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Thc aimsofthispapcr arc (a) to p|acc thcorctica| princip|cs in | inguistics in a |argcr
conccptua|framcwork,inparticu|ar,tonotcsimi|ariticsbctwccn|inguisticsandvarious
natura|scicnccs(not on|ychcmistry, buta|sophysicsandbio|ogy), and() todrawa
para||c| bctwccn a particu|ar organizing hypothcsis in scmantics (thc 5ubsance
7heory)andassumptions ofthcc|assica|thcory ofchcmica| c|cmcnts,forthcpurposc
ofarguingthatthis para||c| isoncofstructurcandtha thcchcmica| casccan suggcst
intcrcsting |incs of inguiry for thc scmantic casc. shou|d cmphasizc at thc outsct
thatIamnotasscrtinganyoterapara||c|, structura| orothcrwisc,bctwccn|inguistics
andchcmistry. In thcprincipa| scctions ofthis papcr, I amconccrncdwith on|y onc
arca of chcmistry, thc thcory of substanccs and c|cmcnts, and on|y onc arca of
|inguistics, thc thcory of words and scmantic primcs.
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cforcwcprocccdtoa trcatmcnt ofc|cmcnts, chcmica| and |inguistic, it isncccssary
to distinguish a numbcr of didcrcnt typcs of 'thcorctica| princip|cs" in |inguistics.
My intcnthcrc ishrst to scparatcmehodoloqicalprinciplesfromsysemaic principles,
thc |attcrbcingmyrca|conccrn, andthcntocatcgorizc systcmatic princip|csby|cvc|,
from 'dcscriptivc' or 'obscrvationa|" statcmcnts to orqanizinq hypoheses, ccntra|
assumptions which, whi|c capab|c of cmpirica| tcst, tcnd to dchnc an arca of
invcstigation.
J.1. W0lDO0OOgC IHCg0S
Mcthodo|ogica| princip|cs, or 'ru|cs of thumb," arc not assumptions capab|c of
vcrihcation or fa|sihcation in anyordinary scnsc. Instcad, thcirfunction is to suggcst
what thc most|ikc|y statc ofaairsis ina givcn situation, in thc abscncc ofcvidcncc
of thc usua| sort. This bcing thc casc, thc indication givcn by a mcthodo|ogica|
princip|c isa|ways outwcighcd by pcrtincnt cvidcncc. Mcthodo|ogica| princip|cscan
thcrcforc bc statcd in an cxtrcmc form. A fcw | inguistic cxamp|cswi|| pcrhapsmakc
thcsc pointsc|carcr.
lirst, thcrc is thc Majority Votc Princip|c in comparativc rcconstruction, thc
guidc|inc that says that if thc majority of daughtcr |anguagcs agrcc in having a
ccrtain fcaturc, thcn that fcaturc isto bc attributcd to thc proto|anguagc. Ccrtain|y,
no oncinvo|vcdin rcconstruction bc|icvcsthistobcva|idin gcncra|, but whcnthcrc
isno spccia| cvidcncc on thc point, thc majority wi|| carry thc day. Ifthcrc arcothcr
facts that bcar on thcpoint, thcscwi|| prcvai|, ofcoursc.
Sccond, thcrcisthcContrastPrincip|cinphono|ogy,which saysthatifscgmcnts
arc in contrast, thcn thcy arc undcr|ying|y distinct. In thc contcxt of structura|ist
|inguistics, thc Contrast Princip|c is an organizing hypothcsis rathcr than a mcthod-
o|ogica| onc (scc Scction 2.2.2). Within thc framcwork of gcncrativc phono|ogy,
howcvcr, it functions as a mcthodo|ogica| princip|c if thcrc is no contravcning
cvidcncc, surfacccontrastsarctakcn to bcundcr|yingcontrastsas wc||.
A third cxamp|c of a mcthodo|ogica| princip|c is thc Surfacist Princip|c, a
syntactic ana|og of thc Contrast Princip|c. This is thc ru|c that, ceeris paribus, thc
syntacticstructurcofa scntcnccisitssurfaccconstitucnt structurc. In othcrwords,if
you c|aim that somc scntcncc has a rcmotc syntactic rcprcscntation, that is, onc
didcrcntfrom its brackcting into|abc|cdconstitucnts, youhavc to provcit.
Thcsccxamp|csarcfami|iarcnoughnottorcguircancxtcndcdjustihcationofthc
princip|cs invo|vcd. In cach casc, thc mcthodo|ogica| princip|c providcs a kind of
backgroundassumption, a position takcn whcn noothcr is cspcia||y supportcd.
Instcad of bcing vcrihcd or fa|sihcd, mcthodo|ogica| princip|cs arcjudgcd as
usc|css or uscfu|, and thc basis for thcjudgmcnt is whcthcr thc dcscriptions thcy
rccommcndarcconhrmcdornot. Todcfcndamcthodo|ogica| princip|c, oncprovidcs
numcrousi||ustrationsofcascswhcrcitchooscsadcscriptionthatturnsouttobcwc||
supportcd on othcr cvidcncc. To rcfutc a mcthodo|ogica| princip|c, onc adduccs
cascs whcrc it sc|cctsa dcscription that turnsoutto bc unsatisfactory for indcpcndcnt
rcasons. In cithcr dircction, such argumcnts arc not casy. (lor thc bcginning of a
ncgativcargumcnt, sccZwicky (I97Ob) on thclrcc Ridc Princip|c,a mcthodo|ogica|
princip|c optingfor| ongcr dcrivationsovcr shortcr oncs, othcr thingsbcing cgua|.)
Examp|cs ofmcthodo|ogica| princip|csfrom othcr scicnccsarcnot hardtohnd.
NOd . Zwck} 4V
Inthis catcgory arcthcwidcsprcad prc|crcnccs |or round numbcrs, |or cguations o|
dcgrccn ovcrthosco|dcgrccn + I , and |or circ|cs ovcr othcr conic scctions, among
many othcr prc|crcnccs |or 'simp|c" accounts.
J.J. bSl0HlC IHCg0S
In contrast to mcthodo|ogica| princip|cs, which arcapt tobctcrmcd'ru|cs" (in onc
scnsc) or 'guidc|incs," systcmatic princip|cs arc 'dcscriptions," 'obscrvations,"
'rcgu|aritics," 'ru|cs" (in anothcr scnsc), '|aws," 'assumptions,"or'hypothcscs,"
dcpcnding upon thcir cxtcntandthcir abstractncss. I assumc hcrc that thc dihcrcnt
tcrms rcprcscnt dihcrcnccs o| dcgrcc, cspccia||y in vicw o|thc obscrvations o| many
phi|osophcrs(|or cxamp|c, Hanson, Kuhn, andTou|min) that 'thcorctica|" assump-
tionsin|cctobscrvationin signihcantways.Thatis,Iassumcthatthcrcisac|inc|rom
(a) through (e) (andbcyond):
(a) obscrvations that somconc said a particu|ar thing on somc occasion or madc a
particu|arjudgmcnt about an uttcrancc on somc occasion
(b) obscrvationsthatthcmcmbcrso|somcspccch communityusua||ymakcthcsamc
judgmcnt on somc point
(c) c|aimsabout thc cxistcncc o|a particu|ar ru|c in ng|ish
(d) hypothcscs about constraints |imiting thc app|icabi|ity o| ru|cs in a particu|ar
|anguagc, or univcrsa||y
(e) hypothcscsabout thc rangc o| possib|c ru|cs in natura||anguagcs
My conccrn in thc |o||owing scctions is with thc morc'thcorctica|" statcmcnts
(|ikc (d) and (e)) than with thc morc 'dcscriptivc" oncs (|ikc (a) and (b)). ut cvcn
thcsc 'thcorctica|" asscrtions rangc |rom rc|ativc|y | ow-|cvc| assumptions, typica||y
capab|co|prccisc |ormu|ation andusua||y subjccttotcsts o| somcstandardkind, to
much morc abstract propositions, ocn statcd rathcr vaguc|y and not amcnab|c
tostraight|orward tcsts andargumcntation. Thc morc abstract propositions tcnd to
act as organizing princip|cs dchning a hc|d o| invcstigation. A|though thc dccpcr
princip|cs arc in somc scnsc opcn to cmpirica| vcrihcation or |a|sihcation, thc tcsts
rcguircdarc guitcindircct or invo|vccxtrcmc|ycomp|cxchainso|in|crcnccinwhich
various |undamcnta| assumptions |unction. Without intcnding to c|aim that thc
dccpcr princip|cs arc untcstab|c, I havc tcrmcd thc | owcr-|cvc| statcmcnts arquable
proposiions andthc morcabstractoncsorqanizinq hypoheses.
2.2.1. RGUBLt FROFO5I7ION5
Any 'natura| |aw" wou|d scrvc as an cxamp|c o| an arguab|c proposition. Lct us
takc an i||ustration |rom physicsNcwton`s Invcrsc Sguarc Law, which statcs
that thc gravitationa| |orcc bctwccn two bodics is invcrsc|y proportiona| o thc
sguarco|thcdistanccbctwccnthcm(Risthcdistanccbctwccnthctwobodicsandk is
a constant associatcdwiththctwobodics):
F
.

