Semantics & Pragmatics Jorge Zúñiga S. Paradigmas Lingüísticos
What is meaning?
Nature of meaning
What it really means
Dictionary definitions: Prescriptivism Descriptivism What is taken into consideration by linguists
Process Dictionary definition Understanding the meaning Meaning of the word and their definition (words used) e.g. ECTOMERE: “a blastomere that develops into ectoderm”
How do dictionaries function? DIVINE “being or having the nature of a deity” DEITY “divinity” PRIDE “the quality or state of being proud” PROUD “feeling or showing pride”
“ Mona Lisa”
The teacher’s viewpoint
The students’ viewpoint
The matter of what image is attached to this.
The important role played by the referent Name: Bill Clinton (referent) Phrase: the winner of the 1992 U.S. presidential election Bill Clinton is married to Hillary Clinton. The winner of the 1992 U.S. presidential election is married to Hillary Clinton. (The same thing) Robin wanted to know if Bill Clinton was the winner of the 1992 U.S. presidential election Robin wanted to know if Bill Clinton was Bill Clinton.
Meaning relationships Synonym: if they have the same meaning Homonymy: different meanings sharing the same form Antonyms: words in some sense opposite in meaning Entailment: one meaning holds another meaning Homophony : same sounds different meaning Polisemy: several meanings for the same word Hiperonymy: inclusion relationship (cat, dog, seagull=animal)
Words’ meaning can be broken down into smaller parts known as meaning components or semantic features Sofa Armchair Furniture Furniture Used for sitting Used for sitting Has back and arms Has back and arms Long
“ The sheriff killed Jesse” “ The sheriff killed Jesse, but Jesse is still alive” Semantic decomposition or componential analysis
There is no given connection between word and meaning. Word: Chair Chaise (French) Stuhl (German) Sèdia (Italian) Silla (Spanish)
TYPES OF MEANINGS: Conceptual meaning: basic and essential components of meaning. Associative meaning: stylistic meaning of words.
Semantic features There is certain “oddness” Why does it happen to us? The hamburger ate the man. NP V NP
Intended speaker meaning…
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SPEECH ACTS THEORY Forms Functions Did you eat the food? Question Eat the food (please) Command (request) You ate the food Statement REQUESTING-COMMANDING-QUESTIONING-INFORMING