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Ling 506 techniques in analyzing meaning (presentation)

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  • 1. Philippine Normal University Taft Avenue, Manila College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature DEPAERTMENT OF LINGUISTICS, BILINGUAL EDUCATION and LITERATURE LING505 (Semantics) Summer 2013 M-F (2:00-5:00 PM) Dr. Florencia Marquez _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ TECHNIQUES IN ANALYZING MEANING I. Componential Analysis - Also called semantic decomposition or lexical decomposition, this approach to meaning tries to represent a word’s intension in terms of smaller components called semantic features or properties— pieces of information about a word on which speakers of the language agree (Fromkin, Rodman, Hyams, 2003). This approach is especially effective when it comes to representing similarities and difference among words with related meanings. An obvious advantage of this is that it allows us to group entities into natural classes. This approach gives us the most impressive results when applied to sets of words referring to classes of entities with shared properties (O’Grady & Dobrovolsky, 1993). e.g. man woman boy girl [man] + + - - [male] + - + - [motion] [contact] [creation] [sense]
  • 2. Exercise A.1 For each group of words given below, state the semantic property or properties distinguishing between the classes of (a) words and (b) words. If asked, also indicate a semantic property the (a) words and the (b) words share. A. (a) book, temple, mountain, road, tractor (b) idea, love, charity, sincerity, bravery, fear The (a) words are ______________________________________________________ The (b) words are ______________________________________________________ B. (a) Pine, elm, ash, weeping willow, sycamore (b) rose, dandelion, aster, tulip, daisy The (a) and (b) words are __________________________________________________ The (a) words are ______________________________________________________ The (b) words are ______________________________________________________ C. (a) ask, tell, say, talk, converse (b) shout, whisper, mutter, drawl, holler The (a) and (b) words are __________________________________________________ The (a) words are ______________________________________________________ The (b) words are ______________________________________________________ D. (a) absent-present, alive-dead, asleep-awake, married-single (b) big-small, cold-hot, sad-happy, slow-fast The (a) and (b) words are __________________________________________________ The (a) words are ______________________________________________________ The (b) words are ______________________________________________________ E. (a) walk, run, skip, jump, hop, swim (b) fly, skate, ski, ride, cycle, canoe, hang-glide The (a) and (b) words are __________________________________________________ The (a) words are ______________________________________________________ The (b) words are ______________________________________________________
  • 3. II. Predication Analysis - Involves breaking down predications into their immediate constituents. Componential and predication analysis both enable us to represent the greater part of sentences (Leech, 1982). - The predicator of a simple declarative sentence is the word or sometimes a group of words) which does not to any of the referring expressions and which, of the remainder makes the most specific contribution to the meaning of the sentence. Intuitively speaking the predicator describes the state or process in which the referring expressions are involved. EXERCISE B.1 Strip away the referring expressions and the verb be to identify the predicators in the following sentences: 1. They are thirsty. _______________________ 2. Tristan is in San Diego. _______________________ 3. The man is a fraud. _______________________ 4. The women who live at RM2046 are whimsical. _______________________ 5. The Royal Scottish Museum is behind the college. _______________________ - The predicator in sentences can be various parts of speech: adjectives, verbs, prepositions, and nouns. Despite the obvious syntactic differences between these different types of words, semantically they all share the property of being able to function as predicators of sentences. However, words of other parts of speech, such as conjunctions and articles cannot serve as predicators. EXRECISE B.2 In the following sentences, indicate the predicators and arguments. 1. Dennis is a menace. predicator: _______________________ argument (s): _______________________ 2. Anne showed Linda her necklace. predicator: _______________________ argument (s): _______________________
  • 4. 3. Ronnie is afraid of dogs. predicator: _______________________ argument (s): _______________________ 4. The chapel is on the hill. predicator: _______________________ argument (s): _______________________ 5. Chicago is between Los Angeles and New York. predicator: _______________________ argument (s): _______________________ 6. John loves Mary. predicator: _______________________ argument (s): _______________________ 7. Mary gave John a new tie. predicator: _______________________ argument (s): _______________________ 8. John is a linguist. predicator: _______________________ argument (s): _______________________ 9. Ed is a fool. predicator: _______________________ argument (s): _______________________ 10. John is the Dean of the College. predicator: _______________________ argument (s): _______________________ - A predicate is any word (or sequence of words) which (in a given single sense) can function as the predicator of a sentence such as hunfry, in, crook, asleep, hit, show, bottle; and, or, but, not are not predicates. - EXERCISE B.3 Are the following predicates? 1. dusty Yes / No 2. swallow Yes / No 3. gentleman Yes / No 4. you Yes / No 5. about Yes / No - Notice that ‘predicate’ and ‘predicator’ are terms of quite different sorts. The term ‘predicate’ identifies elements in the language system, independently of particular example sentences; the ‘predicator’ identifies the semantic role played by a particular words (or group of words) in a particular sentence.
