Principles as Lexical Methods

Jacques Jayez and Daniele Godard

Current research in lexical semantics has brought into focus (i) the existence of general tendencies ('principles') ac:o~ languages or inside language families, (ii) the existence of numerous exceptions to these tendencies. To reconcile these two facts, it seems natural to endorle s general conception of principles-withexceptions or ’subregularities '1, usually cashed on a form of default logic. This leaves open the question of how to identify and manage the exceptions in a more precise way, i.e. not just as marginal by-products of a subregulsr/ty system. In tiffs paper, we analyze different examples where complex cases can be handled explicitly, and show that pzincip|e-bused approaches require, as a natural complement, to be controlled by more local information.


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