Unit 11 Sense Relations (2)


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Unit 11 Sense Relations (2)

  2. 2. Sense Relations(oppositenessof Meaning)Individualpredicates(Antonymy)Whole sentences(contradictoriness)2
  3. 3. AntonymyThe traditional view of antonymy simply ‘oppositeness of meaning’ not adequate Some words may be opposite in meaning indifferent ways some words have no real opposites. E.g. Thick is not the opposite of thin in the sameway as dead is the opposite of alive. 4 basic types of antonymy (or semanticincompatibility).1213
  4. 4. 1- BINARY ANTONYMY also called complementarity BINARY ANTONYMS are predicates whichcome in pairs and between them exhaust all therelevant possibilities. If the one predicate isapplicable, then the other cannot be, and viceversa. Another way to view this is to say that apredicate is a binary antonym of anotherpredicate if it entails the negative of the otherpredicate.e.g. 121 1224
  5. 5. 1- BINARY ANTONYMY The natural way to pair off pairs of antonyms  isalong the same dimension man vs woman  (along the male/female dimension) A four-way contrast (not natural) two differentbinary antonyms combine in a set of predicates  more complicated systems of contrast man vs girl  (cutting across both dimensions)5122
  6. 6. 2- CONVERSES If a predicate describes a relationshipbetween two things (or people) and someother predicate describes the samerelationship when the two things (or people)are mentioned in the opposite order, then thetwo predicates are CONVERSES of eachother. applies when three things (or people) arementioned.E.g. buy & sell6e.g. 123 123123
  7. 7. Semantic Fields miniature semantic systems in antonymy & converseness the antonyms come in pairs or more betweenthem, the members of a pair of binary antonymsfully fill the area to which they can be applied. E.g. the sex system in English7femalemale124
  8. 8. 3- Multiple Incompatibles(systems)a) All the terms in a given system are mutuallyincompatible e.g. a playing card cannot belong to both the heartssuit and the spades suitb) together, the members of a system cover all therelevant area. e.g. And besides hearts, clubs, diamonds, andspades, there are no other suits. There are large numbers of open-ended systemsof multiple incompatibility.8124
  9. 9. 4- GRADABLE ANTONYMY Two predicates are GRADABLE antonyms if theyare at opposite ends of a continuous scale ofvalues (a scale which typically varies according tothe context of use). Gradability test: Check whether a word can combine with(very, or very much, or how? or how much?)E.g. How tall is he?  is acceptable, How top is that shelf?  is not acceptable.9e.g. 125 Hot warm Cool Tepid cold125-126
  10. 10. Sense Relations(oppositenessof Meaning)Individualpredicates(Antonymy)Whole sentences(contradictoriness)10
  11. 11. Contradictoriness A proposition is a CONTRADICTORY of anotherproposition if it is impossible for them both to betrue at the same time and of the samecircumstances. The definition can naturally be extended tosentences thus: a sentence expressing oneproposition is a contradictory of a sentenceexpressing another proposition if it is impossiblefor both propositions to be true at the same timeand of the same circumstances. Alternatively (and equivalently) a sentencecontradicts another sentence if it entails thenegation of the other sentence.11127e.g. 127
  12. 12. The Relationship betweenContradictoriness & Antonymy (&Incompatibility) Statement AGiven two sentences, both identical except that:(a) one contains a word X where the othercontains a word Y, and (b) X is an antonym of Y(or X is incompatible with Y), then the twosentences are contradictories of each other (i.e.contradict each other).• Does it work correctly for all the previous types?• We shall not pursue the matter here!12127
  13. 13. Ambiguity Describing and explaining ambiguities inwords and in sentences  is one of thegoals of a semantic theory. A word or sentence is AMBIGUOUS whenit has more than one sense. A sentence isambiguous if it has two (or more)paraphrases which are not themselvesparaphrases of each other.13128e.g. 128
  14. 14. AmbiguityDefining ‘sentence’: 1- A sentence is a particular string of wordsassociated with one particular sense a sentencecannot be ambiguous  Some semanticistsE.g. The chicken is ready to eat  represents twodifferent sentences 2- We adopt a usage that has been current in recentLinguisticsE.g The chicken is ready to eat  is a singleambiguous sentence This is essentially a matter of terminology.14
  15. 15. Ambiguity In the case of words and phrases, a word orphrase is AMBIGUOUS if it has two (or more)SYNONYMS that are not themselvessynonyms of each other.15e.g. 129 129
