Semantics & Pragmatics Jorge Zúñiga S. ParadigmasLingüísticos
What is meaning? • Nature of meaning • What it really means
Dictionary definitions: Prescriptivism Descriptivism What is taken into consideration by linguists
Process Dictionary definition Understanding the meaning Meaning of the word and their definition (words used) e.g. ECTOMERE: “a blastomere that develops into ectoderm”
How do dictionaries function? DIVINE “being or having the nature of a deity” DEITY “divinity” PRIDE “the quality or state of being proud” PROUD “feeling or showing pride”
MENTAL IMAGES • “Mona Lisa” • “Lecture” • The teacher’s viewpoint • The students’ viewpoint • “Forget” • The matter of what image is attached to this.
The important role played by the referent Name: Bill Clinton (referent) Phrase: the winner of the 1992 U.S. presidential election Bill Clinton is married to Hillary Clinton. The winner of the 1992 U.S. presidential election is married to Hillary Clinton. (The same thing) Robin wanted to know if Bill Clinton was the winner of the 1992 U.S. presidential election Robin wanted to know if Bill Clinton was Bill Clinton.
Meaning relationships Synonym: iftheyhave the same meaning Homonymy:different meanings sharing the same form Antonyms: words in somesenseopposite in meaning Entailment: one meaning holdsanother meaning Homophony: samesoundsdifferent meaning Polisemy: severalmeanings for the sameword Hiperonymy: inclusionrelationship (cat, dog, seagull=animal)
Words’ meaning can be broken down into smaller parts known as meaning components or semantic features
Semantic decomposition or componential analysis “The sheriff killed Jesse” “The sheriff killed Jesse, but Jesse is still alive”
There is no given connection between word and meaning. Word:Chair Chaise (French) Stuhl (German) Sèdia (Italian) Silla (Spanish)
TYPES OF MEANINGS: Conceptual meaning: basic and essential components of meaning. Associative meaning: stylistic meaning of words.
Semantic features There is certain “oddness” Why does it happen to us?
Intended speaker meaning… « FALL BABY SALE »
SPEECH ACTS THEORY FormsFunctions Did you eat the food?Question Eat the food (please)Command (request) You ate the foodStatement REQUESTING-COMMANDING-QUESTIONING-INFORMING
Direct Speech Act v/s Indirect Speech Act Can you ride a bicycle? Can you pass the salt? (asking or requesting?)