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Semantics

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  1. Semantics LI 2013 Nathalie F. Martin

  2. Bibliography / References Primary Reference and reading: • Contemporary Linguistic Analysis (O’Grady & Archibald, 2009, p. 190-207) Reading: • Ambiguity in College Writing (Stageberb, Norman C., in Linguistics at Work: A Reader of Application, by Dallin D. Oaks, 1998) Secondary Reference (for information only): • A Concise Introduction to Linguistics (Rowe & Levine, 2009; 153-173)

  3. Table of Content • Introduction: Ambiguity (review of text) • Concept, Referent and Form • Semantics • Meaning • Semantic Relations Among Words • The –NYMS • Meaning of Phrases and Sentences • Meaning of Words Through Time

  4. Ambiguity Review of the text: Ambiguity in College Writing (Stageberb, Norman C., in Linguistics at Work: A Reader of Application, by Dallin D. Oaks, 1998)

  5. Multiple Meanings • ______________ • E.g. For many purposes they used obsidian or volcanic rock. • ______________ • E.g. a fat lady’s man • ______________ • E.g. Many hands make light work. (in given example) • ______________ • E.g. I am an outdoor lover. • “Out-of-doors lover” … or … ? • Ambiguity in College Writing (Stageberb)

  6. What Ambiguity? • Lexical ambiguity? • Syntactic ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  7. What Ambiguity? • Lexical ambiguity? • Syntactic ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  8. What Ambiguity? • Lexical ambiguity? • Syntactic ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  9. What Ambiguity? • Lexical ambiguity? • Syntactic ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  10. What Ambiguity? • Lexical ambiguity? • Syntactic ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  11. What Ambiguity? • Lexical ambiguity? • Syntactic ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  12. What Ambiguity? • Lexical ambiguity? • Syntactic ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  13. What Ambiguity? • Lexical ambiguity? • Syntactic ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity? A small business man.

  14. What Ambiguity? • Lexical ambiguity? • Syntactic ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  15. Concept, Referent and Form Preliminary theory to semantics The Abstract Side of Language

  16. Referent: the actual thing REFERENT (the actual thing)

  17. Referent, Concept and Symbol SYMBOL (word) [bərd] [bərd] CONCEPT (abstract, in our heads) Qu’est-ce que le langage? (Leclerc)

  18. Referent, Concept and Symbol SYMBOL (word) [bərd] CONCEPT (abstract, in our heads) REFERENT (the actual thing) Ferdinand de Saussure Qu’est-ce que le langage? (Leclerc)

  19. Referent, Concept and Symbol • The __________ refers to the linguistic elements (word, sentence, etc.), the __________ refers to the object in the world of experience, and THOUGHT or REFERENCE refers to __________ .

  20. Referent, Concept and Symbol Concept There is not a direct link between the sound of the word dog (Symbol) and the object it refers to. What is called the signified is not actually what we have been shown but an abstract concept formed in our mind. Refers to evokes Symbol Stands for Referent  no direct relationship Semantic Triangle Ogden & Richards

  21. Romeo and Juliette (Shakespeare) • Juliet: 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,Nor arm, nor face, nor any other partBelonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? that which we call a roseBy any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,Retain that dear perfection which he owesWithout that title. Romeo, doff thy name,And for that name which is no part of theeTake all myself

  22. Review: The PsychicSide of Things Ferdinand de Saussure

  23. Concepts Across Languages

  24. Semantics

  25. Definition: Semantics • Semantics is the study of the __________ of linguistic expressions, such as morphemes, words, phrases, clauses, and sentences.

  26. What is the Meaning of This? • Cold • Old • Fine • Cool • Fly • Behind • Accent • Nobody • This • Getting in touch

  27. CONTEXT is Key ! – Certain aspects of meaning change with the __________ __________ • Nobody bought milk (store owner vs. room mates) • X is old: “old” means different things depending on what X is (person, food, currency, place, friend…) • Context is therefore very important!!

  28. Semantics • Two types of semantics: • __________ __________ : meaning of words • __________ __________ : meaning of utterances larger than words

  29. Meaning FIVE APPROACHES TO MEANING: Connotation Denotation Extension and intention Componential Analysis Subcategorization of verbs Actantial Approach

  30. What is “word meaning”? • What does it mean when you say you know the meaning of a word? • What does it mean when you say you know a word, such as “bird” “blue”, or “happy” ? • How do we __________ of a word meaning?

