The search for Old English semantic primes: the case of HAPPEN

Raquel Mateo Mendaza


This journal article aims at contributing to the research line of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage Research Programme by identifying the Old English exponent for the semantic prime HAPPEN. This study applies four different criteria, namely, the morphological, textual, semantic and syntactic one, in order to select the most suitable candidate for prime exponent. The analysis is based on both lexicographical and textual sources. Conclusions are reached on both the descriptive and the methodological side.


Natural Semantic Metalanguage; Semantic primes; Old English

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