Linguistic Semantics: An Introduction (Cambridge Approaches to Linguistics) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1995/11/30
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Linguistic Semantics: An Introduction is the successor to Sir John Lyons's important study Language, Meaning and Context (1981).While preserving the general structure of the earlier book, the author has substantially expanded its scope to introduce several topics that were not previously discussed, and to take into account developments in linguistic semantics. The resulting work is an invaluable guide to the subject, offering clarifications of its specialised terms and explaining its relationship to formal and philosophical semantics and to contemporary pragmatics. With its clear and accessible style it will appeal to a wide student readership. Sir John Lyons is one of the most important and internationally renowned contributors to the study of linguistics. His many publications include Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (1968) and Semantics (1977).
"...is essentially a guide for students to whom it will especially appeal by its clarity....This book remains the best textbook on the topic." Journal of Indo-European Studies
簡易版とはいえ、形式意味論から語用論も含めて意味論の基礎はほとんどこれで学習できると思います。Lyons独自の理論や斬新な解釈などはありませんが、分析や解釈が丁寧でさまざまな角度からの意味論を段階をおって解かりやすく解説してあるところがすばらしいです。このテキストで足りないと思われるのは認知言語学的なアプローチと類型論で、それらはTaylorの『Linguistic categorization』やFrawleyの『Linguistic semantics』で補完すればよろしいかと思います。これらの基本をおさえたら、Wierzbickaの意味論がおもしろいでしょう。
This book tries to explain things from the side too much, making it difficult to keep sight of any straight forward material. He adds too many exceptions and gives opaque references to bits and pieces of important items.
His writing style in this book is too "beat around the bush", and hardly creates a coherent, straight forward, explanation of the material -- its just too far from "spilling the beans" in style.
Unfortunately, the precision comes at a price: extreme verbosity, which makes the book a real pain to read. Lyons takes pages and pages to justify why he has chosen one term over the other, to remind the reader of simplifications that had to be made and, above all, to discuss exceptions and special cases. While exceptions are certainly interesting and should have a firm place in every academic textbook, Lyons' treatment of them is just way over the top. He discusses all kinds of exceptions at great length while hardly touching on the important stuff which you would expect from a textbook: semantic models, theories, classifications and their application.
One could argue that the book is for students who already know the basics. But for them, the book is definitely too easy (for me it certainly was). Lyon's work thus fills a niche where there is none: it is too difficult and confusing for novices, but too easy and not comprehensive enough for intermediates.
Now that I have finished the book, I know the difference between a sentence and an utterance, between mood and modality, between tense and aspect, etc. But unfortunately, Lyons has missed the opportunity to teach me what is behind these concepts.