APPLICATION OF LEXICAL RELATION

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APPLICATION OF LEXICAL RELATION

  1. 1. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short story INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY ,ISLAMABADM.A ENGLISH LITERATURE & LANGUISTICS4th SEMESTER-SECTION APOST COLONIAL LITERATUREASSIGNMENT TOPIC:APPLICATION OF LEXICAL RELATIONSSUBMITTED TO: DR. NIGHAT SHAKOORSUBMITTED BY: HUMA HAFEEZHUMA ASLAMKINZA GHAFOORSUMAIRA BIBI 1
  2. 2. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storyINTRODUCTION: Semantics concerns knowledge of the meanings of lexical items and how meanings ofgrammatical combinations of lexical items, including sentences, depend upon the meanings oftheir structure and constituents. Semantics thus concerns knowledge of expression types thatcompetent speakers bring to particular contexts of language use. Semantics investigation oflanguage operates at two grammatical ranks; word rank and sentence rank. At word ranksemantics explore the relationships which words have with each other within the language as awhole. This constitutes their sense, that is, the meaning which word has by virtue of its place inthe linguistic system. Although semantics is consider a rather young branch of linguistics, interest in today‟sproblems of semantics was alive already in ancient times. Semantics (as the study of meaning) iscentral to the study of communication; and as communication becomes more and more a crucialfactor in socialorganization, the need to understand it becomes more and more pressing.Semantics is also at the centre of human mind; thought processes, cognition, conceptualization,all these are strongly connected to the way in which we classify and convey our experience ofthe world through language.So Semantics can be defined as a branch of linguistics; it is an area of study parallel to, andinteracting with syntax and phonology. While syntax and phonology study the structure ofexpressive possibilities in language, semantics studies the meaning that can be expressed. Nearlyall linguists have accepted a linguistic model in which semantics is at one end and phonetics atthe other, with grammar somewhere in the middle. However, until recently, semantics has beenthe „Cinderella‟ of linguistics, a branch that had been abandoned to philosophers andanthropologists. But in the past20 –25 years there has been a swing away from the view thatsemantics is a messy, unstructured intellectual no-man‟s-land on the fringes of linguistics, andlittle by little it has acquired a central position in linguistic studies. The concentration onsemantics has come not only from linguists, but from logicians, too. Consequently, in semanticswe witness an unusual convergence of disciplines; the techniques and investigations ofphilosophy and cognitive psychology, in particular, have helped to lay a more solid foundationfor linguistic studies. Semantics further includes semantic roles, dimensions of meaning, lexicalrelations etc. 2
  3. 3. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storyLiterature Review: Lexical relations are relations between pairs of lexemes which are sufficiently commonto constitute a general pattern. In Lexical Relations Words are not only the „containers‟ or asfulfilling „roles‟. They can also have „relationships‟. It‟slike the meanings of words in terms oftheir relationships. For example: ifmeanings of word „conceal‟ has been asked thenit can breplied same as „hide‟. The meaning of „shallow‟ can be replied as „the opposite of deep‟. Themeaning of „daffodil‟ can be replied as „it is a kind of flower‟. Lexical relations can also bedefined as characterizing the meaning of a word not in terms of component features, but in termsof relationship to other words. The branch of semantics that deals with the word meaning iscalled lexical semantics. It is the study of systematic, meaning related structures of words.Lexical field or semantic field is the organization of related words and expressions in to asystem, which shows their relationship with one another. For example; set of emotions includesangry, sad, happy, depressed, and afraid. This set of word is a lexical field all its words refer toemotional states. Lexical semantics examines relationships among word meanings. It is the study of howthe lexicon is organized and how the lexical meanings of lexical items are interrelated, and itsprinciple goal is to build a model for the structure of the lexicon by categorizing the types ofrelationships between words.There are further two approaches of lexical relations i.e. semantic field theory and truthconditional semantics.SEMANTIC FIELDS THEORY (SFT):Semantic field theoryis “An area of meaning containing words with related SENSES”1 .Semantic field theory derives very largely from the work of German and Swiss scholars in the1920s and 1930s. According to this theory, meanings of words cluster together to form fields ofmeaning which turn cluster onto even larger fields until entire language is encompassed.Semantic Field theory is an attempt to classify lexemes according to shared and differentiatingfeatures.1 Linguistic terms and concepts by Geoffrey Finch 3