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How do wc tc|| that this is an invcrsc sguarc |aw, rathcr than, say, an invcrsc cubc
|aw? A mcthodo|ogica| princip|c chooscs sguarcs ovcr cubcs so|ong asthc obscrva
tionson thc mattcr arcrcasonab|y consistcnt with this assumption. Asidc |romthis,
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thctwopositionsarcindistinguishab|c so | ongas(a) thcranqe o| cvidcnccisnarrow,
(b) thc accuracy o| thc mcasuring dcvicc is |ow, and (c) ouside eecs cannot bc
discountcd. I|wchavc mcasurcmcnts on|y ovcr a narrow rangc |or R, thcn wcmay
not bc ab|c to distinguish thc sguarcs hypothcsis |rom thc cubcs hypothcsis, givcn
thc accuracy o| our mcasuring dviccs and thc |act that sma|| pcrturbations may bc
random,asarcsu|to|cxpcrimcntr`scrrororoutsidc chcctsthatwcrcnota||owcd|or.
Simi|ar|y,vcryaccuratcmcasurcmcntsmaybcworth|cssi|thcy cannotbcmadcovcra
sumcicntrangco|va|ucs.
Thc garcn-varicty arguab|c propositions o| currcnt |inguistics arc univcrsa|
hypothcscs, most o| thcm exclusions, rcstrictions on thc usc o| ccrtain notationa|
convcntions. A typica| cxamp|c is 'Thcrc arc no cur|y brackcts (that is, braccs) in
syntax," a c|aim intcndcd toi||cgitimizcrc|crcnccs to
and thc |ikc in syntactic ru|cs. This particu|ar usc o| cur|y brackcts, or braccs, is
criticizcd hrst by Ross (I 969a); it is trcatcd |rom a broadcr pcrspcctivc by Zwicky
(I 968) and assimi|atcd to thc gcncra| cxc|usion princip|c by McCaw|cy (I 97Oa). To
bc chcctivc, thc cxc|usion hypothcsis must bc supportcd by obscrvations ovcr thc
appropriatc ranqe, thcsc obscrvations must bc suitab|y accurae, and thcrc must bc
somc assurancc that ousideeecs arc not intcr|cringsignihcant|y with thc cvidcncc.
That is, thcrc must bc argumcnts that dihcrcnt phcnomcna, in dihcrcnt |anguagcs,
which might havc bccn thought to rcguirc thc usc o| cur|y brackcts, do notin |act
do so; thcrc must bc argumcnts supporting thc gcncra| adcguacy and comp|ctcncss
o|thcgrammars rc|crrcdto(|ori||caturcs o|thcru|cs in gucstion wcrc dcpcndcnton
minor changcs in othcr ru|cs, thc cvidcncc |rom thcsc dcscriptions wou|d not bc
worth much), and thcrc must bc rcason to bc|icvc that thc supporting cvidcncc is
not scrious|y ahcctcd by cxtcrna| |acts (dimcu|ty in undcrstanding scntcnccs, |or
cxamp|c).
Arguab|c propositions |ikc Ncwton`s Invcrsc Sguarc Law or thc No Cur|y
rackctsProposa| may a|so bc dc|cndcd or attackcdthrough argumcnts o| a dccpcr
sort, argumcnts that rc|cr togcncra| princip|cs o| scicntihccxp|anation (|a|sihabi|ity,
simp|icity, p|ausibi|ity, |or cxamp|c). Thus, thc natura|ncss argumcnt dcscribcd in
Zwicky(I 968)in|avor o| thcNoCur|y rackctsProposa| isanappca| tothcorctica|
simp|icity, as was thc argumcnt |avoring thc c|cgancc o| thc Copcrnican hc|io
ccntricthcory ovcr thc comp|cxity o| thc cpicyc|csinthc gcoccntricthcory.
Othcr cxamp|cs o| arguab|c propositions |rom |inguistics inc|udc thc |o||owing:
(a) a proposa| by Chomsky that no trans|ormationa| ru|cinscrtmatcria| |rom oncS
into a|owcr S; (b) an unpub|ishcd but much discusscd suggcstion o| Kiparsky`s that
ru|cschcctingabso|utcncutra|izationsin phono|ogy bcprohibitcd (c) thc hypothcsis
that syntactic ru|cs cannot bc conditioncd by phono|ogica| |caturcs (thc Princip|c o|
Phono|ogy-Ircc Syntax, trcatcd in Zwicky ( I 969)); (d) thc assumption that a|| thc
in|ormationrcguircd|orthc conditioningo|phono|ogica|ru|csis avai|ab|cin supcr
hcia| syntactic structurc (thc Princip|c o| Supcrhcia| Constraints in Phono|ogy,
mcntioncd in Zwicky ( I 97Oa)); (e) a proposa| in Zwicky (I 97Oc) |or |imitations on
thc usc o| Grcck-|cttcr variab|cs in phono|ogica| ru|cs; and () a hypothcsis, put
|orward tcntativc|y by Chomsky and Ha||c (I 968), that thc phono|ogica| cyc|c is
rcstrictcdtoprosodicphcnomcna.
rhOd . Zwtk} 4
Thc|inguisticcascsthatcomchrsttomindarca|| cxc|usvc princip|cs, thanks to
thc cmphasis withintrans|ormationa|gcncrativcgrammar on rcstricting thcrangco|
notationa|convcntionsandthciruscsasawayo|spcci|yingasnarrow|yaspossib|cthc
notion possib|cnatura| |anguagc."Arguab|cpropositioninthcnatura| scicnccsarc
customari|ystatcdpositivc|y,butthcycancasi|ybcconvcrtcdintocxc|usivcprincip|cs.
Ncwton`sInvcrsc Sguarc Law, or cxamp|c, can bc intcrprctcdasa ban on physica|
systcms in which thc gravitationa| attraction bctwccn bodics is any |unction o| R
bcsidcs I{R
:
. Thc dihcrcncc, thcn, bctwccn thc |inguistic cxamp|cs and thc physica|
cxamp|cis simp|y onc o| dcgrcc . physica| princip|cs arc typica||y muchmorc spccihc
in thcir cxc|usions than arc|inguistichypothcscs.
Thcrcarc,howcvcr,manysortso|spccihc,positivc|ystatcdarguab|cpropositions
in |inguistics. Putativc |inguistic univcrsa|s, such as thosc trcatcd by various authors
in Grccnbcrg (I 963), arc cascs, as arc c|aims that particu|ar ru|cs, phono|ogica| or
syntactic, arc univcrsa| in charactcr (as has bccn argucd by ach (I 97I ), lo|cy
(I 97O), andStampc).
2.2.2. ORGNIZING 1YFO71t5t5
Organizinghypothcscsarc high-|cv|assumptions,|undamcnta|cmpirica|hypothcscs.
Various princip|cs o| |inguistic changc havc this charactcr-thc Ncogrammarian
hypothcsis o| thc rcgu|arity o| sound changc, |or instancc, and Kiparsky`s (I 968)
proposa|thatru|csrcordcrintimcsoastorcduccmarkcdncss. A|soo|thischaractcr
arc assumptions about thc dircctiona|ity o| thc rc|ationship bctwccn syntactic and
scmanticrcprcscntations. Thc most sa|icnt |actaboutsuchassumptions is thatthcy
arc not casi|y givcn up, cvcn in th |acc o| apparcnt countcrcxamp|cs, which wi|| bc
trcatcd as mani|cstations o| minor comp|icating princip|cs or as outright anoma|ics
(sccKuhn( I962)).Itisthisrcsistancctodisproo|thatgivcsorganizinghypothcscsthci
'hc|d-dchning" naturc. Thcyarctcstab|c, in somcscnsc, andthcycanbcabandoncd
ahcr argumcnt, but thc tcsts arc not simp|c northc argumcnts straight|orward.
Aswascmphasizcdcar|icr,thcrcisnosharpbrcakbctwccnarguab|cpropositions
andorganizinghypothcscs. ThcPrincip|co|Phono|ogy-lrccSyntaxandthcPrincip|c
o| Supcrhcia| Constraints in Phono|ogy, which wcrc mcntioncd in thc prcccding
scction, arc |air|y high-|cvc| assumptions and might bc takcn to bc organizing
hypothcscs. I havc |istcd thcmasarguab|c propositions bccausc thatis thc way thcy
arc vicwcd in thc artic|cs citcd, but it wou|d bc possib|c to considcr thcm as bcing
morc |undamcnta|, as togcthcr asscrting a basic "scparation o| |cvc|s" bctwccn
syntaxandphono|ogy.
c|orc continuing with cxamp|cs |rom |inguistics, |ct us |ook at two cc|cbratcd
cascs o| organizing hypothcscs in thc physica| scicnccs. Thc hrst is thc Ncwtonian
(origina||y, Ga|i|can) incrtia| princip|c o| motion vcrsus thcAristotc|ian or rcsistancc
conccption. Tou|min (I 963) obscrvcs that
Aristotlcconccntratcd his attcntion on thc motion ofbodics against apprcciabIc rcsis-
tancc, and on thc lcngth oftimc rcquircdfora complctc changc ofpositionfrom onc
placc to anothcr. For a varicty of rcasons, hc ncvcr rcalIy tackIcd thc probIcm of
dchning 'vclocity' in thc casc whcn onc considcrs progrcssivcly shortcr and shortcr
pcriods of timci.c. instantancous vclocity. Nor was hc prcparcd to pay scrious
attcntiontothcqucstionhowbodicswouldmovcifallrcsistingagcncicswcrcccctivcly
orcompIctcIy rcmovcd. As things tucd out, his hcsitations wcrcunfortunatc, yct his
rcasonsforhcsitating arcundcstandablc, andin thcirwaylaudablc . . . Lcaving asidc
frcc fall for thc momcnt as a spccial casc, all thc motions wc obscrvc going on closc
aoundushappcnasthcydo(hcsaw)throughamorc-or-lcsscomplctcbalanccbctwccn
4Z lhgu5lc5 u5 LhPm5lr}. 1hP u5luhcP 1hPOr} Of Pmuhlc rmP5
two scts offorccs . thosctcnding to maintain thc motion and thosctcnding to rcsistit.
