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English semantics

English semantics

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English semantics
English semantics

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Published by: Goran Avvesome Tomac on Jan 25, 2013
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08/15/2013

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1
WEEK ONE
 Linguistics
 –
the scientific (methodologically; within some theoretical framework) study of language;both theory and methodology; language belongs to a community of people; constant presence of interest in language (philology
 –
main focus on phonology and morphology)Semantics
 –
technical term used to refer to the scientific study of meaning; where do we findmeaning?; relation between signs and the things to which they refer; theoretical implications on howto deal with meaning; morphemes, words, phrases, sentences, discourseLevels of analysis involved in the study of meaning: phoneticsPhonologyMorphology semanticsSyntaxLexisphonetics
 –
articulatory, acoustic, psycho-acoustic, more concerned with the voice and sound thanlanguagephonology
 –
important for semantics = connected with meaning
if you change a phoneme, youchange meaningmorphology
 –
lexical and grammatical morphemes; all morphemes have meaning, bound andunbound morphemessyntax
 –
carries grammatical meaning in English;meaning: word order (position carries meaning);major role in defining the meaninglexis
 –
lexemes (words): meaning of individual units of language, lexis and semantics partially overlapMEANING: relationship between language, world, mind and intentions
embedded in CONCEPTS: knowledge, communication, using and understanding linguistic units
Ferinan e Saussure, 1916. “Course in General Linguistics” –
major turn in linguistics, radicalchangesKarl Reisig
 –
German scholar, philologist and linguist, published a book on Latin verbs in 1839,chapter on semasiology (=semantics)
 –
the meaning of a verb is crucial for understanding of asentenceMichel Breal
 –
French scholar, first coined the term semantique in
1883 (from Greek Semainen “tomean, to signify”), publishe: Essai e semantique in 1897. –
the book was translated into English in1900 (Semantics: studies in the science of meaning)Ogden and Richards published a book called The Meaning of Meaning in 1923,analytical rigourpoint: semantics must become scientific through analytical rigour: key role for science, any analysismust be analytically rigorous, theory + methodology, rigorous in all procedures; triggering thescientific approach on meaning- semiotics vs semantics
 
 signs in general linguistic signs (narrows it down)- 22 definitions of meaning
  
intrinsic property; combination of a word- stressing 2 aspects of meaning:
 
21)
 
crucial to communication2)
 
central to the study of the human mind (thought processes,conception, cognition)- theories in semantics: MENTALISTIC (people have mental images)ANTIMENTALISTIC (everyone thinks of sth different)
eg. dog- certain conceptual features connect all dogs that all speakers of a community have
 SHARED / MUTUAL KNOWLEDGE (culturally and socially based
 –
different between languages)- influenced by environment and culture- eg. Eskimos have different words for snow
 –
their life depends on different kinds of white- eg. English
 –
uncle, Croatian. stric, ujak
  
highly developed vocabulary for family relations: ancient
Slavs live in huge families; there weren’t any first or
last names:1.
 
family relations2.
 
first names3.
 
first names then became last names- concepts and mental images change over time- O. and R. introduced the 2 main pillars on which the scientific approach of meaning rests today;communication and human mind
 –
important
Semantics and other related disciplines:
Etymology
 –
the study of the history of words, how their form and meaning changed over time,where a word came from; diachronic analysis (historic research) vs. synchronicLexicology
 –
the branch of linguistics that studies words, their nature and meaning, relationsbetween words and the whole lexicon, lexical component of language; deals with morphology of lexemes/words
both morphological and semantic point of viewLexicography
 –
the writing of dictionaries (Alexandrian school
 –
they founded it): monolingual,
bilingual, encyclopeic (Webster’s) an conceptual (stylistically marke) ictionaries
;
“pragmaticsie of lexicology“
 Stylistics
 –
the study and interpretation of text from a linguistics perspective, it usually deals withliterature; started in 1970 in UK/USA as discourse analysis, in continental Europe it was called text
analysis; it ealt with both spoken an written language; eg. Internet language, the return of “aorist”
in Croatian
Terms in traditional semantics:
Lexeme: Lexemes are vocabulary words (connected to the written language in Eur. Tradition) whichmay take on different forms depending on the context they find themselves in.Cruse 1986
 –
 
“family of lexical units”, pairing of a meaning an
a form (de Saussure) - all meanings of one word (eg run
 –
 
trčati, kaniirati, idi...)
 word
 –
comprised of phonemes, one word can have many meaning; all the meanings are lexemes of a word; center around lexemes rather than words!
 
3He ran across the road.
central / basic meaningThe car is running well.
 He runs the motorshow.
metaphorical meaningsHe runs for Hampshire.
 
Types of mening:
1)
 
Primary (conceptual) meaning-
 
central factor in linguistic communication; encompasses all the essential knowledgenecessary in order to use or understand (this implies communication)a certain formcorrectly; concepts and meaning change
with time, in a very rapi way; “knowlege” is
relative; it is often culturally basedSecondary types of meaning (derived kinds of meaning)- in different contexts can have different connotations2)
 
Stylistic meaning (most frequent): what is communicated of the social circumstances of languageuse- social/dialectic, archaic, scientific, slang- one concept, but different words in language for it
stylistic meaning- same phenomenon in different types of vocabulary- perception of the world around us (cultural element)
language tied to the perception of theworld around ushorse general throw generalsteed poetic cast literary, biblicalnag slang chuck casual, slanggee-gee baby talkhome general tiny colloquialdomicile very formal, official diminutive very formalresidence formal wee colloquial, dialectalabode poetic3)
 
Affective meaning: what is communicated of the feeling and attitudes of the speaker/writer- speaker expresses this with intonation (also body language)- eg
. You’re a vicious tyrant an I hate you.
angry or loving- in spoken language
utterance; in written language
sentence- language
 –
extremely complex phenomenon (no clear boundaries)- things can be used in a combination of stylistic and affective meaning- all divisions inflicted by linguists4)
 
Reflected meaning: what is communicated through association with another sense of the sameexpression- sense
 –
structural term for meaning of a lexemeThe Comforter vs The Holy Ghost - the notion comes from everyday life

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