Semantics Continued… Meaning Relationships Entailments Maxims of Conversation
Semantic relationships • The semantic relationships we will discuss here are: • Hyponyms – X is a subset of Y • Synonyms – X is similar to Y • Antonyms – X is opposite of Y • Homonyms – X sounds/spelled like Y • Entailment – X is entailed by Y (If X, then Y)
Hyponyms • X is a hyponym of Y if X is a subsetof Y. • For example, consider the two words “bird” and “parakeet”. • Tweety and Polly are parakeets. • The current set of parakeets contains these two members. • The current set of bird contains at least these two members, possibly others. • Parakeet is a subset of bird, so parakeet is a hyponym of bird.
Hyponyms • Hyponymy can be seen as the loss of specificity. • It involves moving from more specific to more general.
Synonyms • Two words are synonymous if they share the same meaning. • Rarely are word meanings 100% identical • Used in different contexts, have different connotations [sofa vs. couch] • While it is difficult to find two exactly identical words, there are examples of synonyms in our everyday language:
Synonyms cease/stop dog/canine quick/rapid • There is no dog that is not a canine. • Every couch is also a sofa. • If you cease, you also stop
Antonyms • In its barest form, antonymy refers to the condition of being opposites. • Complementary/contradictory • Complete/incomplete, married/single • Must be one or the other • Relational opposites/contraries • Over/under, doctor/patient, stop/go • Can be neither, represent symmetrical relationships • Scalar antonyms/gradable pairs • Hot/cold, big/small, tall/short • Can be neither, represent extremes on a scale
Antonyms • Complementary/contradictory pairs • Given X and Y, every entity in the world is either in X’s set or in Y’s set, but never in both. • married/unmarried • visible/invisible
Antonyms • Relational opposites / Contraries • Given X and Y, everything in the world is in X’s set, in Y’s set, or in neither set, but never in both sets. • over/under • An object can be over or under another, but never both. It could also be NEXT TO another object. • married/bachelor • A man can be married or a bachelor, but not both. He could also be a divorcé or a widower.
Antonyms • Scalar antonyms/Gradable pairs • Given X and Y, X and Y fulfill the conditions for being relational opposites but in addition can be interpreted as endpoints on some scale. • good/bad • hot/cold • strong/weak • A good test for this kind of relationship is the potential use of the modifier “quite”.
Homonym • Source of much lexical ambiguity • Different words with the same form but with different meanings. • Homonym – [sounds & spelled the same] • pen/pen, pool/pool • Homophone [sounds the same] • tale/tail, knight/night, pen/pen, tier/tear • Homograph [spelled the same] • tear /tear , pen/pen, lead [lId]/lead [lEd]
Entailments • If A, then B (but not necessarily vice versa) • 1. If something is an A, it must also be a B, too. • 2. If something is not a B, then it cannot be an A. A = mare B = horse C = animal C C B A A
Semantic Entailments • Inferences • The sheriff killed Jesse. • Entails: Jesse is dead. • Semantic decomposition: • kill = cause someone to die • die = to become dead • *The sheriff killed Jesse, but Jesse is still alive. • Alive = not dead
Pragmatics • “Want to see a movie tonight?” • “I have to study.” • “What do you want for your birthday? • “Well, my camera is broken…”
Maxims of Conversation • Quantity • Don’t say more or less than is required • Relevance • Be relevant • Manner • Avoid ambiguity, be brief and orderly • Quality • Be truthful