Inrcal lifc, too, a bodyalwaystakcs a dchnitc timc to goa dchnitcdistancc. So thc
qucstionofinstantancousvclocitywouldhavc struck him as ovcr-abstract , and hc fclt
thcsamcwayaboutthcidcaofacomplctclyunrcsistcdmotion,whichhc dismisscdas
unrca (pp. 5051).
Hcrc wc havc a sympathctic cxposition o| an organizinghypothcsis|ormu|atcd
by Aristot|c. In Aristot|c`s commonscnsica| vicw, bodics movc on|y whi|c thcy arc
impc||cd. A wagon on a country road, not a |rcc|y |a||ing ba||, is thc paradigm|or
dynamics. Thcpositionis,u|timatc|y,cmpirica|. Howcvcr,it is casicr toimaginctcsts
o| Ncwton`s Invcrsc Sguarc Law (givcn that thcrc is some attractivc |orcc bctwccn
bodics)thantoconstructcxpcrimcntsbcaringon thcAristotc|ianRcsistanccHypoth-
csis. In timc,Aristot|c`shypothcsiswas abandoncdin |avor o|a dihcrcntorganizing
hypothcsis,namc|y,Ncwton`sIirst Law,whichho|dsthat cvcry partic|c continucsin
a statc o| rcst,orin motion with constantspccdina straight |inc, un|css actcdupon
byanoutsidc|orcc. othhypothcscsarcdimcu|tto|ormu|atcprccisc|y,andthcchangc
|rom onctothcothcr wasaccompanicdbychangcsin othcr |undamcnta|assumptions
and was supportcd by argumcnts o| many dihcrcnt typcs, inc|uding cxpcrimcnta|
cvidcnccbcaringindircct|yuponthcgucstionandgcncra|considcrations o|adcguacy
o| cxp|anation.
Thc sccond cxamp|c comcs |rom astronomy-Kcp|cr`sIirst Law that thc orbit
o|cachp|anctaboutthcsun is c||iptica|,with thcsunatonco|thc|oci o|thcc||ipsc.
This organizinghypothcsis rcp|accd thcthcorythatthc orbits arc circu|ar,a proposi-
tion that sccms to many (as it sccmcd to Aristot|c) so sc||-cvidcnt that it scarcc|y
wou|d rcguirc support. Thc cxamp|c is cspccia||y intcrcsting bccausc it i||ustratcs a
changc |rom an organizing hypothcsis that asscrts circu|ar motion to thc prcscnt
statco|ahairs,amcthodo|ogica|princip|cwhichprc|crscirc|cstoc||ipscs,othcrthings
bcing cgua|. Thc samc cvo|ution |rom organizing hypothcsis to mcthodo|ogica|
princip|c canbcsccninthchistoryo|thcContrastPrincip|cinphono|ogy(mcntioncd
bricDy in Scction 2. I). Thc rcvcrsc dcvc|opmcnt, |rom mcthodo|ogica| princip|c to
organizing hypothcsis, is not unknown cithcr; I sha|| suggcst an cxamp|c short|y.
Thchistory o| Kcp|cr`sIirstLawi||ustratcsanothcrsorto| cvo|utionaswc||-a
changc |rom an organizing hypothcsis to an arguab|c proposition o| thc ordinary
sort. C|car|y,whcnhrstput|orth, Kcp|cr`sIirst Law wasa |undamcnta|thcsisabout
astronomy, rcvo|utionary in its contcnt. Oncc accuratc instrumcnts o| thc rcguircd
typchadbccn dcvc|opcd,howcvcr,thcdihcrcncc bctwccncircu|arandc||ipticmotion
cou|dbcdctcctcdby norma| mcthods,andsoonit bccamc possib|c todcrivc Kcp|cr`s
|aws o| p|anctary motion |rom Ncwton`s|aws, so that Kcp|cr`s Iirst Law bccamc a
rc|ativc|y | ow-|cvc|hypothcsisina nctwork o|assumptions.
Now |ct us rcturn to cxamp|cs o|organizinghypothcscsin |inguistics. Iirst wc
cxaminc thc 'rcguircmcnt thattrans|ormationsprcscrvc mcaning," asPartcc (I97I)
phrascsit. I sha|| rc|crto thishypothcsisasthcFostOgceFrinciple,onthcgrounds
thatit trcats syntaxasanc|aboratc dc|ivcrysystcm,asystcmdcsigncdtogctmcssagcs
to an addrcsscc without changing thcir contcnt. As Partcc notcs, thc Post Omcc
Princip|c is vicwcd as a mcthodo|ogica| princip|c by Katz and Posta| (I 964), who
strcss that thc princip|c is 'not . . . a statcmcnt in |inguistic thcory, but rathcr . . . a
ru|c o| thumb bascd on thc gcncra| charactcr o| |inguistic dcscriptions" (p. I 57).
ut,in casc a|tcr casc,thcPost Omcc Princip|c sccmcd to rccommcndana|yscsthat
wcrc |atcr conhrmcd by indcpcndcnt cvidcncc, and it was thus c|cvatcd |rom a
mcthodo|ogica| princip|c toan organizing hypothcsis. AsPartcc putsit, thc princip|c
'gaincdsupportvcry guick|y, tothcpointwhcrcitwaswidc|yacccptcd asonco|thc
rao/d. Zwck} 4J
morcso|id|ycstab|ishcdgcncra|izationsin|inguisticthcoryanduscdasa critcrion|or
trans|ormationa|ru|cs" (p. 2).
As is typica||ythccascwithorganizinghypothcscs, itis dimcu|tto|ormu|atcthc
PostOmccPrincip|cprccisc|y. asPartccpointsout, itinvo|vcsinancsscntia|waythc
dimcu|tbut |undamcnta| notion o|'synonymy,"justasNcwton'sIirstLawinvo|vcs
n an csscntia| way thc dimcu|t but |undamcnta|notions o| 'motion" and '|orcc. `
As is a|so typica| o|organizing hypothcscs, it is hard toadducc convincing cvidcncc
|ororagainstthcPostOmccPrincip|c.Thcprob|cmisthatitisa|mosta|wayspossib|c
to hxupa dcscription so thatit wi|| con|orm to thc princip|c. According|y, whcthcr
or not anana|ystwi|| makc thcrcguircd adjustmcntstcndstodcpcnd on whcthcr or
not hc bc|icvcs in thc Post OmccPrincip|c.
Thchna|cxamp|co|anorganizinghypothcsis thatI wi||givcisthc oncrc|crrcd
tointhctit|co|thisartic|c, namc|y, thcSubstanccThcoryo|ScmanticPrimcs. Inthc
|orm I sha|| usc in thc rcmaindcr o| this papcr, thc hypothcsis is: etery semantic
primeisrealizableasalexicalunit(root,iection,orderitationalagx)insomenatural
Ianquaqe. A strongcr vcrsion might bc suggcstcd: in any |anguagc, most scmantic
primcs arc rca|izcd as |cxica| units. Thc strongcst |orm o| thc hypothcsis-in any
|anguagc, a|| scmantic primcsarcrca|izcdas|cxica| units-sccmsc|car|ytoomuchto
hopc |or. I sha|| bc contcnt to dc|cnd thc wcak, or simp|c cxistcntia|, |orm o| thc
hypothcsisin thc scctionsto|o||ow.
Thcidca bchind thcnamc'SubstanccThcory o|ScmanticPrimcs` isthat cvcry
scmantic primc is a rca| substancc (a root, inDcction, or dcrivationa| amx), not
mcrc|y a princip|c mani|cstcdbyrca| substanccs. Thcana|ogyhcrciswithchcmica|
c|cmcnts, which, on thc modcrn vicw, arcassumcd to bc rca|izab|c assubstanccs, as
opposcd to thc ancicnt 'c|cmcnts" hrc, air, carth, and watcr, or thc a|chcmica|
'c|cmcnts` sa|t, su|phur, and mcrcury, which wcrc 'not substanccs at a||, but
mctaphysica|abstractions o| propcrtics, typi|ying thc naturcs o|bodics` (Partington
( I 948, p. I I 3)).
C|car|y, thcSubstanccThcoryisan organizinghypothcsisrathcrthan amcthod-
o|ogica| princip|c or an arguab|c proposition o| thc usua| sort. It is dimcu|t to scc
howonc cou|dconstructastraight|orwardargumcnt|or oragainstthcidca. Andthc
rc|crcnccto"rca|ization`inthcstatcmcnto|thchypothcsismakcsitsprccisc|ormu|a-
tion a |ormidab|c task.
. JL bbJPDLL JLL3
nthcrcmainingparto|thispapcr,Ircvicwbricythc(vcrysparsc)|itcraturconscman
ticprimcs, prcparatory to considcring uscso|thc Substancc Thcoryindiscussionso|
scmantics. Ncxt, I takc up thc ana|ogy with chcmistry and arguc that thcana|ogy is
matcria|, tousc Hcssc`s (I 966) tcrm. Iina||y, I supp|y a morc gcncra| discussion o|
mctaphorandana|ogyin|inguistics, withadditiona|cxamp|cso|matcria|ana|ogics.
.1. b0HHlC IH0S
Thcstatcmcnto|thcSubstanccThcoryinScction2.2.2rc|crsspccihca||yto'scmantic
primcs`andthcrc|orc|ocatcsthchypothcsiswithinthcbroad|ramcworko|gcncrativc
scmantics. This rcstriction is unncccssary, howcvcr, |or thc hypothcsis is cgua||y
appropriatc within thcoricsthatassumc thatthcscmantic rcadings o||cxica|unitsarc
constructso| primcs ca||cd'|caturcs,` 'markcrs," 'spccications,` or thc|ikc. That
44 lhgu5lc5 u5 LhPm5lr}. 1hP u5luhcP 1hPOr} Of Pmuhlc rmP5
is, intcnd my rcmarks to app|ynot on|y to systms|ikc thosc o| McCaw|cy (I968)
and Lakoh ( I 97O), in which scmantic structurcs arc o| thc samc typc as syntactic
structurcs, buta|sotostandardKatz-Iodorscmantics(asprcscntcdinKatz(I966),|or
cxamp|c), in which scmantic rcprcscntations o| |cxica| units arc scts o| markcrs, as
wc|| as tovariousintcrmcdiatc positionsin which scmanticrcprcscntations o||cxica|
units arc morc or |css comp|cx structurcs containing markcrs (as in such cxtcnsions
o|,variantso|,ora|tcrnativcstothcKatz-IodorpositionasGrubcr(I 965),Wcinrcich
(I 966), Lccch (I 969), and Cha|c (I 97O)).
Withinnonc o|thcsc|ramcworkshasthcrcbccn anycxtcndcddiscussion o| thc
charactcr o| thc atomic units that appcar in scmantic dcscriptions. Thc |o||owing
rcmarksby Katz (I 966) arc rcprcscntativc.
Justas thcmcaningofawordisnotatomic, a scnsc ofa word isnotan undicr-
cntiatcd wholc, but, rathcr, has a complcx conccptual structurc. Thc rcading which
rcprcscntsascnsc providcs ananalysisofthcstructurcofthat scnsc which dccomposcs
it into conccptual clcmcnts and thcir intcrrclations. Scmantic markcrs rcprcscnt thc
conccptual clcmcnts into which a rcading dccomposcs a scnsc. Thcy thus providc thc
thcorctical constructs nccdcd to rcconstruct thc intcrrclations holding bctwccn such
conccptual clcmcntsin thc structurc ofa scnsc.
. . .Justassyntacticmarkcrscnablcustoformulatccmpiricalgcncralizationsabout
thc syntactic structurc of linguistic constructions, so scmantic markcrs cnablc us to
construct cmpirical gcncralizations about thc mcaning oflinguisticconstructions. For
cxamplc, thc Englishwords 'bachclor', 'man', 'pricst', 'bull', 'unclc', 'boy', ctc.,havc a
scmantic fcaturc in common which is not part of thc mcaning of any of thc words
'child', 'molc', 'mothcr', 'classmatc', 'nuts', 'bolts', 'cow`, ctc. Thc rst sct ofwords,
butnotthcsccond,arcsimilarinmcaningin that thcmcaningofcach mcmbrcontains
thcconccptofmalcncss.Ifwcincludcthcscmanticmarkcr(Malc)inthclcxicalrcadings
forcachofthcwordsinthchrstsctandcxcludcitfromthclcxicalcntricsforcachofthc
words in thc sccond, wc thcrcbycxprcss this cmpirical gcncralization. Thus, scmantic
markcrs makc it possiblc to formulatc such gcncralizations by providing us with thc
clcmcnts in tcrms ofwhich thcsc gcncralizationscanbc statcd (pp. I 55157).
n practicc, primcsarc sctupwithin somc narrow arca that iso| intcrcst to thc
invcstigator, asaway o|givingan accounto| thc scmanticrc|ationshipshc pcrccivcs
in thatarca(scc, |orcxamp|c,Ii||morc(I 969)). Thcrc isvirtua||ynoattcmpttoarguc
|oroncsystcmo| primcsovcrvariouspossib|ca|tcrnativcs. Thcon|yarcaswhichhavc
bccn "mappcd" wc||in thiswayarcincctiona| catcgoricsanda |cwhc|dsthatarco|
intcrcsttoanthropo|ogistsaswc||as |inguists-|o|ktaxonomics, kinshipsystcms, and
co|ortcrms. Othcrwisc, thcscinvcstigationsarcin thcirin|ancy. Andsurc|ythcmost-
uotcdwordson thcsubjcctarcthosco|cndix(I 966, p. I 7):'aroughroadintothc
cmpirica| scmantic wi|dcrncss is prc|crab|c to a wc||-pavcd onc timid|y skirting thc
bordcrs."
Ior my purposcs hcrc, thc most notab|c gap in cxisting trcatmcnts o| scmantic
primcsisthcabscncco|asscrtionso||orma|orsubstantivc univcrsa|sinvo|vingthcm.
Thcrc arc thc samc |cw cxccptions as bc|orc, kinship and co|or tcrms cspccia||y.
LDODSKyS (1VOJ) IlID0S lO SD8DlI0 uDIVIS8S 8I QuIl DIIl. P lDOIy Ol SuDSl8DlIV
uDIVIS8lS DIgDl DOlU, lOI X8Dl, lD8l 0Il8ID USIgD8lIV luD0lIODS DuSl D 08IIIU Oul ID 8 S0IDU
W8y ID 80D l8Dgu8g. DuS Il DIgDl 8SSIl lD8l 80D l8Dgu8g WIll 0ODl8ID lIDS lD8l USIgD8l ISODS
OI lXI08l IlDS IlIIIDg lO S0ID0 KIDUS Ol ODJ0lS, llIDgS, DD8VIOI, 8DU SO OD (. Z) 8S lOID8l
uDIVIS8lS, D SuggSlS lD 8SSuDlIOD lD8l IOI D8DS, ID 8Dy l8Dgu8g, DuSl USIgD8l ODJ0lS
DlIDg 8 0ODUIlIOD Ol S8lIOlDOI8l 0ODlIguIly [8 lOOlDOl DI IlluSlI8lS lD DyOlDSIS], 8DU
lD8l lD S8D IS lIu Ol OlDI lIDS USIgD8lIDg ODJ0lS OI lD 0ODUIlIOD lD8l lD 0OlOI WOIUS Ol 8Dy
l8Dgu8g DuSl SuDUIVIU lD 0OlOI S0lIuD IDlO 0ODlIDuOuS SgDDlS OI lD 0ODUIlIOD lD8l 8IlIl80lS
8I UDDU lD lIDS Ol 0Il8ID DuD8D gO8lS, DUS, 8DU luD0llODS lDSl8U Ol SOlly ID lIDS Ol DySI08l
Qu8lIlIS (. ZV). D lD S8D VID, J8DS mIIDgI D8S SuggSlU lO D lD DyOlDSIS lD8l WOIUS ID
D8luI8l (8S OOSU lO l0DDI08l) l8Dgu8gS DVI IlI lO 8DSOlul D8SuIDDlS.
NOd . Zwck} 4J
Givcnthc|acko|suchascrtions,wcmusttrytoin|crgcncra|princip|cs|romwhatcvcr
practiccsthcrchavc bccn.
Iirst,wcvcr,a|cwordsarcncccssaryaboutthcdihcrcnccsbctwccnwordsand
scmantic primcs. Thcrcisa rcasnab|y c|ca i||ustraion o| thcdistinction in Posta|
( I97O)
Ihavcclaimcdthatthcundcrlyingstructurc ofrPmhd clauscsisofthcform:
5
Ycb_ N N

Nrb@ N N


1 Z
whcrcVcrb_isanclcmcntlikc5lrkP, Vcrb,anclcmcntwiththcpropcrticsofaSimilarity
Prcdicatc. In thc contcxt of thc discussion of Gcncrativc Scmantics, it is clcar that
thcrcisnosuggcstion thatthcsc undcrlyingvcrbalsarcPXcu lPm5, inparticularnonc
thatthcyarcthclcxical5lrkP, rP5PmP, ctc.Thcidcaisthatthcundcrlyingclcmcntsarc
50muhlc vcrbs, that is, prcdicatcs. Conscqucntly, thc claim is only that thc undcrlying
clcmcnts ofrPmh clauscs arc thosc prcdicatcs which arc lawfully conntcd to thc
various rcgularitics documcntcd for 5lrkP and Similarity Prcdicatcs. In particular, I
would likcto cmphasizcthat itis not cxcludcd that thcactual lcxcal vcrb 5lrkP may
havcccrtainspccialpropcrticsnotassociatcdwiththc undcrlyingprcdicatcorprcdicatc
complcxwhichshowsupasthcSurfaccVcrbrPmhd. Justso,thcparticularprcdicatcof
similarity which undcrlics rPmhd may lack somc ad hoc fcaturcs ofany or all ofthc
vcrbals 5mur, rP5PmP, lkP. Inshort, I havc not intcndcd to claim thatrPmhd is in
any scnsc dcrivcd from undcrlying structurcs which contain thc lcxicalvcrbs 5lrkP, or
rP5PmP/5mur/kP. Rathcr, I havc argucd that thc dcrivaton must bc fromclcmcnts
woscpropcrtics arc hcudPd inthcsclcxical clcmcnts (pp. I I3-I I4).
Thccrucia|notionindiscussionso| primcsandwordsisthato|'rca|ization,`or
'corrcspondcnccto":Eng|ishand,inonco|itsscnscs,rca|izcsthcprimcP?
3
bccausc,
asidc |rom any syntactic or sty|isticpccu|iariticsassociatcdwith thisscnsc o|Eng|ish
and, its propcrticsarcthosco|ancntitywhichbcarsccrtainspccihcrc|ationstoothcr
cntitics (|or cxamp|c, ok, ?L L?L) which, takcn togcthcr, |orm thc basis |or a
scmantic dcscription o| Eng|ish. Among thc rc|ations in gucstion is thc dua|ity o|
P? and okthat P? is cguiva|cnt to ?LLH~?L and, convcrsc|y, that ok is
cguiva|cnt to ?LP?*?L or, statcd prccisc|y, that R P? 5 is cguiva|cnt to
?L ((?L R)LH (?L 5))andthatRLkiscguiva|cntto?L ((?L R)P? (?L 5)).
!ustasonc scnsc o| and corrcspondstoP? so onc scnsc o|similar corrcsponds to
(rca|izcs) LL D8COm8 and -8h corrcspond to ?LLPNL and say corrcsponds to
PbbLH.
3. I . I . 71t 5UB57NCt 71tOR1 IN 71t LI7tR7URt
A runthroughscmanticdcscriptionsin thc|itcraturchasturncdupnoprimcswhich
strikcmcasbcingincapab|c o|rca|izationinaword or amx, inncar|ycvcrycasc, in
|act,thcrcisanobviousEng|ish|cxica|itcmcorrcspondingtothcprimc.Inaddition,it
1 Sh8ll lOllOW lh 0uSlOD Ol uSIDg SD8ll 08Il8l lllIS lOI IIDS 8S 0ODlI8SlU WIlh Il8lI0S
lOI WOIUS OI OIhI lXI08l uDIlS.
4 lhgu5lc5 u5 LhPm5lr}. 1hP u5luhcP 1hPOr} Of Pmuhlc rmP5
s undouotcdIy sgnhcant(asJamcs Hcrngcr has pontcdoutto mc) thatthc factors
govcrnngscIcctonaIrcstrctonsntngIshsccmaIwaystohavccasy "tngIshtrans-
Iatons"~(concrete) object, /eminine, human, actitity, to ctc a fcw. If thcrc s not
ncccssarIy a IcxicaI unit corrcspondng to cach prmc, thcn wc shouId cxpcct to
comcacross"ncxprcssoIcscIcctionaIrcstrctons,whchwouIdrcqurcthcnvcnton
of ncw tcchncaI tcrms for thc purposcs of Ingustc dcscrpton.
AIthough thcrc arcnocxampIcs nowavaIaoIc of scmantc prmcs that arc not
rcaIzaoIc inawordorax,oothKatzandLakohhavctakcnpansnotto subscroc
to thc SuostanccThcory. oth assumcthat thc sct of scmantc prmcs, Ikc thc sctof
phonoIogcaIfcaturcs, s unvcrsaI, out ncthcr s wIIngto asscrt morcthan that thc
sct of prmcs togcthcr s sumccnt to provdc an adcquatc account of thc ntcrnaI
mcanng rcIatonshps n thc Icxcon of any Ianguagc. Katz (i) cvcn suppIcs thc
chcmicaIanaIog:
Itisimportanttostrcssthat,althoughthcscmanticmarkcrsarcgivcninthcorthography
of a naturaI Ianguagc, thcy cannot bc idcntihcd with thc words or cxprcssions ofthc
languagcuscdtoprovidcthcm withsuggcstivclabcIs.Rathcr,thcyarctobcrcgardcd as
constructsofa linguisticthcory,|ustas tcrmssuchas 'forcc' arcrcgardcdas labclsfor
constructs in natural scicncc. Thcrc is an analogy bctwccn thcformula for a chcmical
compoundanda rcading (which maybc thought ofas a formuIaforascmantic com
pound). Thc formulaforthc chcmcal compoundcthylalcohol,
H H

HCC3H

H H
rcprcscnts thcstructurcofanalcohoI moIccuIc ina way anaIogous to that inwhicha
rcading for 'bachcIor' rcprcscnts thc conccptual structurcof onc of itsscnscs. Both
rcprcscntations cxhibit thc clcmcnts out of which thc compound is formcd and thc
rclations that form it. In thc formcr casc, thc formulacmploys thcchcmicalconstructs
'Hydrogcn molcculc', 'Chcmical bond', 'Oxygcn molcculc', ctc. , whiIc in thc Iattcr
thc formuIa cmploys thc linguistic conccpts '(Physical Obcct)', '(MaIc)', '{Sclcction
Rcstriction)', ctc. (p. I 56).
Lako(i7) hndshmscIf askng whcthcr thcrc arc two scmantic prmcs LH
and LL wth ccrtan spcchcdpropcrtcs, hcconcIudcs:
Inanarbitrarysystcm,onccouIdalwaysmakcupsuchprcdicatcs,butthatisbcsidcthc
point. Thc qucstion hcrc is an cmpiricaI onc. Is thcrc any cvidcncc that such atomic
prcdicatcs actually cxist in thc Iogical forms ofscntcnccs of natural Ianguagc? This
docs not ncccssariIy mcan that thcrc must actually bc in somc languagc singlc lcxicaI
itcms dircctly corrcsponding to thcsc prcdicatcs. Howcvcr, it is rcquircd, at thc vcry
Icast, that such prcdicatcs appcar clscwhcrc. For cxamplc, thcrc might bc a numbcr
ofothcrvcrbswhichcanbcdccomposcdintcrmsofoncorthcothcrofthcscprcdicatcs
(p. 35I).
Lakoh docs not cIam that thc Suostancc Thcory is nvaIid, hc mcrcIy wthhoIds
judgmcnt on thc mattcr and proposcs a wcakcr condtion on thc unvcrsaIity of
prmcs. Thc onIy thng that hs condton ruIcs outs thc posting of a prmc on thc
oass of propcrtcs of onc IcxcaI tcm n onc Ianguagc-surcIy a mnimaI constrant
on thc contcntof scmantc thcory.
n onc nstancc, Lakoh(i7) uscs thc cxstcncc of a word corrcspondng to a
putatvcprmcascvdcnccfor thc prmc's cxistcncc. nconncctonwththcproposcd
dccompostonof onc scnsc ofpersuade nto LPLbL?LLPNL?L?, hcwritcs .
NOd . Zwck} 9
Asidcfrom thc ru|cof rcdicatc-iing, a| of thcru|csuscdin this dcrivation and in
simi|ar dcrivations arc nccdcd anyway in Eng|ish grammar. orcovcr, structurcs
|ikcthconcrooscd for]Pr5uudP| arca|sonccdcdindccndcnt|yinEng|ishgrammar.
That is, thcrc must bc a vcrb 'causc" which is a two-|acc rcdicatc, a vcrb 'comc
about" which is a onc-|acc rcdicatc, and a vcrb 'intcnd" which is a two-|acc
rcdicatc (. 342).
I| thcrc wcrc no rcason to supposc that primcs wcrc rca|izcd as words, thcn thc
cxistcncco|avcrbcauseinEng|ishwou|d bcirrc|cvantto thcana|ysiso|persuade as
containing thcprimcLPLb.
Sincc atz and Lakoh do not suggcst any ana|yscs that vio|atc thc Substancc
Thcory, wc must turn to othcrs|or cxamp|cs. Asithappcns, somc rc|cvantworkhas
bccn doncby|ogicians.
J.1.2. LOGICLLY DtQU7t BU7 LINGUI57ICLLY
UNN7URL 5Y57tJ5
It has bccn thc goa| o| |ogic to construct prccisc and satis|ying accounts o| a |cw
arcas o| |orm and mcaning that arc o| indcpcndcnt phi|osophica| or mathcmatica|
intcrcst. Onc o| thc critcria |or satis|action is systcmatic c|cganccparsimony in
primitivc symbo|s or conccpts, in scts o| axioms, and so on. Logicians havc bccn
cxtrcmc|y ingcniousin thcir parsimony. And thcir systcms arc ohcn guitcunnatura|
|inguistica||y. Linguisticjudgmcntso|unnatura|ncss, incombinationwith prcdictions
madc by thc Substancc Thcory, a||ow us to conc|udc that thc |ogician`s primcs
cannotbc|inguistic primcs. I providctwo cascshcrc.
Iirst, wcconsidcrthccxamp|co|thcShchcrstrokc.

A c|assicrcsu|to|symbo|ic
|ogic is that thc |ogica| conncctivcs ~ 'not', &'and`, \ 'or`, ~ 'imp|ics`, and = 'i|
and on|y i| `cana|| bcdchncd |rom oncconncctivc(cithcr onco|twodihcrcntcon-
ncctivcs, in|act). Thisis thc Shchcr strokc j 'notboth . . . and . . . '. Thcrcmaining
conncctivcsarc dchnab|cinscvcra| ways, |orinstancc:
~ F dened as F j F
F \ Q dened as ~ F j ~ Q
F ~ Q dened as ~ F V Q
F & Q dened as ~ ( F \ ~ Q)
F = Q dened as (F ~ Q)& (Q ~ F)
Whatis|inguistica||yintcrcstingaboutthis|ogician`sstratcgyisthatno|anguagc
sccmstohavcaconjunctivcrootnub, with thcpropcrtythatnubBmcans'notboth
A and ', and I wou|d vicw with considcrab|c suspicion any rcport o| a |anguagc
with such a conjunction. I|no|anguagchasa |cxica| unitnub, thcn according to thc
SubstanccThcory, thcShchcrstrokccannotrcprcscntascmanticprimc|or|inguistic,
asopposcd to |ogica|, purposcs.
An cxamp|c o| a somcwhat dihcrcnt typc is providcd by Prior ( I 96O), whosc
objcctisto assai| thcnotion thatthcmcaning o|thcwordand is comp|ctc|ygivcnby
an account o| thcro|cit p|aysindcductions(that |rom F and Q wc can in|crF, that
|romFandQwccanin|crQ,andthat|romFandQwccanin|crFandQ). Hcahccts
toc|aimthatanystatcmcntYcanbcin|crrcd|romanyothcr,X,bycitinganin|crcncc
o|thc|orm.
X
X tonkY
1
" PlDOSI cVcty SI8DU8IU OgI0 IcXI Itc8IS IDIS SuDJc0I Scc, OI cX8Dlc, LOI (1VO!, . Z1).
4 lhgu5lc5 u5 LhPm5lr}. 1hP u5luhcP 1hPOr} O}Pmuhlc rmP5
Prioradds
Thcrcmaywc||bcrcadcrswhohavcnotrcvious|ycncountcrcdthcconunction'tonk',
itbcingacomarativc|yrcccntaddition tothc|anguagcbutitisthcsim|cstmattcrin
thcword tocx|ain what it mcans. ts mcaning is com|ctc|y givcn by thc ru|cs that
(i)fromanystatcmcntPwccaninfcranystatcmcntformcdbyoiningPtoanystatcmcnt
Qby'tonk'. . . andthat(ii)fromany'contonktivc'statcmcntP-tonk-Qwccaninfcrthc
cotaincd statcmcnt Q.
Noton|yistonknota 'comparativc|yrcccntaddition tothc|anguagc,"itisnotpart
o| |anguagc. Conscgucnt|y, according to thc Substancc Thcory, whatcvcr it
might bc, it is no scmantic primc. c|nap(i2) has obscrvcd that thc dchnition o|
tonk isinconsistcnt, thcrcbyproviding an cxp|anation |or itsunnatura|ncss.
Thc point o|cascs|ikc thc twojustconsidcrcdis that thc SubstanccThcorycan
|inkwithobscrvationsaboutwhatsorto| |cxica|itcmsoccurin thc wor|d's|anguagcs
to yic|d prcdictions about possib|c scmantic primcs. Without thc mcdiation o| thc
SubstanccThcory, thcrc is norcason |or thcrc to bca rc|ation bctwccn thc kinds o|
|cxica| units that occur in |anguagcs and thc scmantic primcs that arc proposcd |or
thcm.
.J. JD0 PHOg WlD LD0HSlt
ThcSubstanccThcoryo|ScmanticPrimcs,asIhavca|rcady pointcd out, isana|ogous
to oy|c's rcguircmcnt, in thc 'Sccptica| Chymist" o|i1, that chcmica| c|cmcnts
bciso|ab|csubstaccsandnotabstractprinip|cs.Wchavca|sosccn,inScctionJ.1.i,
Katz's comparison o| scmantic structurc to chcmica| structurc. In this scction I wi||
prcss this ana|ogy |urthcr, with thc intcntion o| using thc chcmica| casc to suggcst
usc|u| |incso|inguiryinthc|inguisticcasc.Thatis,Iwi||bcc|aimingthatthcpara||c|s
bctwccn chcmica| structurcand scmanticstructurcarcdccponcs. Thisisnot to say,
o| coursc, that thc two subhc|ds o| thc dihcrcnt discip|incs arc isomorphic in cvcry
dctai|. I do not anticipatc thc discovcry o| a sct o| dccp princip|cs |rom which thc
propcrticso|chcmica|structurcandthosco|scmanticstructurcwi||bothbcdcrivab|c.
Indccd, thcrc arc aspccts o| cach subhc|d which arc without obviousana|ogs in thc
othcr,|orinstancc,thcrcisnothinginthcchcmica|cascthatisanatura|corrcspondcnt
o|thcphono|ogica|idcntitythatunitcsthctwoscnscso|persuade(LPLbLLLPNL
L and LPLbLLLPNLLLNL) or thc distinct scnscs(cach a scparatc|cxica|
unit) o|many othcrwords.
Thc initia| ana|ogy is o| |anguagc to mattcr. Thc stratcgy o| thc discip|incs,
|inguistics and chcmistry, rcspcctivc|y, is to ana|yzchctcrogcncousphysica|matcria|
(spccch, matcria|s) intoits parts (words, substanccs) and thcn totrcat thcsc partsas
cithcr c|cmcnta| substanccs (scmantic primcs, c|cmcnts) or compounds o| such
c|cmcnta| substanccs. Thcsc ana|ytic prc|iminarics rcguirc thc idcntihcation and
rcmova| o|variouskindso|intrusivc|actors.
Thc ccntra| part o| thc ana|ogy, thcn, is an occurrcncc o| a scmantic primcin
somc|anguagc,onthconchand,andanatomo|somcchcmica|c|cmcnt,onthcothcr.
Corrcspondingto|cxica|cntricsarcmo|ccu|cs. Ccrtainmo|ccu|cs,hydrogcnmo|ccu|cs
|orinstancc, arccomposcdo|on|yoncsorto|atom. Inthcsamcway, ccrtain|cxica|
cntrics, thc cntry |or cause |or instancc, arc composcd o| ony onc sort o| primc.
DtS DU0D Ol lD Il tS 0DOU Dy OSll {1V!, . 111), WDO SKS O SDDlI0
lODS DU SDDlI0 DO0UlS DUl UOS DOl lK lD lIDS lO D DOI lDD StDl DlDOIS.
rhOd A. 2Wcky 4V
Othcr molcculcs, thc sulfuric acid molcculc for onc, posscss anintcrnal structurc i n
which morc than onc sort ofatom (hydrogcn, sulfur, oxygcn) occurs. Just so, somc
lcxicalcntrics,thccntryforkmamongthcm,posscssanintcrnalstructurcwithmorc
than oncsort ofprimc (LPLb LLPN L P1N).
ln both linguistics and chcmistry, thc grcat majority of thc known substanccs
(orwords) arccomplcx. lncachcld, thcnumbcrofactually occurring substanccsis
quitc largc, and thc numbcr of possiblc substanccs is innitc in principlc, though
limitcd in fact by cxtcrnal factors (thc pysical instability of thc molcculcs, thc
psychologicalcomplcxity ofthc words).
Also, inbothlinguisticsandchcmistry, thcrcarc molccularpropcrticswhicharc
"cmcrgcnt,' in thc scnsc thatthcy arc not prcdictablc by known principlcsfromthc
charactcr of thc constitucnts of thc molcculc. road (i2) writcs of a familiar
chcmicalcxamplc:
OxygcnhasccrtainpropcrticsandHydrogcnhasccrtainothcrpropcrtics.Thcycombinc
to form watcr, and thc proportions in whichthcy do this arc hxcd. Nothing thatwc
know about Oxygcn itsclfor in combination with anything but Hydrogcn could givc
us thc lcast rcason to supposc that it could combinc with Hydrogcn at all . . . And
mostofthcchcmicalandphysicalpropcrticsofwatcrhavcnoknownconncxion,cithcr
quantitativcor qualitativc, withthoscofOxygcnand Hydrogcn. Hcrcwchavcaclcar
instanccwhcrc, sofar as wccan tcll, thc propcrtics ofa wholccomposcdoftwocon-
stitcnts could not havc bccn prcdictcd from a knowlcdgc ofthcsc propcrtics takcn
scparatcly, or from this combincd withaknowlcdgcofthcpropcrticsofothcr wholcs
whichcontain thcscconstitucnts(pp. 6263).
Thc linguistic analog is thc aparcnt impossibility of prcdicting thc full rangc of
syntactic propcrtics of a lcxical itcm givcn its dccomposition into primcs. rom
what scmantic analysis of thc vcrb question could onc prcdict that it can bc uscd
pcrformativcly whcn itsdircctobcct is a simplc NP(as in Iquestion thatstatement)
ora whether-cIausc(as in Iquestionwhetherweshoulddo this)butnotwhcnitis any
othcr sort of -clausc (*Iquestionwhere he lites)or a that-clausc (*Iquestion that
hewas responsible)oran -clausc(*Iquestion qweshould do this)?
ln thc quantitativc atomic thcory proposcd by Oalton, it is assumcd that thc
atoms ofthc samc clcmcntarcidcntical, inthc scnscthat thcyhavcidcntical masscs,
andthatatomsofdihcrcntclcmcntshavcdihcrcntmasscs.Thccorrcspondingassump-
tions inscmantics arc that instanccs of thc samc scmantic primc arc associatcd with
thcsamccognitivcmcaning(thatis, thatthccognitivc mcaning ofa scmanticprimcis
invariantacrosslanguagcs)andthatdihcrcntscmanticprimcshavcdihcrcntmcanings.
