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A lexical typology research project into the fascinating world of temperature terms in the world's languages.

Contents

Participants

Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm, Principal Investigator

Magnus Sahlgren, Investigator

Susanne Vejdemo, Research Assistant


The project is funded by Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Scientific Council), 2009–2011


Main Research Questions

The proposal focuses on the conceptualisation of temperature in natural languages as reflected in their systems of central temperature terms (hot, cold, to freeze, etc). The project is envisaged as an integrated lexical-typological study of the temperature domain with the aim of describing and accounting for the cross-linguistic variation within it from three different angles:

  1. Lexicalization of temperature, e.g: What temperature concepts are encoded as words and what distinctions are made in the systems of temperature terms? Are there universal temperature concepts?
  2. Lexicon-grammar interaction, e.g.: How are temperature concepts lexicalized in terms of word classes? In what syntactic constructions are they used?;
  3. Semantic derivation and motivation, e.g.: What are the possible semantic extensions of the temperature meanings to other domains? Where from do the temperature terms come? How can the meaning of the temperature terms change within the temperature domain itself? What general metaphorical and metonymical models underlie the semantic evolution of these expressions?

The project aims at the following results:

  1. Description of the attested phenomena, of the cross-linguistic variation within them and of the parameters behind it.
  2. Generalizations about the attested cross-linguistic patterns and the limits to the cross-linguistic variation
  3. Explanations for the attested cross-linguistic patterns and for their distribution across languages.


On a more general level, the project is envisaged as a contribution to a wide range of theoretical discussions focusing on meaning, language vs. cognition vs. culture, linguistic categorization, interaction between lexicon and grammar, relations between synchrony and diachrony, polysemy, etc.
The project’s other contributions embrace developing and testing a methodology for cross-linguistic data collection and analysis, including cross-linguistic word space analysis that does not require parallel data, and a reasonable meta-language for cross-linguistic semantic comparison.


Temperature in Language and Cognition: Workshop in Stockholm 2010

In March of 2010 a workshop on the linguistics of temperature was held at Stockholm University. For program and abstracts, please go here .


Benjamins Volume on the Linguistics of Temperature

We are working on assembling a volume for Benjamins on the Linguistics of Temperature. You can find a list of proposed chapters here: Benjamins' volume

Understanding the project

You can read an Abbreviated Project Proposal, a summary if you will, of the full project proposal here. You can can download the General Background for the project here (File:TammProposalCutOut.pdf).

Elicitation Toolkit

We are always interested in gathering data from more languages. Maria Tamm has developed an elicitation questionnaire, here available in an English version (File:Guidelines.pdf) and a Russian version (File:Temp guidelines Ru MD.doc). There is also a short list of suggested sentences for initial elicitation of temperature expressions in Russian (File:Russian sentences for translation 091123.doc) (an English version will follow later).

Introductory articles

We would recommend the following articles as a first introduction to the fascinating world of the linguistics of temperature:

  • Sutrop, U. 1999. Temperature terms in the Baltic Area. Estonian: Typological studies, ed. by Mati Erelt, 185–203. Tartu: University of Tartu.
  • Tamm, Maria. & Ekaterina Rakhilina. 2006 "Some like it hot": on semantics of temperature adjectives in Russian and Swedish. STUF (Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung), a special issue on Lexicon in a Typological and Contrastive Perspective, ed. by Giannoulopoulou, G. & T. Leuschner, 59-2: 253 – 269.

Introduction to lexical typology

This PDF of a SALC 2010 powerpoint presentation will give you an introduction to lexical typology: it introduces some of the fundamental theoretical concepts upon which this project is based.

Introduction to the Word Space Model and Distributional Semantics

This page will give you further insight into the Word Space Model in corpus linguistics, which is used for a subproject.

Introduction to the humoral systems of the world

This page will give you a short introduction to the warm/cold Humoral Systems of Europe, India, Asia and South America.

