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Seven types of meaning

Semantics is a study of the meaning of lexical items and other parts of language. There are seven types of meaning in Semantics; conceptual, connotative, stylistic, affective, reflected, collocative and thematic meaning. This study focuses on only two of the types of meaning: conceptual meaning and connotative meaning.

1/ Conceptual meaning
Conceptual meaning means logical, cognitive, or denotative content. It is based on two structural principles, which are contractiveness and constituent structures (in a scientific way). It is usually derived from definitions we find in dictionaries and the appearance of these lexical items. We give these lexical items features (constituent structures) and eliminate other features which are not present (contractiveness structures). - The conceptual meaning of a language can be studied in terms of contrastive feature, depends on the given lexical field, so that (for example) the meaning of the word woman could be specified as (+ human, + adult, - male), as distinct from, man, which could be defined (+ human, + adult, + male), man is incompatible with woman because of the distinct feature which is (male feature) - The second principle, that of structure, is the principle by which larger linguistic units are built up out of smaller units, (for example) in this sentence: {[(All) (men)] [(are)] [(mortal)]} (We are able to analyze the sentence syntactically into a its constituents parts) The semantic representation of conceptual meaning is governed by two linguistic principles: that of contrast and that of arrangement. These principles are comparable to the paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations observed in phonological and syntactic analyses.

2/ Associative meaning
The associative meaning of an expression has to do with individual mental understandings of the speaker. They, in turn, can be broken up into six sub-types: connotative, collocative, social, affective, reflected and thematic

A/ Connotative meaning
“The communicative value an expression has by virtue of what it refers to” (Leech 1981: 12).

Connotation is the real-world value a speaker associates with an expression. In other words, it is the meaning above the conceptual meaning and it may vary according to culture, background or society. Thus, connotative meaning can be subjective or unstable. It depends very much on how an individual or society perceives a word. It is the association that we make in our mind of what these lexical items represent. (For example), In English, the word dog may have the connotation loyalty, apart from its referential meaning. When we analyze word meanings we should distinguish two separate concepts called denotative and connotative meaning; “sea” denotes a large body of water but connotes a sense of danger, instability… One aspect concerning the connotative meaning is the social meaning (sometimes termed stylistic meaning) which varies between age-groups, sex, social class and cultures. Dialect can be a good example. It is a piece of language that conveys about the social circumstances of its use. Pavement is used in British English and sidewalk in American English. Residence is formal and home is casual. C/ Affective meaning Is what is communicated of the feeling or attitude of the speaker/writer toward what is referred to? (For example), by scaling our remarks according to politeness with the object of getting people to be quiet, we might say either:
1/ I’m terribly sorry to interrupt, but I wonder if you would be so kind as to lower you voices a little 2/ will you belt up

Factors such as intonation and voice-timber (tone of voice) are also important here. And there are elements of language such as interjections, like (Aha! Yippee!),
Whose main function is to express emotions.

D/ Reflected meaning What is communicated through association with another sense of the same expression. So it is the meaning that arises in cases of multiple conceptual meaning, when one sense of a word forms part of our response to another sense. In the church service, the synonymous expression (the comforter), it sounds

warm ‘comforting’ but in the religious context it means the strengthener or supporter. i.e sense of the word seems to ‘rub off ’ on another sense. E/ Collocative meaning Collocative meaning is the associated meaning a word acquires in line with the meaning of words which tend to co-occur with it. Both pretty and handsome mean good-looking but they differ in collocative meaning. Pretty often co-occurs with girl, woman, flower, skirt, etc. Handsome often collocates with boy, man, car, overcoat, etc. See (green ideas sleep furiously) to more understand the meaning of collocation.

2/ Thematic meaning
It concerns itself with how the order of words spoken affects the meaning that is entailed. If we say: 1/ I will do it tomorrow. In a neutral way. 2/ tomorrow, I will do it. Showing a promise. 4/ Mrs. Bessi Smith donated the first prize. 5/ The first prize was donated by Mrs. Bessi Smith. Certainly these have different communicative value: the active sentence seems to answer ‘what did Mrs. Bessi Smith donate?’, while the passive sentence seems to answer ‘who donated the first prize’. Furthermore… Antonymy (A is the opposite of B; e.g. cold is the opposite of warm) Homonym. Two concepts, A and B, are expressed by the same symbol. Example: Both a financial institution and a edge of a river are expressed by the word bank (the word has two senses). Hyponymous relationships ("is a" relation or hyponym-hyperonym), generic relation, genus-species relation: a hierarchical subordinate relation. (A is kind of B; A is subordinate to B; A is narrower than B; B is broader than A). The "is a" relation denotes what class an object is a member of. For example, "CAR - is a - VEHICLE" and "CHICKEN - is a - BIRD". It can be thought of as being a shorthand for "is a type of". When all the relationships in a system are "is a", is the system a taxonomy. The "generic of" option allows you to indicate all the particular types (species, hyponyms) of a concept. The "specific of" option al-lows you to indicate the common genus (hypernym) of all the particular types.

Incompatibility. It has to do with the componential analysis which is also
called feature analysis or contrast analysis, refers to the description of the meaning of words through structured sets of semantic features, which are given as “present”, “absent” or “indifferent with reference to feature”. (Example) See the example of man and woman_ under the conceptual meaning_ 1/ they must share the same lexical field (in semantics) _ Hyponymous

relationships_ (the human race)
1/they differ in only one feature. (Male feature) So man is incompatible with woman (meaning exclusion)