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What is a lexical relation with a scale structure?



A lexical relation with a scale structure is a pattern of association between lexical units in a fixed order or progression. They represent successive values of some variable property.


A scale can be represented mathematically as

  • {… -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3 …}
  • Examples: English

    Here are some examples of lexical relations with a scale structure in English arranged in decreasing order of discreteness:

    • Rank

      • {private, corporal, sergeant, general}
      • {Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2 …}
    • Hierarchy

      • {county, state, country}
      • {phoneme, word, sentence, discourse}
    • Numeric

      • {one, two, three …}
      • {first, second, third …}
      • {single, double, triple …}
      • {singleton, twins, triplets …}
    • Units of measurement

      • {inch, foot, yard, mile}
      • {millimeter, centimeter, meter, kilometer}
      • {second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade, century, millennium}
    • Calendar

      • {Sunday, Monday, Tuesday … Saturday}
      • {January, February, March … December}
    • Development

      • {newborn, infant, toddler, child, adolescent, adult}
      • {planning, design, implementation, production, evaluation}
    • Scalar properties

      • {cold, cool, lukewarm, warm, hot}
      • {minuscule, tiny, small, big, huge, gigantic}
      • {slightly, moderately, fairly, very, extremely}

    Context for this page:

    Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

    Page content last modified: 26 March 2002

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