Introduction to the physiological and neurolinguistic aspects of temperature

We offer a short introduction to some of the available literature on the Physiological and Neurolinguistic Aspects of Temperature

Bibliography

This bibliography is a work in progress - please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any suggested additions or corrections,

Seminars

August 2010: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Several lectures within the course “Lexical typology” at the DGfS-CNRS Summer School on Linguistic Typology in Leipzig.

October 7 2010: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Guest seminar “Hot and cold - universal or language-specific? Talking about temperature in different languages. Max-Planck Institute for psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

December 8 2010: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Guest seminar “Linguistics of temperature – in Turkic and elsewhere”. Dept. of linguistics and philology, Uppsala universitet [File:MKT Temp Uppsala.pdf]

March 2 2011: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Guest seminar “"Varmt kaffe, ljummen öl, heta känslor och kalla fötter: Temperaturadjektiv i slaviska språk i ett typologiskt perspektiv". Dept. of Slavic languages, Stockholm University

April 27 2011: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Guest seminar "TEMPERATURE in a lexico-typological perspective", Tübingen University

September 15 2011: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Seminar “Hot and cold – universal or language specific?”, Dept. of Linguistics, Stockholm University

March 22 2012: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Guest seminar “Hot and cold – universal or language specific?”. School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London

Maj 4 2012: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Invited talk “Är kaffet lika varmt på alla språk?” Sveriges Facköversättarförening (SFÖ), Konferens 2012, Gävle.

October 10 2012: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Guest seminar “Temperature: lexical typology and cognition”. Leiden University

November 7 2012: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Guest seminar “Lexical typology – a temperature view”. Dept. of linguistics, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

April 18 2013: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Guest lecture “Lingvistika temperatury – leksičeskaja tipologija” [Linguistics of temperature – lexical typology]. The centre for cognitive studies, Moscow Lomonosov State University

Conferences

Invited talk: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Typology, universals and the lexicon. Uralic Typology Days, November 26-27, 2009, Institute of the Estonian Language, Tallinn

Oral conference presentation. Vejdemo, Susanne and Hunter Lockwood. ”There is no thermostat in the forest - the semantics and sociolinguistics of temperature in Ojibwe”, Workshop on Temperature in Language and Cognition, Stockholms Universitet, Stockholm, 19-20 Mars 2010

Oral conference presentation. Vejdemo, Susanne and Hunter Lockwood. ”There is no thermostat in the forest - the semantics and sociolinguistics of temperature in Ojibwe” 16th Annual Anishinaabemowin Teg. Language Conference. Sault St Marie, March 24-28, 2010. (Främst en icke-akademisk modersmåltalarkonferens med fokus på kultur och språkbevarande – samma titel som Conference Presentationen i Stockholm, men annat fokus på språkförändring snarare än typologi)

Oral conference presentation. Vejdemo, Susanne. To Database Meaning: Building the Typological Database of Temperature Terms. Annual Meeting of the Michigan Linguistic Society, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, October 23, 2010

Oral conference presentation. Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Hot, warm, chilly, cool and cold: On the place of standardized word lists in a lexical-typological study of the temperature domain. Workshop on using standardized word lists in linguistic data collection, University of Gothenburg, October 29 2010.

Peer-reviewed proceedings article: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. On lexical typology. Teoretičeskaja i prikladnaja lingvistika: puti razvitija [Theoretical and applied linguistics: paths of development]. Moscow Lomonosov University, November 2010, ISBN 978-5-211-05813-2.

Plenary talk: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria, Linguistics of temperature and lexical typology. 7th junior researchers conference on typology and grammar, St. Petersburg, November 2010.

Peer-reviewed proceedings article: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. On lexical typology. Teoretičeskaja i prikladnaja lingvistika: puti razvitija [Theoretical and applied linguistics: paths of development]. Moscow Lomonosov University, October 2010, ISBN 978-5-211-05813-2.