  • 5. EXERCISE B.4 In which of the following sentences does the predicate male function as predicator? Circle your answer. (a) The male gorilla at the zoo had a nasty accident yesterday. (b) The gorilla at the zoo is a male. (c) The gorilla at the zoo is male. In which of the following sentences does the predicate human function as predicator? (a) All humans are mortal (b) Socrates was human (c) These bones are human - The degree of predicate is a number indicating the number of arguments it is normally understood to have n simple sentences. e.g. Asleep is a predicate degree of one (often called a one-place predicate) Love (verb) is a predicate of degree two (a two-place predicate) EXERCISE B.5 1. Are the following sentences acceptable? a. Tony sneezed Yes / No b. Tony sneezed a handful of pepper Yes / No c. Tony sneezed his sister a handful of pepper Yes / No 2. So is sneeze a one-place predicate ? Yes / No 3. Are the following sentences acceptable in normal usage? a. Martha hit Yes / No b. Martha hit the sideboard Yes / No c. Martha hit George the sideboard Yes / No 4. So is hit a one-place predicate? Yes / No 5. Is die a one-place predicate? Yes / No 6. Is come a one-place predicate? Yes / No 7. Is murder (verb) a one-place predicate Yes / No
  • 6. - A verb that is understood most naturally with just two arguments, one as it subject, and one as its object, is a two-place predicate. e.g In Martha hit the parrot, hit is a two-place predicate: it has an argument. Martha, as subject and an argument , the parrot, as direct object, EXERCISE B.6 1. Are the following sentences acceptable? a. Keith made Yes / No b. Keith made this toy guillotine Yes / No c. Keith made this toy guillotine his mother-in-law Yes / No 2. Is make a two-place predicate Yes / No 3. Is murder a two-place predicate Yes / No 4. Is see a two-place predicate Yes / No - There are a few three-place predicates; the verb give is the best example. EXERCISE B.7 For each of the following sentences, say whether it seems somewhat elliptical (i.e. seems to omit something that one would normally expect to be mentioned). Some of these sentences are more acceptable that others. 1. Henry gave Yes / No 2. Henry gave Selma Yes / No 3. Henry gave a nice present Yes / No 4. Henry gave Selma a nice present Yes / No 5. How many referring expressions are there in no.4 Yes / No - We have concentrated so far on predicates that happen to be verbs. However, there are sentences in which the predicate could be a preposition, adjective, and noun.
