Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Are Some Languages Better than Others?$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

R. M. W. Dixon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198766810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766810.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 26 May 2019

How many words should there be?

How many words should there be?

Chapter:
(p.147) Chapter 7 How many words should there be?
Source:
Are Some Languages Better than Others?
Author(s):

R. M. W. Dixon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766810.003.0007

It is good for a language to be specific. For example to distinguish (as Hungarian does) between the two kinds of ‘queen’—she who is a ruler in her own right, and she who is the wife of a king-ruler. There is discussion of the bothersome nature of homonym, as in when confusion arises in English between the two senses of funny, ‘peculiar’ and ‘amusing’. Synonymy is then discussed—how does it come about, and why do we need it? The semantics of word classes may overlap; there can be an abstract noun corresponding to a gaggle of adjectives. Is this a good thing? The final section mentions the 275,000 entries in the on-line Oxford English Dictionary, and then asks: How many words does a language really need?

Keywords:   Key words: specification, homonymy, hyponymy, synonymy, vocabulary, word classes

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .