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Working paper

Doing lexical typology with frames and semantic maps

In this paper we present an approach to lexical typology which will be referred to as the “frame method”. It was developed and tested in the Moscow Lexico-Typological Group and is currently used in all its projects, such as Majsak, Rakhilina (eds.) 2007, Britsyn et al. (eds.) 2009, Kruglyakova 2010, Reznikova et al. 2012. Our main principle, taken from the Moscow semantic school (Apresjan 1974/1992, cf. also Firth 1957: 11), is that lexical meanings can be studied and reconstructed by observing the word’s “surroundings”, primarily their collocation. Then, they can be compared by procedures similar to those used in grammatical typology.