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Open Access Beyond the Opposites: Philological and Cognitive Aspects of Linguistic Polarization

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The philological interest in the conceptual phenomenon of polarity is unquestionable. Although this is particularly remarkable in the lexicon of the languages through antonymy, from the standpoint of speech, beyond the limits of particular systems, the antithetic polarity shows a dual scheme in which it is possible to oppose terms that are not semantically related in language, within certain contextual conditions. After reviewing the interaction of systematic and discursive planes where these relationships are exhibited, taking into account their interest for semantic and textual studies, as well as the problems of both approaches, we summarize here some neurocognitive data on language processing and various types of evidence pointing to a new interpretation of the principle of contrast, which emerges from the lexical units and transcends the textual level, allowing to create a unique link between these two dimensions.
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Keywords: lexicon-speech interface; semantic contrast; semantic polarization; speech antonymy; systematic antonymy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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  • Philology is an international peer-reviewed journal devoted to the study of human traditions as they emerge from oral, written, carved, painted, digital, performed, ancient, contemporary texts. The journal aspires to challenge and reformulate the expression of philological studies in the present day. We propose that the contemporary world be understood in its multicultural complexity, and thus that philology be re-founded as a relevant social science. To this end, we encourage constant dialogue with the methodologies of other disciplines, including linguistics, cultural anthropology, archaeology, paleoethnology, genetics and cultural biology. Philology promotes all efforts to go beyond the traditional boundaries of our habitual fields of enquiry, with the purpose of accomplishing anti-dogmatic and unprejudiced tools for facing the challenges of contemporaneity. The journal is open to a wide variety of interdisciplinary approaches, from the study of linguistic evolution to literary interpretation, from textual criticism to the investigation of texts and ethnotexts, from etymological reconstructions to the cognitive analyses of archaeological facies. Philological problems exist in the grammar of signs inscribed on a prehistoric stone or a shamanic drum no less than they do in the transmission of a text from one old manuscript to another.
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