Thc tasks ofchcmistry arcpartlyanalytica (todcviscmcthodsforisolating and
idcntifying substanccs), partly dcscriptivc (to say what sorts of substanccs occur
andwhatthcirpropcrticsarc),andpartlycxplanatory(togivcanaccountofchcmical
structurc from which thc obscrvcd phcnomcna could bc prcdictcd). Thc analytical
and dcscriptivc aspccts of clcmcntal thcory arc summarizcd wcll in Wccks (18),
fromwhich lconcludcthatscmanticsisafcwhundrcdycars bchindchcmistry simply
in thc mattcr of listing clcmcnts, not to mcntion cxplaining thcir propcrtics. lt is as
ifwcwcrcrcaly surc of only a dozcn orsochcmical clcmcnts. Scmantics has hadno
Mcndclccv to organizc thc clcmcnts in a pcriodic tablc according to thcir salicnt
common propcrtics, and thc linguistic analog of thc ohr atom, from which thc
groupingsin thcpcriodictablccould bc prcdictcd, isscarcclyimaginablc.
lfthc structuralanalogybctwccnchcmistry andscmanticsisdccp, what sortsof
dcvclopmcnts canwccxpcctinscmantics!Thrcc, at lcast . thc discovcry of isotopcs,
4J lhgu5lc5 u5 LhPm5lr}. 1hP u5luhcP 1hPOr} Of Pmuhlc rmP5
a thcoryo|va|cncc,andthc hypothcsiso|subatomicstructurc. Ibc|icvcthatthcrcarc
indications that a|| thrcc o| thcsc cxpcctations arc mct.
irst, thcrc is thc mattcr o| isotopcs. Thc discovcry o| dihcrcnt atoms o| thc
'samc" c|cmcnt with dihcrcnt masscs (and cvcn o| atoms o| 'dihcrcnt" c|cmcnts
with thc samc mass) is an obvious cmbarrassmcnt |or a thcory which takcs an in-
variant mass to bc critcrial |or a givcn c|cmcnt. Thc cxistcncc o| isotopcs, cspccia||y
thosc which (|ikc |ight and hcavy hydrogcn) havc guitc distinct propcrtics, makcs
thcstudyo|subatomicstructurcincvitab|c.Whatarcthcscmanticana|ogso|isotopcs?
Thcyarcoccurrcnccs o|thc 'samc" scmantic primc with dihcrcntmcanings.!ustthis
sort o| situation is cxhibitcd by |cxica| itcms which arc 'dcnotativc|y" distinct but
do not dihcr in any indcpcndcnt|y motivatcd scmantic |caturc; thcsc arc tcrms |or
corrc|ativc spccics, |or cxamp|c rose, chrysanthemum, and pansy, or snap, crackle,
thud, and rumble. (Thc |attcr sct o| cascs is |rom thc discussion in Lccch (1,
pp.8~8).)Itisnatura|tosaythatthcsctwosctso|itcmsrcprcscnton|ytwoscmantic
primcs(sec|||c) |ok and Ma a (sec|||c) No|s-and that thc individua|
|xica|itcmsdihcr subatomica||y.
Ncxt,wcturntoathcoryo|va|cncc,ascto|combinatoryprincip|cs|orscmantic
primcs. Among thcsc princip|cs in scmantics arc conditions stating that a ccrtain
prcdicatc 'takcs" somany argumcnts, o|suchandsucha typc thcsconditionshavc
bccn much studicd by i||morc ((i7), |or cxamp|c), among othcrs. A|so rc|cvant
hcrc arc conditionsgovcrningthccmbcdding o|onc S in anothcrthc dccpstructurc
constraints o| Pcr|muttcr (i71), rcstrictions on thc occurrcncc o| spccia| c|asscs o|
prcdicatcs, such as thc stativc and activity prcdicatcs, constraints against ccrtain
prcdicatcs cmbcddingthcmsc|vcs(*:kv to :kv, *|N:ND to |N:ND), and thc|ikc.
ina||y, thcrc is subatomic s

ructurc. This isa|rcady ca||cd |or by thc isotopc


cascs and might scrvc to cxp|ain thc va|cncc phcnomcna. It cou|d a|so providc an
accounto| thcwayinwhich primcs|a||into subc|asscshaving propcrticsincommon
(a sct o| conncctivcs, |ikc aND andok, a sct o| moda| c|cmcnts, |ikc Ncssakv and
eoss|st, and so on). Thcrcarc in additiona numbcr o|rc|ationshipsamong primcs
thatmightbcaccountcd|orbymcanso|subatomicstructurcthcdua|ityrc|ationo|
Ncssakv-eoss|st, k|k-ekM|:, aND-ok, and soM-vkv, |or instancc, or thc
rc|ation bctwccn noncpistcmic s |k :o and cpistcmic eoss|st (both rca|izcd as
Eng|ish can) and bctwccn noncpistcmic uav :o and cpistcmic Ncssakv (both
rca|izcdasEng|ishmust). In his trcatmcnt o| scmantic primcs, Grosu(i7)adoptsa
thcory o| subatomic structurc without commcnt by dcciding 'to rcprcscnt thcm as
bund|cs o| scmantic and syntactic propcrtics" (p. 4i), hc inc|udcs (pp. 848) a
tcntativc |ist o| such propcrtics (or typcs a|rcady mcntioncd) |or scvcn putativc
primcs-cas, |Ncuoa:|v, :kv, |N:ND, s ast :o, s |k :o, anduav :o.
In his discussion o| thc sort o| cmcrgcncc i||ustratcd car|icr in this scction,
Nagc| (ii, pp. J-J74) obscrvcs that cmcrgcncc isrc|ativc toa particu|ar thcory,
so that as thcorics changc, it may bccomc possib|c to prcdict propcrtics that wcrc
incxp|icab|cwithinaprcviousthcory. Hcnotcsthatachangco|thissorthasoccurrcd
in chcmistry, whcrc propcrticso| substanccswhichwcrc|ormcr|ythoughttobc cmcr-
gcnt now can bc prcdictcd |rom an c|cctronic thcory o| atomic composition. It is
cvcn possib|ctoimaginc thata|| propcrticso|intcrcsttochcmistsandsti||considcrcd
cmcrgcntmightbcprcdictab|c. Thcrathcr brcathtaking |inguistic ana|ogisthatthcrc
might turn out to bcnosyntactic cxccptions, that thc bchavior o| cvcry |cxica| itcm
withrcspccttosyntacticru|csandconstraintsmightbcprcdictab|cinsomcway|rom
its scmantic structurc.

X80lly lhtS hyOlhStS h8S DD D8U lO D Dy LOIgt8 LID tD 0ODVIS8ltOD.


.. PHOg H0 W0lgDOI
IhavccIamcdthatthcparaIIcIoctwccn chcmcaI structurc and scmantc structurcs
systcmatc cnough to mcrt study, hcncc, that t s Ikc thc paraIIcI octwccn watcr
wavcs and cIcctromagnctc phcnomcna,whch s trcatcdatIcngthoyHcssc(i) n
hcr vcry ntcrcstng work onmodcIs andanaIogcs. Shc draws a dstnctonoctwccn
mctaphors, whch arc suggcstvc out not productvc, and matcraI anaIogcs, whch
functon to provdcmodcIs for nqury.
McrcIy mctaphorc arcsuch namcs asthc "?ost Omcc ?rncpIc' andthc "rcc
Kdc ?rncpIc,' as wcII as Koss's "trcc-prunng' (io) and "?cd ?png' (17,
Sccton4. J). Morcnformatonaooutthc way thc post omcc opcratcssnotIkcIy to
furthcr thc study of thc rcqurcmcnt that transformatons prcscrvc mcanng,

and
aroorcuIturaI rcscarchwII notcIucdatc prooIcms ofdcrvcdconsttucntstructurc.
Toroundoutthsdscusson,IwIIcontrastsomcnstanccofmcrcIymctaphorcaI
wrtng wth cxampIcs of morc IIumnatng anaIogcs, choosng now nontrans-
formatonaI IIustratons.
orthcunsatsfyngcascs,I havc scIcctcd dcas of two ofthcmostorgnaIand
nprng tradtonaI grammarans, Iorccn and Jcspcrscn. Lotz (1) summarzcs
Iorccn's thcory ofthcstructurc ofgrammar as foIIows:
Thus,grammarshouldhavcthrccbranchcs,cachofwhichshouldvicwthccntircspcch
phcnomcnonfromaspccialanglc.]hOhOOg}, whichshouldtrcat thcarticulatcdsound,
5PmOOg}, which should dcal with thclinguisticallyformcd psychologicalcontcnt , and
mOr]hOOg}, whichshouldaccountforthcwayinwhichthcsoundmatcrialisformcdto
cxprcssthcscmanticcontcnt.Hcattcmptcdtoclucidatcthcscdistinctionsbyanalogics,
c.g.,accrtainob|cctcanbcrcgardcdasapicccofbonc(matcrial),havingthcshapcofa
cubc (contcnt), and scrving as a dicc (form) , or, as a building composcd of bricks
(matcrial),in Moorishstylc(contcnt),andscrvingas acaf (form). Butthcscanalogics
arcrathcrfar-fctchcd andnotvcryilluminating (pp. 5859).
AndMcCaIcy (i7o) attacksJcspcrscn'spoctc attcmpts n naly|ic 5yn|ax(i,
pp. i212i) to dstngushthc notons "ncxus' and "juncton':
In, his charactcrizations ofncxus and|unction rcst hcavily on analogics which I
hnduncnlightcning (p. 47).
Comparcthc corrcspondng anaIogcs n Jcspcrscn (i24):
Comparisons,ofcoursc,arcalwaystosomccxtcntinadcquatc,still asthcscthingsarc
vcryhardtocxprcssinacomplctclylogicalorscicntihcway,wcmaybcallowcdtosay
that thc way in which thc ad|unct is|oincd to its primaryislikc thc way in which thc
nosc andthccarsarchxcd onthchcad,whilcanadncx rcstsonits primaryas thchcad
onthctrunkoradooronthcwall.A|unctionishcrclikcapicturc,ancxuslikcaproccss
or drama (p. 116).
