Semantic mirage

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A semantic mirage in neurocognitive linguistics is any semantic relationship between lexical and conceptual units in a cognitive system that leads to projections onto the world of properties that are not actually there.


  • The One-Lexeme-One-Thing Fallacy. The assumption that a lexeme stands for just one thing, ruling out the possibility that it might have different senses in different contexts.
  • Reification. The assumption that a nominal lexeme must represent a thing, leading to the unconscious ascription of substantial reality to abstractions.
  • The Unity Fallacy. The assumption that a concept represents an object that is an integral whole, even if closer examination would show it to be a relatively haphazard collection of diverse phenomena.