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ID 44689
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title alternative
Dimensions in the componential analysis of meaning: a critical review of Burling's treatment of meal terms in English
creator
Sugiura, Shigeo
NDC
English
abstract
This paper ia an attempt to review Burling's treatment of meal terms in the English spoken in Jamaica and the United States and to propose some revisions of his analysis.
Robbin Burling, who says in the preface of his Men' Many Voices that he has been 'wandering back and forth across the border between anthropology and linguistics, 'speaks of the diversity (i.e. class dialects) of Jamaican English, and after showing in the form of a table the meal terms that numbers of each class use, states that 'only two dimensions of semantic contract are needed to distinguish the meanings of these various terms:
(1) the time at which the meals are eaten (henceforth T), and
(2) the size or heaviness of the meal (henceforth H)'.
Concerning American English, he adds, 'it is not difficult to offer similar definitions to the terms that residents of the United States use ...'.
The two dimensions (T and H) seem plausible and universal in the componential analysis of meal terms when we take the digesting mechanism of human beings into consideration. But the present writer, as a linguist and native speaker of Japanese, feels inclined to propose two revisions of Burling's treatment.
The first point the writer wants to make is that Burling's dimention heaviness should be changed to contents. The reports by Dr. Hattori and I.C. Brown are cited as evidences of the fact that what is customarily fixed is the contents of meal, not the heaviness. It must be admitted that heaviness is only a result of contents and therefore secondary.
The second point is that in each particular language these two dimensions are not of equal importance, one of them having the priority to the other. This writer asserts that it is the time dimension which is primary in Japanese as the morphological structure of each meal term indicates. According to this author's analysis, Korean too can be referred as an example of time-dimensioned langauges, while English is primarily contents-dimensioned and only secondarily time-dimensioned.
journal title
NIDABA
issue
Issue 2
start page
21
end page
29
date of issued
1973-03-31
publisher
西日本言語学会
ncid
language
jpn
nii type
Journal Article
HU type
Journal Articles
DCMI type
text
format
application/pdf
text version
publisher
department
Graduate School of Letters
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