  • 7. EXERCISE B.8 Prepositions 1. How many referring expression are there in Your marble is under my chair?_____ 2. Is Your marble is under acceptable in normal usage? Yes / No 3. Is Your marble is under my chair the carpet acceptable? Yes / No 4. So, what degree is the predicate under? __________ 5. Of what degree is the predicate near? __________ 6. Is Dundee is between Aberdeen acceptable? __________ 7. Is Dundee is between Aberdeen and Edinburg acceptable? __________ 8. Of what degree is the predicate between? __________ Adjectives 1. Is John is afraid of Fido acceptable? Yes / No 2. Does John is afraid seem elliptical? Yes / No 3. Could afraid be called a two-place predicate? Yes / No 4. Is Your house is different from mine acceptable? Yes / No 5. Does Your house is different seem elliptical? Yes / No 6. Of what degree is the predicate different? __________ 7. Of what degree is the predicate identical? __________ 8. Of what degree is the predicate similar? __________ Nouns 1. How many referring expression are there in John is a corporal? __________ 2. Is John is a corporal the army acceptable? Yes / No 3. Of what degree is corporal? __________ 4. Of what degree is crook? __________ 5. Of what degree is the word hero? __________ 6. How many referring expressions are there in This object is a pitchfork? __________ 7. Of what degree is pitchfork? __________
  • 8. Symmetry, Reflexivity, and Transitivity There are six sense properties that a predicate may have. These six properties fall neatly into three groups of two, groups which might come under the headings of ‘symmetry,’ ‘reflexivity,’ and ‘transitivity.’ The two properties in each group are related to each other in exactly parallel ways. All of these properties are properties of two-place predicates. A. SYMMETRY VS. ASYMMETRY Given a two place predicate P, if, for any pair of referring expressions X and Y, the sentence XPY ENTAILS the sentence YPX, then P is SYMMETRIC EXERCISE B.9 1. Do the following pairs of sentence s entail each other? Tanzania is different from Kenya. Yes / No Kenya is different from Tanzania Yes / No 2. Is different a symmetric predicate? Yes / No 3. Does Mary is married to Hans entail Hans is married to Mary? Yes / No 4. Is married to a predicate symmetric predicate? Yes / No 5. Does Mary is devoted to Hans entail Hans is devoted to Mary? Yes / No 6. Is devoted to a symmetric predicate? Yes / No Given a two-place predicate P, if the sentence XPY is a contradictory of Bill is taller than John. Therefore, taller than is an asymmetric predicate. EXERCISE B.10 1. Is John is under the table a contradictory of The table is under John? Yes / No 2. Is under asymmetric? Yes / No 3. Is father of as in Alphonso was the father of Benito asymmetric? Yes / No 4. Is admire as in Jimmy Carter admires Norman Mailer asymmetric?Yes / No
  • 9. B. REFLEXIVITY VS. IRREFLEXIVITY Given a two-place predicate P, if for any single referring expression X (or any pair of referring expressions X and Y which have the same referent, e.g. John and himself), the sentence XPX (or the sentence XPY) is ANALYTIC , then P is a REFLEXIVE predicate. EXERCISE B.11 1. Do I and myself have the same referent in I am as old as myself.? Yes / No 2. Is I am as old as myself analytic? Yes / No 3. So is the predicate be as old as reflexive? Yes / No 4. Are the capitalized predicates in the following sentences reflexive? a. John’s doorkey is IDENTICAL TO itself? Yes / No b. John LOVES himself. Yes / No Given a two-place predicate P, if for any single referring expression X (or for any pair of referring expressions X and Y which have the same referent e.g. Jack and himself) the sentence XPX (or the sentence XPY) is a CONTRADICTION, then P is a IRREFLEXIVE predicate. EXERCISE B.12 1. Do Mary and herself have the same referent in Mary is different from herself a contradiction Yes / No 2. Is Mary is different from herself a contradiction? Yes / No 3. So is the predicate is different from irreflexive? Yes / No 4. Are the capitalized predicates in the following sentences irreflexive? Yes / No a. Mary LOVES herself Yes / No b. Fred is SHORTER THAN himself Yes / No
  • 10. C. TRANSITIVITY VS. INTRANSITIVITY - Given a two-place predicate P, if for any trio of referring expressions X, Y, and Z the compound sentence XPY and XPZ entails the sentence XPZ, then P is TRANSITIVE. EXERCISE B.13 1. Is above in the following sentence a two-place predicate? Johns flat is above mine and mine is above Mary’s Yes / No 2. What does the above sentence entail concerning the relation between John’s flat and Mary’s? John’s flat is ______________________________________________________________________ 3. Are the capitalized predicates in the following sets of sentences transitive? a. Socrates was WISER THAN Plato and Plato was WISER THAN Aristotle Socrates was WISER THAN Aristotle Yes / NO b. Mary’s cat is the FATHER OF Gill’s cat and Gill’s cat is the FATHER OF Gerlad’s cat Mary’s cat is the FATHER OF Gerald’s cat Yes / No Given a two-place predicate P, if for any trio of referring respression X, Y, and Z, the compound sentence XPY and YPZ is CONTRADICTORY of XPZ, then P is INTRANSITIVE. EXERCISE B.14 Are the following predicates intransitive? a. enemy of Yes / No b. dislike Yes / No c. grandchild of Yes / No d. two inches taller than Yes / No e. jealous of Yes / No
  • 11. III. Illocutionary Approach to Meaning - An illocutionary act is what the speaker does in uttering a sentence. Illocutionary acts include such acts as stating, requesting, promising, apologizing, and appointing. Classification of Illocuationary Acts 1. Representative – an utterance used to describe state of affairs. 2. Directive – an utterance used to try to get the hearer to do something. 3. Question – an utterance used to get the hearer provide information. 4. Commissive - an utterance used to commit the speaker to do something 5. Expressive – an utterance used to express the emotional state of the speaker. 6. Declaration – an utterance used to change the status of some entity. Exercise C.1 Exercise Classify each of the following utterances as directive, commissive, representative, expressive, question, or declaration. 1. A child says to her playmate, Happy birthday. 2. A doctor says to a patient, I advise you to stop smoking. 3. One secretary says to another, My daughter’s getting married in August. 4. A priest says over to an infant. I baptize you in the name of… 5. A mother says to her daughter, Who washed the dishes? 6. A passerby says to a motorist with a flat tire, Let me help you with that. 7. One friend says to another, I swear won’t see Martha again. 8. A parent says to her child, I forbid you to leave your room. 9. A man says to a friend, What time is it? 10. A buyer says to a seller, I agree to your terms.
