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Semantics

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Semantics

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  1. Semantics LI 2013 Nathalie F. Martin

  2. Table of Content • Concept, Referent and Form • Semantics • Semantic Relations Among Words • The –NYMS • Ambiguity (review of text - Stageberg) • Meaning • Meaning of Words Through Time

  3. References References: • A Concise Introduction to Linguistics (Rowe & Levine, 2009; 153-173) • Contemporary Linguistic Analysis (O’Grady & Archibald, 2009, p. 190-207) • Ambiguity in College Writing (Stageberb, Norman C., in Linguistics at Work: A Reader of Application, by Dallin D. Oaks, 1998)

  4. Semantics

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

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

  7. 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!! • Can you think of words or expressions that have more than one definition depending on the context?

  8. Semantics • Two types of semantics: • ______________:meaning of words • ______________:meaning of utterances larger than words

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

  10. 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

  11. 1. Hyponyms(Semantic Relations among Words) • Let’s organize these words: • Dance (verb) • Salsa • Exercice • Tango

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

  13. Synonyms or Parasynonyms? Do they really have the same meanings? Are they interchangable? • Vacation = holidays • Youth = adolescent • Remember = recall • Purchase= buy • Big = large

  14. Synonyms & Parasynonyms • Pride and Prejudice, a screenplay by Deborah Moggach • The danger of parasynonyms and over-extension • Chapter 3 : 20 minutes into the movie http://dictionary.reference.com/

  15. Notice the Words with Many Meanings

  16. An Accomplished Woman

  17. Synonyms & Parasynonyms • The danger of parasynonyms and over-extension • Chapter 3 : 20 minutes into the movie • Odious: deserving or causing hatred; hateful; detestable. • Long: to have an earnest or strong desire or craving; yearn • Dote one her: to bestow or express excessive love or fondness habitually • In raptures: ecstatic joy or delight; joyful ecstasy. • Accomplished having all the social graces, manners, and other attainments of polite society. http://dictionary.reference.com/

  18. 3. Antonyms a. Gradable vsUngradable b. RELAQTIONAL: Converse Reversives

  19. 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

  20. a. Gradable/ungradableantonyms • Grading involves ______________. When we compare two or more objects. • Do the objects have the property to the same _________or not: - + … cold cool warm hot … Gradable: “cold” and “colder” • The weather is much colder this week than last week. Ungradable: “male” • ٭John is as much male as Peter. • ٭John is more male than Peter.

  21. a. Gradable/ungradable antonyms (continued) Exception: • Normal language behavior: ungradable antonyms can sometimes be graded in speech. Example • John is more of a bachelor than Daniel (i.e. more determined never to get married, partying, had never had a stable girlfriend, etc.) • I am more alive now than ever (i.e. feeling more energetic, satisfied with my life, etc).

  22. b. Relational: Conversives • There is a ______________between both. Without one you don’t have the other. • Examples: • Husband – wife • Doctor – patient • Master – mistress • Before - after • Above – below, etc. • Often used to speak of ______________social roles, ______________and ______________relations.

  23. c. Relational: Reversives • Another term: ____________________________. Examples: • Up - down • Come - go • Arrive – depart • Marry – divorce • You can reverse one by doing the other. • Common feature: implication of__________in one of the two opposite directions _______________ _____________.

  24. Mind Mapping http://www.visualthesaurus.com/

  25. Antonyms (review) • Gradable vsUngradable? (too, more, less, etc.) • Relational: Conversive? (different points of view) • Relational: Reversives? (one can reverse the other)

  26. 4. PolysemySemantic Relations among Words • Polysemy: A word which has ____ or more ________meanings • e.g. bright: ‘bright light’ ; ‘bright colors’ • A words' ____________is helpful in determining polysemy • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/polysemy • http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polysemy?show=0&t=1290530170

  27. 5. Homonymy Semantic Relations among Words • Homonymy: A word which has __ or more ______________ meanings • Ex: Club: • ‘a social organization’ ; • ‘a blunt weapon’.

  28. Identifying Homonyms in Jokes Entirely Distinct meanings 1. Time flies ____ an arrow Fruit flies ____ a banana 2. Policeman: Why have you parked your car here? Motorist: Because the sign says “______for Parking”. 3. Customer: Have you got half-inch ______? Ironmonger: Yes, sir. Customer: Then could you scratch my back. It’s very itchy http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/like

  29. Polysemy & Homonymy ? http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accent

  30. Homonyms, Homophony & Homography • Homophony: Different words ______________but ______________, ex. two and too. • Homography: Different words ______________but ______________, e.g. minute and minute. • Homonymsare words that are _____ homophonesand homographs.

  31. Same Pronunciation / Different Spelling Identifying homophones 1. [steər]  1. Stair, stare 2. [weist]  2. waste, waist 3. [si:lIη]  3. sealing, ceiling 4. [kju:]  4. cue, queue 5. [sent]  5. sent, cent, scent

  32. Same Spelling / Different Pronunciation IdentifyingHomographs • Read • Wind • Live • Tear • Invalid • Bow • Dove

  33. Polysemy or Homonymy*? • Grass: herbage used for grazing animals; marijuana • Leech: a bloodsucking worm; a hanger-on who seeks advantage • Range: A cooking stove; a series of mountains • Key: An instrument used to apply to a lock; an answer sheet for tests or assignments • Steal/steel: rob ; a type of metal • Race: the act of running competitively; people belonging to the same genetic grouping • Flower/flour: a type of plant; finely ground wheat

  34. Homonymy or Polysemy ? PASS ?

  35. A Few Other Relations Parts of a Whole • Meronym: Part of a whole • Holonym: The whole to which parts belong • Metonym: is a figure of speech where a thing is called by the name of something closely associated to it. • Ex: "ear" means "attention” (lending an ear) • Ex: Washington for the United States government or of the sword for military power.

  36. http://www.visualthesaurus.com/

  37. Application: Bible Translation • A case study of a polysemous word : I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 1 Timothy 2:12 (English Standard Version) Context: I allow no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to remain in quietness and keep silence [in religious assemblies]. 1 Timothy 2:12 (Amplified Bible) Polysemy and Cooccurance: “Woman” or “Wife” ? But I suffer not a woman to teach, neither to have lordship on the husband [neither for to have lordship on the man], but to be in silence. 1 Timothy 2:12 (Wycliffe New Testament) Key word Bible:

  38. 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)

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

  40. What Ambiguity? • Lexical (or polysemantic) ambiguity? • Syntactic ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  41. What Ambiguity? • Lexical (or polysemantic) ambiguity? • Syntactic (structural) ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  42. What Ambiguity? • Lexical (or polysemantic) ambiguity? • Syntactic (structural) ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  43. What Ambiguity? • Lexical (or polysemantic) ambiguity? • Syntactic (structural) ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  44. What Ambiguity? • Lexical (or polysemantic) ambiguity? • Syntactic (structural) ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

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

  46. What Ambiguity? • Lexical (or polysemantic) ambiguity? • Syntactic (structural) ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity?

  47. What Ambiguity? • Lexical (or polysemantic) ambiguity? • Syntactic (structural) ambiguity? • Class ambiguity? • Script ambiguity? A small business man.

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

  49. Concept, Referent and Form Preliminary theory to semantics

  50. The Abstract Side of Language Don’t think of a pink elephant!