In thc samc work,Jcspcrscn strvcs to account for thc rcIatonshps of modcrs oy
mcans of an anaIogyIcss strkngthan hc had hopcd t wouId oc:
. . . itisrcallymostnaturalthatalcssspccialtcrmisuscdinordcrfurthcrtospccializc
whatisalrcadytosomccxtcntspccial .thcmcthodofattainingahighdcgccofspccializa-
tion isanalogous tothatofrcachingthcroofofabuildingbymcans ofladdcrs . ifonc
laddcrwillnotdo,youhrsttakcthctallcstladdcryouhavcandticthcsccondtallcstto
thctopofit,andifthatisnotcnough,youticonthcncxtinlcngth,ctc.Inthcsamcway,
PlIDOugD 1 C8DDOI ISISI OIDIIDg OuI ID8I SIIuCIuIS ID VIO8IIOD Ol UIIV8IIOD8 CODSII8IDIS
arcID 8D8lOgS Ol ICS Ol ailIIuIDU lO ID SDUI.
42 lhguSlcS uS LhcmSll}. 1hc uSluhcc 1hcOl} O}cmuhlc lmcS
if wdOw is not sccia|cnough, you add]OOl, which is |csssccia| than wdOw, andyct,
ifit is addcd, cnab|cs you to rcach farthcr in sccia|ization, ifthat docs not succ,
you add thc subunct 0cl}, which in itsc|fis much morc gcncra| than]OOl (. I08).
lor an instacc of a morc productivc ana|ogy, considcr thc para||c| bctwccn
rcp|accmcntofvocabu|ary itcms ina|anguagcovcr timc andthcdccayofradioactivc
c|cmcnts,apara||c|hrstcmphasizcdbySwadcshanddiscusscdc|car|ybyLccs(I 953) .
Thcmcmbcrsofthcchoscn subsctmaybc|ikcncdtothc(indistinguishab|c)atomsin a
givcnmass ofaradioactivcc|cmcnt. Sincc thc ratc of disintcgration is rcdictab|c at
anytimcduring obscrvation ofthcsam|c,thcmass(ornumbcrofrcmainingatoms)of
thcc|cmcntrcmainingamongthcdccay roducts atany timc inthcsam|cisamcasurc
ofhow |ong thc sam|chas bccn dccaying. Thc ana|ysis ofdccay roducts in mincra|
sam|cs crmits thc ca|cu|ation of thc agc of thc carth's crust. Simi|ar|y, ana|yscs of
morhcmc dccay roducts shou|d rovidc an abso|utc chrono|ogy for |cxica| history
(. I I 3-I I 4).
This ana|ogy turns out to havc scvcra| fau|ts . morphcmc dccay probab|y docs not
procccd at a constant ratc, and, cvcn ifit did, thc rcsu|ting cstimatcs of abso|utc
chrono|ogics wou|d orma||y not bc cxact cnough for ordinary |inguistic purposcs.
Ncvcrthc|css,thc ana|ogyisc|osc cnough to havc inspircd somc i mportant rcscarch,
and in spccia| cascs g|ottochrono|ogica|mcthodsarc sti|| uscfu|.
Ana|ogicsofmanykindswcrcafancyofninctccnth-ccnturywritcrson|anguagc.
In thc fo||owing passagc, Whitncy (I 867) spokc morc tru|y than hc cou|d havc
known.
Thcrc is a yct c|oscr ara||c|ism bctwccn thc |ifc of|anguagc and that ofthc anima|
kingdomingcncra|.Thcsccchofcachcrson is, asit wcrc, an individua| ofasccics,
with itsgcncra| inhcritcd conformity to thc sccihc tyc, but a|so with its individua|
ccu|iaritics, itstcndcncytovariationand thcformationofancwsccics. Thcdia|ccts,
|anguagcs,grous,fami|ics,stocks,sctubythc|inguisticstudcnt,corrcsondwiththc
varictics,sccics,gcncra,andsoon,ofthczo|ogist.Andthcucstionswhichthcstudcnts
ofnaturcarcsocxcitcd|ydiscussingatthcrcscntdaythcnaturcofsccihcdistinctions,
thc dcrivation ofsccics by individua| variation and natura| sc|cction, thc unity of
origin ofanima| |ifc~a|| arc c|osc|y akin with thosc which thc |inguistic studcnt has
constantoccasiontotrcat.cnccdnothcrcdwc||furthcruonthccomarisonitisso
natura||y suggcstcd, and so fruitfu| ofintcrcsting and instructivc ana|ogics, that it has
bccn rccatcd|ydrawn out and cm|oycd, bystudcnts bothofnaturc and of|anguagc
(. 46-47).
Whitncy citcs Lyc|| and Sch|cichcrasadditiona|proponcnts ofthc proportion
spccics . varicty |anguagc . dia|cct
andofthcrc|atcdpara||c|s bctwccngcncticc|assihcationin|inguistics andbio|ogica|
taxonomy, a|though Whitncy ncvcrthc|css castigatcs Sch|cichcr for attcmpting 'to
provc by thisproportion`s aid thc truth ofthc Oarwinian thcory, ovcr|ooking thc
factthat thc rc|ation bctwccn thc two c|asscs ofphcnomcna is onc ofana|ogy on|y,
notofcsscntia| agrccmcnt" (p. 47).
Infact,thcana|ogyisadccponc.Thcrcisapopu|ationofindividua|s,whovary
in a numbcr of charactcristics (|inguistic or morpho|ogica|). Thc individua|s form
thcmsc|vcsintoanumbcrofgroupsonthcbasisofthcirsimi|aritics.Thcrcisa|soan
abi|ityforccrtainpairsofindividua|stointcractinaspccia|way,ifthcyarcbrought
D SSg IS SDUWI0DU DlWD D DlOgy IllIDg IDguISlI0 DISlOIy DU OIgDI0 gIOWlD
DU U0y DU OD SSO0IlIDg IlII SlgS Ol lDgUg WIlD gOOgI0l SlIl.
N0d . Zwck} 4J
togcthcr. (Thcir spccch is mutua||y intc||igib|c, in thc |inguistic casc, or thcy can
(intcr)brccd,inthcbio|ogica|casc.)Thcintcractivcabi|ityisthcnuscdscicntihca||yasa
ncccssary and sumcicnt tcst |or dctcrmining groups within thc popu|ation. (In thc
|inguistic casc, mutua| intc||igibi|ity is uscd as a stringcnt critcrion |or a uhuu8,
and in thc bio|ogica| casc, abi|ity to intcrbrccd isuscd as a stringcnt critcrion |or a
spccics.)
Scvcra| dcvc|opmcnts o| thcsc notions can bc prcdictcd. Iirst, it wi|| |rcgucnt|y
not bc possib|c to bring togcthcr thc appropriatc pairsin ordcr to tcstrc|ationships.
Thus, bio|ogica| spccimcnsmay bcdcad, orgcographica||yscparatcd, orcco|ogica||y
scparatcd; |anguagcs ma bc dc|unct or|ar-Dung. In both hc|ds, thc conscgucnccis
thc dcvc|opmcnt o|anindcpcndcnt notion o|rc|ationship, onc bascd so|c|y onthc
charactcristics.Inthccasco|bio|ogy, thisisthc'morpho|ogica|" spccics, asopposcd
tothc'bio|ogica|`spccics(scc, intcruu, Cain(I 954)). In thccasc o||inguistics, this
isthc Stammbaum princip|c o|gcnctic c|assihcation, asopposcd to a socio|inguistic
c|assihcation. Thcncw, or 'strict," thcoryiscasi|y sccn to bcunsatis|actorybccausc
thc charactcristics wi|| showa considcrab|c dcgrcc o|indcpcndcncc, hcncc, aWc||cn-
thcoricin |inguisticsand a thcory o| dihusion o| charactcrs through gcnc poo|s in
bio|ogy.
Anothcr, |css prcdictab|ccharactcristic o| thcsystcms wc arc considcring isthat
thc stringcnt critcrion turns out not to charactcrizc a transitivc rc|ation. That is,
cvidcnccwi|| ariscindicating that thc critcrion is notncccssary butmcrc|y sumcicnt.
Inthccasco|bio|ogy,wchavcanima| chainsinwhich cachanima|canbrccdwiththc
anima|s in thc adjoining tcrritory, a|though thc anima|s at thc cxtrcmcs cannot
intcrbrccd (a rcadab|c cxposition occurs in Oobzhansky ( I 955, Chaptcr 8)) in thc
casco|a'spccics" o|gu||ssurrounding thcNorth Po|c, thccxtrcmcshappcn tooccur
inthcsamcarcaandcannotintcrbrccd. Thc|inguisticana|ogicsarcwc||-known cascs
whcrc groups o| spcakcrs hnd thcir dia|cct mutua||yintc||igib|cwith thcirncighbors'
butthccxtrcmcdia|cctsarcnotmutua||yintc||igib|c. Indccd, knowingthc casco|thc
gu||s, wcmighthavcbccnab|ctoprcdictthccxistcncco|prob|cmatica|dia|cctchains.
Thcana|ogy bctwccn |inguistic and bio|ogica| c|assihcation is a systcmatic onc
inmostrcspccts, thcrcisa point-to-point corrcspondcnccbctwccnthctwohc|ds. Thc
c|aim madc in this papcr is that thc corrcspondcncc bctwccn scmantic and chcmica|
structurc is o| thc samc sort.

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