Meaning and context: German aber and sondern
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What is a possible word meaning? What is the range of meaning distinctions to which particular words can be sensitive? Such questions have been at the forefront of research in lexical semantics in recent years (see Talmy (1985), Talmy (1988), Pinker (1989), Jackendoff (1990), Bach (1995)). These questions are typically addressed in the context of the meaning of verbs or spatial prepositions; the major issue is then one of event or spatial relation packaging: what kinds of events or spatial relations can be denoted by verbs or prepositions and what parts of our conceptualization of events and spatial relations is lexicalized by verbs or prepositions in different languages?