Introduction: lexical typology applied to the temperature domain

  • The workshop “Temperature in Language and Cognition”, Stockholm, March 2010, ( (both funded by the Swedish Research Council)


What temperature concepts are encoded as words across languages, what distinctions are made in the systems of temperature terms and what factors underlie them? Are there universal temperature concepts? Can temperature terms and temperature term systems completely free to vary across languages, or are there limits to this?


What are the possible semantic extensions of the temperature terms to other domains and how can these be related to their concrete meanings? Where from do the temperature terms come? How can their meanings change within the temperature domain itself? What general metaphorical and metonymical models underlie the semantic evolution of the expressions related to the temperature domain?

Lexicon-grammar interaction:

How are temperature concepts lexicalized across languages in terms of word classes? What syntactic constructions are used for talking about temperature perception? In what ways do different morphosyntactic patterns and different words interact with each other in cutting up the temperature domain (“division of labour” between the lexicon and the grammar)? How do semantic choices made in the lexicon affect those in the grammar and vice versa (“semiotic ecology”)?

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