Grazia Basile

Polysemy we live by. The phenomenon of polysemy between semantics and pragmatics

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract


The author wishes to investigate the complexity and the theoretical importance of polysemy, a pervasive phenomenon in historical-natural languages and object of inquiry since ancient times.We mainly refer to the proposals that Tullio De Mauro has devoted to polysemy since his early works: far from being a purely linguistic question, polysemy can be usefully intended within a semantics of meaning. Polysemy depends on the semantic indeterminacy or vagueness of languages, which may be considered as semiotics available to innovation and creativity and able to adapt themselves to the different needs and conditions of use, to the so-called "habitudines" of the speaking subjects. The different meanings of a polysemous word do not develop randomly but in relation to the historically determined life experiences of human beings and thus they are anchored to the pragmatic conditions of use.

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