Studies in language companion series 81: Semantic Primes and Universal Grammar
This volume is part of a research program which started with the publication, in 1972, of Anna Wierzbicka groundbreaking work on Semantic Primitives. The first within the program to focus on a number of typologically similar languages, it proposes a French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian version of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) elaborated over the years by Wierzbicka and colleagues. Repetition is avoided through teamwork: a number of authors working on the languages under examination have had equal input in a set of five papers dealing with distinct parts of the metalanguage. Some of the findings presented here invite us to have a fresh look at what has already been achieved, and to amend some of the working hypotheses of the NSM approach accordingly. The volume also contains six case studies (on Italian sfogarsi, Portuguese saudades, Spanish crisis, French certes, Spanish expressions of sincerity and Italian and Spanish diminutives, respectively).