  31. 1. Connotation « Set of associations that a word’s use canevoke » e.g. winter

  32. 2. Denotation According to __________ __________ … To equate meaning to a word or phrase with actual entities to which it refers e.g. * But what about __________ things that have no referents !!!

  33. Denotation ____ referents for one thing the same thing e.g. Paul Martin:

  34. 3. Extension versus intention A word’s extension corresponds to the __________that it __________ in the world (__________ ) A word’s intension corresponds to its __________ __________ or the __________ that __________ . * The distinction stipulates the relation between referents and meanings

  35. 4. Componential Analysis Used to represents the word’s INTENTION Also called: Componential Analysis Or Semantic Decomposition

  36. Contemporary Linguistics Analysis: p. 196 Componential Analysis INTENTION • Semantic properties: The __________ of meaning of a word. • Semantic feature: A notational device for expressing the __________ or __________ of semantic properties by “+” and “-”. • Example of componential analysis: “baby” is [+ young], [+ human], [– abstract].

  37. Componential Analysis INTENTION 1. (a) widow, mother, sister, aunt, maid (b) widower, father, brother, uncle, valet • The (a) and (b) words are • The (a) words are • The (b) words are [ human] [ female] [ male] 2. (a) bachelor, paperboy, pope, chief (b) bull, rooster, drake, ram • The (a) and (b) words are • The (a) words are • The (b) words are [ male] [ human] [ animal]

  38. Componential Analysis INTENTION 3. (a) table, stone, pencil, cup, house, ship (b) milk, alcohol, rice, soup, mud • The (a) words are • The (b) words are [ count] [ count] 4. (a) pine, elm, sycamore (b) dandelion, aster, daisy • The (a) and (b) words are • The (a) words are • The (b) words are [ plant] [ tree] [ flower]

  39. Componential Analysis INTENTION SWINE Definition: • an adult female swine; also: the adult female of various other animals (as a bear) • http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ Semantic Analysis: • [ animal], [ swine], [ male] or [ female]

  40. Componential Analysis INTENTION CAR Definition: • A vehicle moving on wheels • http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ Semantic Analysis: • [ vehicle], [ motorized], [ 4 wheels] …

  41. Componential Analysis INTENTION BUTTERFLY Definition: • any of numerous slender-bodied diurnal lepidopteran insects including one superfamily (Papilionoidea) with broad often brightly colored wings and usually another superfamily comprising the skippers • http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ Semantic Analysis: • [+ ], [+ ], [- ] …

  42. 5. Subcategorization of verbs 2 complements:No complement: Fax Murmur Radio Mumble Wire Mutter Phone Shriek Emphasis on:Emphasis on: - __________ ____ - __________ ______ • So there’s a link between _________and __________!!!

  43. 6. Actantial Approach • In defining verbs we should also describe their __________ and the __________ : • A1 tosses A2 to A3: • A1 = [+ human] • A2 = [+ concrete], [+ movable], [+ small] • A3 = [± human] or [+ living/moving], [+ with hands] … * Again, this is a combination of _______ and _________!

  44. Semantic Relations Among Words The –Nyms: Hyponym, hypernym and cohyponym Synonym and parasynonyms Antonyms Polysemy Homonym Homonyms Homophone Homographs

  45. 1. Hyponyms(Semantic Relations among Words) • Hyponyms and hypernyms • Hyponymy: Words whose meanings are __________ instances of a more general word, e.g. isosceles and equilateral are hyponyms of the word triangle. • Hyponyms and cohyponyms • Let’sorganizethesewords: • Dance (verb) • Salsa • Exercice • Tango

  46. 2. Synonyms(Semantic Relations among Words) • Synonymy: words that have the _______ meanings, e.g. start & begin.

  47. Synonyms or Parasynonyms? • Vacation = holidays • Youth = adolescent • Remember = recall • Purchase= buy • Big = large

  48. Synonyms & Parasynonyms • Pride and Prejudice, a screenplay by Deborah Moggach • The danger of parasynonyms and over-extension • Chapter 3 : 20 minutes into the movie • Odious • Long • Dote one her • In raptures • Accomplished 

  49. 3. Antonyms a. Gradable vsUngradable b. Converse c. Reversives

  50. Antonyms vs Synonyms • Antonymy: words that are __________ in meanings, e.g. hot & cold. Synonymy or Antonymy • Flourish – thrive • Intelligent – stupid • Casual – informal • Flog – whip • Drunk – sober synonym antonym synonym synonym antonym