Publication 1294

Glasersfeld E. von (1963) Operational semantics: Analysis of meaning in terms of operations. CETIS Report No 24 (EUR 296e). European Atomic Energy Community - EURATOM, Brussels. Fulltext at
Accepting Ceccato’s theory of the operational structure of human thought, the author demonstrates the possibility of breaking up the meaning of words into combinations of smaller constant elements (semantic particle) of meaning. Taking as an example a group of related English verbs, the analysis shows that the differences between their meanings can always be accounted for by a difference in the combination of semantic particles constituting their nominata. A comparison with a closely related group of German verbs shows that one can never expect to find an exact interlanguage correspondence between the signification of words, even when they are given as equivalents in traditional dictionaries. The semantic patterns indicated in this essay are the result of a first analysis and may be subject to correction when the research is extented to a larger vocabulary.
Key words: semiotics


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