Friday, May 24, 2013

Semantic primes

Wierzbicka provides evidence (Semantics: Primes and universals, Oxford Univ. Press, 1996) that all natural languages use the same small set of primitives:
I, you, someone/person, people, something/thing, body, kind, part, this, the same, other, one, two, some, all, many/much, good, bad, big, small, think, know, want, feel, see, hear, say, words, true, do, happen, move, there is/exist, have, live, die, when/time, now, before, after, a long time, a short time, for some time, moment, where/place, here, above, below, far, near, side, inside, touch/contact, not, maybe, can, because, if, very, more, like/way
As part of the natural language understanding effort Asa H has now been given or has learned perhaps half of these primitives.

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