A semantic theory must account for both how words are related to other words (intralinguistic connections) and how words connect to the world. Semantic field theory, which is appropriate for intralinguistic relations, is applied to wine words in this chapter. The semantic relationships most commonly found among wine descriptors are synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy (class inclusion), and incompatibility. Association, a weaker connection, also plays a role in understanding words. Four classes of descriptors are discussed: natural kind terms, gradable adjectives, evaluative words, and metaphors. The role of experts is discussed, but there are different kinds of wine experts, not all of whom use the same terminology. For example, wine writers use and generate metaphors (brawny, decadent) which the wine scientists consider silly or meaningless.
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