Semantic Development

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  • Semantic development is the study of the how the meanings of linguistic expressions are acquired and change over time. The scope of semantic development is vast. Just as the formal properties of linguistic expressions can be studied at many levels so, too, can the meanings attached to linguistic expressions. One can study the development of the meanings of individual words, sentences, morphemes, and whole discourses. This entry will focus mainly on semantic development as it relates to individual monomorphemic words such as dog or push. The meanings of individual words contribute to the meanings of sentences and thus also indirectly contribute to the meanings of whole discourses. Due, in part, to the vast scope of a putative theory of semantic development, there is no theory ...

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