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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter introduces the distinction between semasiology and onomasiology, and surveys the main mechanisms of semasiological and onomasiological change, i.e. mechanism of meaning change like metaphor, metonymy, specialization, generalization, and prototype-based similarity, and mechanisms of vocabulary change like morphological word formation, transformation of existing words, pure neologism, and borrowing. While most of the attention goes to lexical and semantic innovations, a separate section is devoted to the disappearance of words and meanings. The chapter also emphasizes the interrelatedness of the various mechanisms.

Keywords: semasiology, onomasiology, metaphor, metonymy, specialization, generalization, pejorative, ameliorative, neologism, borrowing

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