The study of linguistic meaning dealing with the literal
meaning of words and the meaning of the way they are
The study of linguistic meaning dealing with
all the ways in which literal meaning must be refined or
enriched to arrive at an understanding of what speaker
meant in uttering
a particular expression.
“I forgot the paper.”
The person who is speaking at some time before the
time of speaking forgot a particular item which is a
“I forgot the paper.”
1. In Sunday morning, Anna (the speaker) has returned to
her flat from the local shop then she realized that she
forgot to buy a copy of the Sunday newspaper for that
2. Anna comes to her table with wet hands (after washing
hands). When she wants to touch her documents, she
she did not take tissue.
1. Denotation and Sense
2. Lexical and Structural Meaning
3. Categorematic and
• The two most basic ways of giving the meaning of words
or longer expressions
giving meaning by denoting (or referring to) something
giving meaning by attempting to match the word with
another expression having the same sense
- The word „blue‟ denotes blue color
- The word „cow‟ denotes cows
* defining „blue‟ or „cow‟ by pointing the object is called
The expression „a beautiful girl‟ has the same sense as
„gadis cantik‟ in Indonesian
- Sense can be found in translation
The winners of Mr. Muscle Beach Contest (an annual
body building competition) are
1. Wade Rodriguez (1992)
2. Denzel Lucas (1993)
3. Josh Minamoto (1994)
4. Rob Cabot (1995)
• Sense of the expression „Mr. Muscle‟ refers to Rodriguez
, Luca, Minamoto, or Cabot (depending on the year).
• „Mr. Muscle‟ denotes one of the winners, but can not
denote anyone who hasn‟t won the competition.
• Sense is more basic than denotation and denotation
depends on the
1. Lexical Meaning
the meaning of individual words
2. Structural Meaning
the meaning of the way the words are combined (based
on syntactic structure)
there are seven words:
the – rat – that – bit – dog – chase - cat
Structural Meaning (different sentences, different meanings)
a. The rat that bit the dog chased the cat.
b. The cat that chased the dog bit the rat.
c. The rat that chased the cat bit the dog.
d. The dog that chased the rat bit the cat.
e. The dog that bit the rat chased the cat.
f. The dog that chased the cat bit the rat.
g. The dog that bit the cat chased the rat.
h. The dog that chased the cat chased the rat.
i. The dog that chased the rat chased the cat.
and so on…
the – rat – that – bit – dog – chase – cat
[The A [that B-ed the C]] D-ed the E
The rat that chased the cat bit the dog.
X is an A
X performed the D action
Y is an E
Y undergoes the D action
X performed the B action
Z is a C
Z is the undergoer of the B action
• It must be along with syntactic rules for forming phrases
• Interpretation rules which combine meanings are just as
syntactic rules combine forms.
lexical items that provide a basis for categorization: in the
term of descriptive content or sense. They are noun, verbs,
2. Syncategorematic Expressions
lexical items that describe their meaning only by placing
them in context or serve to modify categorematic
(the rest of all & meaningful
1. Categorematic Expressions
*the descriptive content of „chimney„
provides the basis forming the category of
*the sense of „blue‟ provides the basis for
the category of „blue things‟
2. Syncategorematic Expressions
* as, some, because, for, to, so on…
1. Tense: third person(-s), past tense (-ed),
progressive (-ing), past participle (-ed), future (will)
2. Number: pural (-s)
3. Case: comparative (-er), superlative (-est)
* The basis: “He BELIEVE us.”
* modified (syncategorematic) expressions:
He (believes – believed –believing – will believe) us.
Sense is to be more basic to „real‟
meaning than denotation as the
actual denotation of an expression
depends on what the sense of the
Lexical sense involves relationships among word senses which
are readily analysable.
One of the most familliar sense relations is opposition or
e.g black and white, night and day
Basic antonyms can be complementaries or Noncomplementaries
Basic antonyms which complementaries mean the entities of the
terms that apply to one thing or the other but anomalous (indicates
e.g A door is either open or closed
..., He neither hit it or missed it (P.7)
b. Non Complementary opposites are based on a scale with
opposite poles and neutral middle zone.
The water is neither hot nor cold
The performance was neither good nor
Semantic features is word senses may also be
analyzed in terms of sense components,
particularly those which determine classifications
like system illustrated below;
Basic category words is the complex words
which indicate the whole content. There
must be some other role for all the
information which seems to attach those
1. flies, has wings
2. sings sweetly
3. is small and light
4. lays eggs in a nest
5. is timid
Family Resemblances is different physical features that may make
members of a family alike as a group although no feature is shared
soccer, basketball, hurling, etc
rules for play
Possible Worlds, Extension, & Intention
Compositional Formal Theory
*not discussed in detail
1. Names denote to the owners of the names, but
do not describe the owners.
* name: Midge
* denotation of „Midge‟ = Midge (a small brown
2. Most personal names are coded as male and
female by convention, but the convention can
* „Michael‟ is a name for male; in fact, Michael
Learned is an American actress . Commonly
the names for female are „Michelle‟ or
3. Denotations of Categorematic (or called „predicate‟) are
the sets of things.
*word (noun): dog –
denotation of dogs = the set of dogs
* word (noun): brown
denotation of brown = the set of brown
• The term of „possible worlds‟ is used in
semantics for hypothetical ways reality might be
or might been.
• The way things actually are is the „actual world‟
• The actual world is included in „possible world‟
because it is obviously a possible reality
• A possible world is a whole alternative universe;
actual world is just an alternative version of
• Many possible worlds have dogs in them, which the word
dog applies to.
• We can collect together all the dogs in the real world to
form the set of all real dogs – this set is the extension of
• What we think of as the „real meaning‟ of the word dog,
we need the intension (the set of all dogs in all possible
worlds; simply, the set of all possible dogs)
• So, there are two kinds of denotation for predicates:
word (noun): dog
extension: the set of all dogs in the actual world
intension: the set of all dogs in the possible worlds
• The analysis of sentences whether the sentences are
• E.g. Midge is grinning
To find out whether the sentence is true, find the relevant
facts; in this case, find Midge and check her facial
The extension of a sentence is its truth value; either true or
The intension of a sentence is the set of possible worlds in
which that sentence is true
Sentence: Midge is grinning
Extension: truth value (true or false) in the actual world
Intension: the set of possible worlds
in which Midge is grinning
(the truth set)
our beloved lecturer is
always ready to