  • 12. Explicit versus Non-expplicit Illocutionary Acts Austin most important insight was the realization that English has a set of verbs that actually names the illocutionary force of that verb. In the following sentences, the verbs are known as performative verbs. e.g. I confess that I stole the family jewels. I warn you to stop teasing our sister. I promise I’ll come to your birthday party. I apologize for calling you a liar. However, in order for the verb to have its performative sense, it must: i. be positive ii. be in present tense iii. have a first person agent iv. refer to the specific event The term explicit performative describes an utterance that contains performative verb used in its performative sense. Any utterance not containing a performative verb used it its performative sense are called nonexplicit performative. Explicit Performative Non-explicit Performative Representative I deny that I killed Cock Robin I did not kill Cock Robin Directive I forbid you to leave your room Don’t leave your room. Question I ask you where you were last night Where were you last night? Commissive I vow that I’ll be faithful to you. I’ll be faithful to you. Expressive I thank you for your help. I appreciate your help. Declaration I resign . I don’t work here anymore.
  • 13. EXERCISE Explain why each of the performative verbs in the following utterances is not being used in its performative sense. 1. I warned you not to open that door. 2. Promise her anything, but give her Arpege. 3. I won’t insist that you leave. 4. Mr. Jones inisists that you work late tonight. 5. Aplogize to your Aunt Martha immediately. Direct versus Indirect Illocutionary Act Particular sentences types are associated with a particular illocutionary acts. For example, imperative sentences (Bring me my coat) are uniquely deigned for issuing directives. Thus, a directive delivered by means of an imperative sentence is said to constitute a direct illocutionary act. However, if another sentence type, for example an interrogative, is used to isse a directive (Would you bring me my coat?), then such an autterance is said to constitute an indirect illocutionary act. Direct Illocutionary Acts Utterance Illocutionary Act Syntactic Form Keep quiet. Directive Imperative Do you know Mary? Question Interrogative I’ll help you with the dishes. Commissive Declarative You’re fired. Declaration Declarative Indirect Illocutionary Acts You might give me a hand with this Directive Declarative And you are… Question Declarative Could you keep quiet? Directive Interrogative Do you have the time? Wh- question Yes-No Interrogative
  • 14. Exercise For each of the following utterances state (i) the syntactic form, (ii) illocutionary act it performs, and (iii) whether the illocutionary act is performed directly or indirectly. 1. A clerk says to a customer, And your account number is… 2. A sign at the entrance to a cafeteria: It is impolite to pass others if there is a space ahead. 3. An impatient husband grouses to his wife, Shouldn’t we be leaving soon? 4. The envelope supplied for paying your credit card bill carries the following notice: Did you remember to sign your check? 5. A student, wheedling a teacher for an A, says If I don’t get an A in this course, I’ll lose my scholarship. References Fromkin, V., R. Rodman, and N. Hyams. (2003). Introduction to language. MA: Heinle Gonzales, Mildred J., T.P. Ignacio, and M.L.G. Tayao. (1997). Applied linguistic for the communication arts. QC: University of the Philippines Open University. Hurford, James R., B. Heasley, M. B. Smith. (2007). Semantics: a coursebook. NY: Cambridge University Press. Leech, Geoffrey. (1981). Semantics: The study of meaning. UK: Penguin Books Ltd. O'Grady, William, M. Dobrovolsky, & F. Katamba (2001) Contemporary Linguistics : An Introduction. St. Martin's Press. http://www.colorado.edu/ling/courses/LAM3430/Chapter9notes.pdf Prepared by Bernard M. Paderes MA Linguistics bernardpaderes@gmail.com
  • 15. Exercise A Intonational Meaning DIRECTION: Write the letter of the utterance that answers the question about each set of utterances. a. really b. really _____1. Which one expresses surprise? _____ 2. Which one sow that the speaker does not put too much importance on what was said? c. I heard him say, “Fire!” d. I heard him say, “Fire!” e. I heard him say, “Fire!” _____ 3. In which sentence is fire given as a command by the captain of a firing squad. _____ 4. In which sentence is fire mentioned as a response to the question, “What did he say?” _____ 5. In which sentence is fire uttered when someone calls your name and you respond to find out what he wants?
