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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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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:
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
Semantics and other related disciplines:
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“
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...)
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:
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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