Oral conference presentation: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria & Magnus Sahlgren, "Temperature in the Word Space: sense exploration of temperature expressions using word-space modelling". Cross-linguistic and language-internal variation in text and speech: focus on the joint analysis of multiple characteristics, Febr. 9-11 2011, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg http://www.frias.uni-freiburg.de/lang_and_lit/veranstaltungen/variation-lili

Oral conference presentation: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. “Kinds of temperature evaluation from a lexical-typological perspective”. AFLiCo IV (4th International Conference of the French Cognitive Linguistics Association 'Cognitive linguistics and typology: Language diversity, variation and change' 24th-27th May 2011, Lyon, France, http://www.ddl.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/colloques/AFLiCo_IV/index.asp?Action=Edit&Langue=EN&Page=

Plenary talk: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Leksičeskaja tipologija i konceptualizacija temperatury [Lexical typology and conceptualization of temperature.] Dulson readings XXVI. An international conference on linguistics, anthropology, ethnography and ethnic education. Tomsk State Pedagogical University (Russia), June 24–28, 2011. http://siblang.tspu.ru/DR26/

Oral conference presentation: Vejdemo, Susanne. Body Part Temperature Metaphors - Report from a Small Cross-linguistic Survey. The Body in Language: Lexicon, Metaphor, Grammar and Culture, University of Warsaw/University of Cologne, Venue: University of Warsaw, October 21 – 22, 2011

Oral conference presentation: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. “Semantic typology and change from a temperature perspective”. Workshop on typology and diachrony. Sommerville College, Oxford University, March 24-25, 2012.

Conference poster: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria, Susanne Vejdemo & Magnus Sahlgren. Hot or Cold, Universal or Language Specific. SLE 2012, August 29- September 1, 2012.

Invited talk: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Temperature: lexical typology and cognition. Workshop Température et cognition : latin, français, Université Paris - Sorbonne (IV), October 6, 2012.

Plenary talk: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Lexical typology and universals: a temperature perspective. 37th Annual Conference of the Società Italiana di Glottologia, LEXICON in the theory and in the history of linguistics. Florence, October 25-27, 2012

Oral conference presentation. Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. The linguistics of temperature: a lexical-typological study of the temperature domain. The 10th biennual conference of the Association for Linguistic Typology (ALT X), Leipzig, August 16 – 20.

Oral conference presentation. Vejdemo, Susanne & Sigi Vandewinkel. The semantically extended uses of body temperature – report on a small cross-linguistic survey. The 2013 Metaphor Festival. August 28-31, 2013.

Publications

Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Linguistics of temperature and lexical typology. Acta Linguistica Petropolitana, v. 6/3. 2010. St Petersburg: "Nauka". ISBN 9785020256132

Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. 2011. It’s boiling hot! On the structure of the linguistic temperature domain across languages. In Sarah Dessì Schmid, Ulrich Detges, Paul Gévaudan, Wiltrud Mihatsch and Richard Waltereit (eds.), Rahmen des Sprechens. Beiträge zur Valenztheorie, Varietätenlinguistik, Kognitiven und Historischen Semantik. Tübingen: Narr, 379–396. File:Boiling hot.doc

Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. New directions in lexical typology. "Linguistics", 2012, 50, 3: 373–394

Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria & Magnus Sahlgren, Temperature in the Word Space: sense exploration of temperature expressions using wordspace modeling. In Szmrecsanyi, B. & B. Wälchli (eds), Linguistic variation in text and speech, within and across languages (Series: Linguae et Litterae: Publications of the School of Language and Literature, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies). In print (Febr. 2014),Berlin: de Gruyter. ISBN 9783110317398

Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria(ed.). Submitted. "The linguistics of temperature" (30 chapters, most probably two volumes).

Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. Submitted. Semantic and lexical typology. In Dabrowska, E. & D. Divjak (eds.), Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. Berlin – New York: de Gruyter Mouton

Vejdemo, Susanne & Sigi Vandewinkel. Submitted. Extended uses of temperature terms across languages. In Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria & Päivi Juvonen (eds), Lexicotypological approaches to semantic shifts and motivation patterns in the lexicon. Berlin – New York: de Gruyter Mouton

Vejdemo, Susanne. 2013. How to Database Meaning Building a Typological Database of Temperature Terms. MA Thesis, Eastern Michigan University.

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