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What is a paradigmatic lexical relation?



A paradigmatic lexical relation is a culturally determined pattern of association between lexical units that

  • share one or more core semantic components
  • belong to the same lexical category
  • fill the same syntactic position in a syntactic construction, and
  • have the same semantic function.
Examples: English

Here is a table showing some common paradigmatic lexical relations in English with example sets and underlying structure:

  • Lexical relation

    Example set

    Underlying structure


    A "happy" synonym set: {happy, joyful, glad}

    simple set

    Scalar property

    A temperature set: {cold, cool, lukewarm, warm, hot}



    A social relation set: {(student, teacher), (patient, doctor)}

    set of pairs



    • dog

      • collie
      • terrier
    • cat

      • Persian
      • Siamese


  • Kinds

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    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: 23 April 2002

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