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Semasiology, or lexical semantics, was a branch of lexicology, distinct from onomasiology.
In the light of cognitive linguistics, historical semasiology has been gaining new interest in recent years (cf.
In other words, in my opinion it is not enough to analyse Christian apologetic literature within the framework of ancient rhetoric or modern semasiology, even though this is certainly part of what is required.
Conceptual relations in semasiological and onomasiological analysis, from Dirven and Verspoor (1998) Conceptual relation in semasiology in onomasiology Hierarchy (top / generalizing and conceptual domain: bottom) specializing taxonomy and lexical [synecdochical field [conceptual extensions of senses] synecdoche) Contiguity (close to) metonymical conceptual metonymy Similarity (like) extensions of senses conceptual metaphor metaphorical extension of senses Table 2.
Seen from this perspective, the distinction between semasiology and onomasiology, Grondelaers, Speelman and Geeraerts (2010: 989) observe,
The distinction between semasiology and onomasiology, the authors observe (2010: 989), "equals the distinction between meaning and naming: semasiology takes its starting point in the word as a form and charts the meanings that the word can occur with; onomasiology takes its starting point in a concept or referent and investigates by which different expressions the concept or referent can be designated or named.
The linguistic disciplines corresponding to these two perspectives are, respectively, onomasiology and semasiology.