Semantic approximations and flexibility in the dynamic construction and “deconstruction” of meaning


  • Karine Duvignau
  • M. Fossard
  • Bruno Gaume
  • Maria Alice Pimenta
  • Juliette Elie


Metaphor, Mental lexicon, Language acquisition, Language loss


This paper discusses the production of semantic approximation with verbs in French, both in early lexicon acquisition (by young children of normal development) and in the context of Alzheimer disease (by patients). One of the aims of the study is to show that these productions are crucial in the structuring of the verbal lexicon because they both manifest the existence of a new sort of synonymy between verbs and enable us to show that there is a semantic flexibility which plays an important role in the verbal lexicon. In addition, we observe that the relation of semantic proximity between verbs can be treated by a computational approach.