others, such as etymological background, semantic field, grammatical category and dialect.
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Moreover, as Toshihiko Izutsu has convincingly argued, if we compare the Qur'anic vocabulary with pre-Islamic Arabic, we immediately notice that there is "one supreme focus-word, Allah, which presides not only over one particular semantic field within the vocabulary, but over the entire vocabulary comprising all the semantic fields, that is, all the smaller conceptual systems that fall under it.
Notice also the semantic field tier added lo the description of (11), i.
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The associative experiment fully describes the nature of reality, building upon the conceptual model of the language semantic field.
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On the other hand, some word variations by the English dominant children in the German context, though within the same semantic field as the original word, have a meaning which is different from the lexical item used in the original text.

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