semantic bleaching

Semantic bleaching is the loss of semantic content. More specifically, with reference to grammaticalization, bleaching refers to the loss of all (or most) lexical content of an entity while only its grammatical content is retained. For example in Inuit there are many different terms for snow – each with embedded semantic detail (in terms of the texture, density and type of snow), which would be semantically bleached if merely translated/rendered as “snow”.

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