What are the 3 areas of semantics and what are they concerned with?
Lexical semantics (concerned with the meaning of words, morphemes)
Sentential semantics (concerned with meaning of larger syntactic units (phrases, clauses, sentences)
Discourse semantics (meaning that is created in context, very close to pragmatics)
What is meaning?
it is conventional (we agree on the meaning) but also arbitrary (no natural connection)
it is the relation between meaning and spoken/written form
What are the three views on the relationship between words and the world?
words are labels that point to things in the real world (problem: you can’t point at abstract concepts, unicorns don’t exist? things can be described by many different words)
meaning is the relationship betweeen form and mental concept (concept = independent of language, meaning= connects concept to a word)
meaning of a word = its use in the language (problematic, since it would make a words sth fluid)
What is the difference between sense and reference?
Sense= is close to a mental concept, the conditions a thing has to meet so we feel a word is appropriate to describe it
Reference= relationship of expression and the referent
(referent= object picked out by the word)
What is the difference between denotation and connotation?
Denotation= dictionary meaning
Connotation= all associations that come to mind
What is the difference between intension and extension?
Intension= analysis of the components of word meaning (semantic properties shared by all members)
Extension= all objects in the real world that satisfy the intension
What is the semantic feature analysis?
idea: a finite reportoire of meaning elements exists and they can be combined in different ways
eg.: descriptions of man, boy, woman, girl
pros: easy to understand and apply
cons: question of which features are essential, sometimes it’s impossible to find core attributes, features don’t always cover the full picture (bachelors),
What is the approach of family resemblance?
by Luis Wittgenstein, tries to solve problems of semantic feature analysis by speaking of family resemblance and finding potential features that overlap (example GAME)
What is Synonymy?
words that are similar, but don’t have total sameness
sometimes synonyms don’t fit, sometimes they change the formality of a sentence
What is Antonymy?
words that have opposite meanings
gradable antonymy: opposites along a scale, negation of one doesn’t imply the other (not big doesn’t mean small)
non-gradable antonymy: contemplary pairs, negating one DOES imply the other (not alive does mean dead)
reversives (dress - undress, enter - exit)
What is Hyponymy?
meaning of one form is included in the meaning of another (animal - dog, vegetable - carrot)
superordinate= higher level term
co-hyponyms= words that share the same superordinate
What are Homophones?
two or more (written) forms have the same pronounciation, eg. flour-flower, right-write, to-two-too
What is Polysemy?
one form having multiple meanings that are all related by extension
eg. foot (of a person, a bed, a mountain)
What is Metonymy?
a relationship based on close connection in everyday life, one word can be used to refer to the other
eg. The White House announced = the Presient announced