  4. 4. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storySets: „A set of words (or lexemes) related in meaning‟. Linguist2has defined semanticfield more specifically as "a set of lexemes which cover a certain conceptual domain and whichbear certain specifiable relations to one another." Set is further divided into three parts: Part Whole Relationship It is defined as a part is one of the segments or portions into whichsomething is regardedas divided; a part is less than a whole; together, parts constitute a whole. Some lexical setsinvolve part-whole relationship as shown in flow chart below;BodyFace arms legs foot Sequential set /Cyclical set: It is defined as a specific condition or situation following sequence or rotation in event like;week,days, months, seasonsetc. Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday ……….Friday Saturday… So on. Paradigms: It is defined as a set of forms all of which contain a particular element, especially the set ofall inflected forms based on a single stem or theme. For example man, women, girl, and boy alldenote human so they form paradigms.Componential Analysis:“ Componential analysis (CA) is based on the presumption that the meaning of a word iscomposed of semantic components. So the essential features that form the meaning areAdrienne Lehrer (1985)2 4
  5. 5. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storyelementary units on semantic level. By componential analysis, it is possible to state the smallestindivisible units of lexis or minimal components”3 .This is a very useful method of distinguishing members of a lexical set (words that aresemantically related such that they overlap): Clean Pure Refined Chaste Clear Unmixed + + + - - Physical substance + + - - + Person + + - + - Washed + - - - - Visibility - - - - +Jackson in his book4& DanNida in his book5categorize the types of components into two maintypes, i.e. common component and diagnostic or distinctive component. Common component. This is the central component which is shared by all the lexemes in the same semanticdomain or lexical field. Diagnostic or distinctive components.They serve to distinguish the meaning from others from the same domain. A very simple example to explain these two types is provided by the words man, woman,boy, girl, and other related words in English (Leech, 1976: 96). These words all belong to thesemantic field of „human race‟ and the relations between them may be represented by thefollowing matrix.3 (Aitchison, 2003: 92).4“Words and their meaning” (1996: 83)5“Componential Analysis of Meaning” (1975: 32) 5
  6. 6. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short story Components Man Boy Women Girl Male + + - - Human + + + + Adult + _ + - Female - - + + In the semantic domain of man, woman, boy, and girl, [human] is the commoncomponent, and they are distinguished by [adult], [male], [female] as the diagnostic components.The meanings of the individual items can then be expressed by combinations of these features: Man + [human] + [adult] + [male] Woman + [human] + [adult] - [male] Boy + [human] - [adult] + [male] Girl + [human] - [adult] - [male] This is a very useful method of distinguishing members of a lexical set (words that aresemantically related such that they overlap): Clean Pure Refined Chaste Clear Unmixed + + + - - Physical substance + + - - + Person + + - + - Washed + - - - - Visibility - - - - +Kinship: Kinship systems make an interesting area for componential analysis. Kinship is universalsince all humans are related to other humans through blood ties through marriage, but kinshipsystems differ from society to society. 6
  7. 7. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storyA relationship is a kind of predicate. Sentence such as Samuel is Herbert father and bettyisHerbert sister have a propositional; content that we represent this way: Theme Predicate Associate samuel Father-of Herbert Betty Sister-of Herbert Some of predicate relations in all kinship systems can be described with four primitivefeatures: [parent], [offspring] and [spouse]. The components are [male], [female], of course,which indicates as M and F,respectively. Combining M and F with the four basic features givesdefinition of eight predicates: father = M parent, mother =F parent, brother= M sibling, sister = Fsibling, son=M offspring, daughter =F offspring, husband = M spouse, wife=F spouse.Truth conditional semantics: Truth conditional semantics studies lexical relations by comparing predications that can bemade about the same referring expression. Its task is to account for the meaningful relationsbetween different expressions in a language .Three such relations are given below: Entailment: A logical relationship between two sentences such that the truth of the second sentencenecessarily follows from the truth of the first. Paraphrase: Paraphrase is the relation between two propositions. Contradictions: It is the relation between two propositions such that if either is true, the other is necessarilyfalse. 7
