Houjun Liu

Natural Semantic Metalanguage

The nsm theory is a theory that…

  1. claims that there exists a set of semantic primes and logic universal across languages which is indefinable by other words within the language
  2. which, as a corollary, resolves the epistemological problem that if all words are defined by other words in the language there will (why?) be no connection to the real world

the theory of NSM rests on…

two pillars of NSM theory

existence of semantic primes

The existence of semantic primes is codified more formally as the strong version of the Lexicalization Hypothesis.

Issues with it: problems with semantic primes

the ability to perform the act of reductive paraphrase

Issues with that: problems with reductive paraphrasing

oh cool!

(Bohnemeyer 2004)

Also the fact that NSM is first found in English means that there is a certain anglo-centrism that comes with the language.