The Oxford Handbook of the Word

ISBN : 9780199641604

John R. Taylor
896 ページ
180 x 247 mm
Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

This handbook addresses words in all their multifarious aspects and brings together scholars from every relevant discipline to do so. The many subjects covered include word frequencies; sounds and sound symbolism; the structure of words; taboo words; lexical borrowing; words in dictionaries and thesauri; word origins and change; place and personal names; nicknames; taxonomies; word acquisition and bilingualism; words in the mind; word disorders; and word games, puns, and puzzles. Words are the most basic of all linguistic units, the aspect of language of which everyone is likely to be most conscious. A 'new' word that makes it into the OED is prime news; when baby says its first word its parents reckon it has started to speak; knowing a language is often taken to mean knowing its words; and languages are seen to be related by the similarities between their words. Up to the twentieth century linguistic description was mainly an account of words and all the current subdivisions of linguistics have something to say about them. A notable feature of human languages is the sheer vastness of their word inventories, and scholars and writers have sometimes deliberately increased the richness of their languages by coining or importing new items into their word-hoards. The book presents scholarship and research in a manner that meets the interests of students and professionals and satisfies the curiosity of the educated reader.


1. The lure of words
2. How many words are there?
3. Dictionaries
4. Words and thesauri
5. Word frequencies
6. Word length
7. Which words do you need?
8. Words in second language learning and teaching
9. The structure of words
10. Word categories
11. Words as grammatical units
12. Words as phonological units
13. The word as a universal category
14. Word meaning
15. Words as names of categories
16. Terminologies and taxonomies
17. Lexical relations
18. Comparing lexicons cross-linguistically
19. Words as carriers of cultural meaning
20. Multi-word idioms
21. Words and their neighbours
22. Taboo words
23. Sound symbolism
24. Etymology
25. How words (and vocabularies) change
26. Borrowing words
27. Lexical layers
28. Word associations
29. Accessing words
30. The bilingual lexicon
31. First words
32. How infants find words
33. Roger Brown's 'original word game'
34. Names
35. Personal names
36. Place and other names
37. Nicknames
38. Choosing a name: How name givers' feelings influence name selection
39. Words and neuropsychological disorders
40. Verbal humour
41. Word puzzles
42. Do words exist? And if not, why do we believe that they do?


John R. Taylor obtained his PhD in 1979 and was Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Otago until his retirement in 2010. He is the author of Possessives in English (1996), Cognitive Grammar (2002), Linguistic Categorization (3rd edition 2003), and The Mental Corpus (2012; paperback 2014), all published by Oxford University Press, and co-editor of the Bloomsbury Companion to Cognitive Linguistics (2014). He is a managing editor for the series Cognitive Linguistics Research (Mouton de Gruyter) and an Associate Editor of the journal Cognitive Linguistics.