Distribution of ‘old’

This project is an extensive typological investigation of ‘old’ on the basis of more than a hundred languages.
The project is dictionary based with further comments given by language experts.

 

     legend

dominant system

binary system

distributed system

 

Four basic frames for inanimate objects:

1. ‘such that came into being long before the moment of speech [and has changed]’ (e.g “oak”)
2. ‘created long before the moment of speech’ (e.g. “clothes”)
3. ‘such that came into being or was created long before the moment of speech and is no longer in use’ (e.g. “flat”)
4. ‘such that came into being or was created long before the moment of speech and is no longer in use: the epoch related to its creation has already passed away' (e.g. “coins”)

 

Four basic frames for animate objects:

5. ‘someone who has long lived’ (e.g. “man”)
6. ‘someone who has long had a certain property’ (e.g. “friend”)
7. ‘someone who no longer has a position/job’ (e.g. “director”)
8. ‘someone who lived long ago’ (e.g. “goldsmith”)

 

Dominant system – one lexeme covers all the meanings outlined above
Binary system – two lexemes cover all the meanings outlined above
Distributed system – all the meanings outlined above are distributed among three or four lexemes