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Conceptual primitives and semantic universals are the cornerstones of a semantic theory which Anna Wierzbicka has been developing for many years. Semantics: Primes and Universals is a major synthesis of her work, presenting a full and systematic exposition of that theory in a non-technical and readable way. It delineates a full set of universal concepts, as they have emerged from large-scale investigations across a wide range of languages undertaken by the author and her colleagues. On the basis of empirical cross-linguistic studies it vindicates the old notion of the 'psychic unity of mankind', while at the same time offering a framework for the rigorous description of different languages and
Readership: Postgraduate and advanced undergraduate, linguistics students taking semantics courses; scholars and students in linguistics, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy with an interest in universal aspects of human cognition and culture.
Anna Wierzbicka, Professor of Linguistics, Australian National University
"a selective reading of the chapters based on need and interest is well worth it, especially if the need and interest are comparative semantic data, where Wierzbicka is at her best...This is a good and interesting book, it is well worth reading./William Frawley/Journal of Linguistics."
"One cannot help but be impressed by the range of language-related topics Wierzbicka's work encompasses and by the thorough control commanded by her of the relevant literature pertaining to these diverse areas. Equally impressive are the insights that Wierzbicka's analyses provide." - Cecil H. Brown, Northern Illinois University, Anthropological Linguistics 39 No 1 1997
"SCC is a welcome addition to Wierzbicka's inexhaustible semantic explications, revealing as it does a general theory and application that can be challenged, tested, and modified. The wide range of topics is typical of those that anyone involved in a cross-cultural work would need to explore, explain and translate ... such detailed analysis can help the native speakers of a language to become more aware of the semantic implications of the words and expressions that they use." - K.J. Franklin, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Australian Journal of Linguistics