  • 16. f. What? g. What? _____ 6. What question is uttered when someone calls your name and you respond to find out what he wants? _____ 7. Which utterance shows disbelief? h. Is that so? i. Is that so? _____ 8. Which utterance shows disbelief? _____ 9. Which utterance seeks information? SOURCE: Gonzales, Mildred J., T.P. Ignacio, and M.L.G. Tayao. (1997). Applied linguistic for the communication arts. QC: University of the Philippines Open University. EXERCISE B: MORPHOLOGICAL MEANING DIRECTION: Here is a list of words with affixes that give meaning to the root word, Group together all the words whose affixes signal the same added meaning. Then write on top of each group the additional meaning signalled by those affixes. How many groups did you come up with? act- actor beg- beggar brook – brooklet creep – crept decide – decided duck – ducks direct – indirect duke –duches electric – electrician figure – figurine fox – foxes genus – genocide goose –geese hero – heroine homo- homicide infant – infanticide insect - insecticide island –islet janitor – janitress keep – kept legitimate – illegitimate modest – immodest mouse – mice opera – operetta ox – oxen pest – pesticide play – playlet prince – princess refuge – refugee regular – irregular sing – song stand – stood statue – statuette steward – stewardess stop – non-stop study – studies tie – untie violin – violinist wolf – wolverine write - writer
  • 17. SOURCE: Gonzales, Mildred J., T.P. Ignacio, and M.L.G. Tayao. (1997). Applied linguistic for the communication arts. QC: University of the Philippines Open University. EXERCISE C: LEXICAL MEANING DIRECTION: Here are other expressions whose words have difference lexical meanings depending on the context in which they are used. Write the letter of the meaning given in Column B that suit the underlined word in the expressions given in Column A in each set. SET I _____ 1. a head of cabbage _____ 2. a clear head _____ 3. the head of our team _____ 4. come to a head _____ 5. a head wound _____ 6. a head for business _____ 7. head for shore _____ 8. head the list a. leader b. intellectual inclination and ability c. mind d. part of the body that contains the brain e. be the first or be at the top f. a unit of measure of a leafy vegetable rolled up in the shape of a ball g. point of convergence h. move towards a place SET II _____ 9. a mark of good taste _____ 10. a high mark on a test _____ 11. miss the mark _____ 12. On your mark. Get Set. Go! _____ 13. leave marks on the floor _____ 14. Mark my word _____ 15. Leave your mark on society.
  • 18. a. target b. sign c. starting point d. prints e. pay attention to a warning f. legacy g. core
  • 19. EXERCISE D: CONNONATATIVE MEANING DIRECTION: Put a plaus sign (+) before the expression if it gives a positive connotation of blue and put a minus sign (-) if the connotative meaning is negative. _____ 1. bluebird of happiness _____ 2. blue skies _____ 3. true blue _____ 4. blue-blooded royalty _____ 5. blue Monday _____ 6. black and blue marks _____ 7. feel blue _____ 8. sing the blues SOURCE: Gonzales, Mildred J., T.P. Ignacio, and M.L.G. Tayao. (1997). Applied linguistic for the communication arts. QC: University of the Philippines Open University.