  16. 16. The Term ‘Word’ 1- Some semanticists  a more abstract notion of word a word-form is associated with a particular sense, orgroup of related senses,  to give a ‘word’.e.g. sage corresponds to two different words 2- We use the term ‘word’ in the sense of ‘word-form’ anything spelled and pronounced the same way (in a givendialect)  is for us the same worde.g. sage is a single word with different senses, i.e. anambiguous word We use ‘predicate’  for ‘word-in-a-particular-sense’. Predicates cannot be ambiguous, according to thisdefinition.16
  17. 17. Ambiguous words(the closeness, or relatedness, ofthe senses of the ambiguouswords)Homonymy(different senses)Polysemy(closely relatedsenses )17
  18. 18. HOMONYMY A case of HOMONYMY is one of an ambiguousword whose different senses are far apart fromeach other and not obviously related to eachother in any way with respect to a nativespeaker’s intuition. Mug (drinking vessel vs gullible person) Bank (financial institution vs the side of a riveror stream) Homonymy seems to be a matter of accident orcoincidence  There is no obviousconceptual connection between the twomeanings of either word.18
  19. 19. POLYSEMY A case of POLYSEMY is one where a word hasseveral very closely related senses. In otherwords, a native speaker of the language has clearintuitions that the different senses are related toeach other in some way. E.g. Mouth (of a river vs of an animal) is a case ofpolysemy.  the concepts of an opening from the interior ofsome solid mass to the outside, & of a place ofissue at the end of some long narrow channel. Polysemy in nouns is quite common in humanlanguages.19e.g. 130 131
  20. 20. 20
  21. 21. Homonymy & Polysemy Polysemy is much more common in humanlanguage  most words have related variationsin sense that depend on the particularlinguistic context in which they are used. It is nearly impossible to draw a clear linebetween homonymy and polysemy  theyoccupy places along a graded continuum ofmeaning21homonymy polysemy vagueness
  22. 22. Vague Words A vague word appears to have one basicsense (monosemy) which is neverthelessflexible enough to allow for minor variationsin meaning or use which are not particularlyentrenched in the mind of the speaker.E.g. Aunt most speakers feel it has one fairly unifiedsense it can be used to refer to the sister of either aperson’s father or his or her mother.22132
  23. 23. Homonymy It is not always possible to find an exactly synonymousphrase for a given word  yet it is possible to indicate different senses of a word bygiving different environments in which the word may be used. E.g. sage we had to resort to the Latin botanical label (cheating)  synonymy is usually a relation between words(and phrases) in the same language. E.g. Grasshas two senses which are indicated by the followingenvironments:(a) Please keep off the grass(b) The informer grassed on his partners-in-crime23133
  24. 24. Homonymy In many cases, a word used in one sensebelongs to one part of speech, and used inanother sense, it belongs to a different partof speech. E.g. longin the sense of yearn  a verbin the sense of not short  an adjective24133
  25. 25. The Relationship BetweenAmbiguousSentences & Ambiguous Words Statement A  All sentences which contain one ormore ambiguous words are ambiguous, and everysentence which contains no ambiguous words isunambiguous. Statement B  Some sentences which containambiguous words are ambiguous while others are not,and some sentences which contain no ambiguouswords are ambiguous while others are not. Statement C  Some sentences which containambiguous words are ambiguous while some are not,but all sentences which contain no ambiguous wordsare unambiguous. Statement D  All sentences which containambiguous words are ambiguous, but somesentences which contain no ambiguous words arealso ambiguous while others are not.25134-135
  26. 26. Sentence AmbiguityStructurally(Grammatically)AmbiguousLexical Ambiguity26
  27. 27. LEXICAL AMBIGUITY Any ambiguity resulting from the ambiguityof a word is a LEXICAL AMBIGUITY. E.g. The captain corrected the list27
  28. 28. STRUCTURALLY (or GRAMMATICALLY)AMBIGUOUS A sentence which is ambiguous because its wordsrelate to each other in different ways, even thoughnone of the individual words are ambiguous, isSTRUCTURALLY (or GRAMMATICALLY)AMBIGUOUS. E.g. The chicken is ready to eat a question of ‘what goes with what’ in a sentence can be shown by using constituency diagrams square brackets around the relevant parts of thesentence (or phrase).28e.g. 136
  29. 29. Things that Must not be Confused withAmbiguity A phrase is REFERENTIALLY VERSATILE if it can beused to refer to a wide range of different things or persons. E.g.shetall and short (adjectives)mountain and hill (nouns)Aunt  does not have more than one sense can be used to refer to more than one distinct member of akinship system. There is no absolute distinction or line drawn betweenthem + interchangeable depending on the occasion Referential vagueness is not the same thing as ambiguity.29e.g. 136