  8. 8. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storySynonymy: Two or more words with very closely related meanings are called synonymy. They canoften, though not always, be substituted for each other in asentence. In the appropriatecircumstances like what was her answer? Or what was his reply? These both questions havemuch the same meaning. Other common examples of synonyms are the Pairs: almost/nearly,Big/large, board/wide, buy/purchase, cab/taxi, car/automobiles, couch/sofa, and freedom/liberty. On the other hand idea of „sameness‟ of meaning used in elaborating synonym is notnecessarily “total sameness‟. There are many occasions when one word is appropriate in asentence, but its synonymy would be odd. Use of synonyms also differs in terms of formal versusinformal .The sentence „Myfather purchased a large automobile‟has virtually the same meaningas „My dad bought a big car‟ , with four replacements, but the second version sounds morecasual than the first.Antonyms: Two forms with opposite meanings are called antonyms. It is defined as „Two sentencesthat differ in polarity or mutually contradictory are antonyms‟6. Some common examples are thepairs: alive/dead, big/small, fast/slow, happy/sad, married/single, rich/poor, true/false.1a- she is alive.1b-she is dead. If one is true, the other must be false. Two sentences that have the same subject and havepredicates which are antonyms are also mutually contradictory.Binary and Non binary antonyms: There are different types of antonymous relationship like on/off are binary of antonyms:an electric light or a radio or a television set is either on and off; there is no middle ground forthem. Other binary pairs are open/shut, dead/alive,and asleep/awake. The terms old and youngare non-binary antonyms and so is wide/narrow. They are opposite ends of scale that includes6 Introducing English Semantics by Charles w. Kreidler page 100 8
  9. 9. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storyvarious intermediate terms: Mr. Adnan may be neither old nor young, the road may be somethingbetween wide and narrow. Nonbinary antonyms are also called polar antonyms; like North andSouth poles, they are at opposite ends with territory between them. Analogously,binaryantonyms might be called hemispheric antonyms; as with the northern and southern hemisphere[or the eastern or western hemisphere], there is no space in between, only a line of demarcation.Some semanticists use the term „complementary antonyms‟ in place of „binary antonyms‟ and„contrary‟ instead of „non binary‟.The difference between binary and non binary antonyms can be shown this way: DEAD OLD ALIVE YOUNGConverse Antonyms: To illustrate synonyms, hyponyms and antonyms in previous paragraphs it has beenpresented pair sentences; each sentences of a pair had the same subject and different predicate;each predicate had a valency that was only a subject and no other referring expression. The nextpaired sentences contain converse predicate, which necessary have a valency of two or more. Common converse pairs include kinship and social roles (husband of , wife of ,employers, employers of ,employ of ) and directional opposite (above all below; in front of /behind; left –of /right-of ;before and after , north-of , south-of, outside /inside).if a predicateconsist of a verb and its objects and object has the role of affected . of course there is no suchpassive convers when the object of verb , or apparent object , has the role of associate.Hyponymy: It is defined as ahierarchicalsense relation who exists between two terms in which thesense of one is included in the other. Terms such as daisy, daffodils and rose all contain themeaning of flower. The more general term is called super ordinate. Much of the vocabulary is 9
  10. 10. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storylinked by such systems of inclusion: red is hyponym of color, flute of musical instrument, andhammer of tool. Hyponymy is a vertical relationship which is fundamental to the way in whichone classifies things. Most dictionaries rely on it for the provision of definitions („a chair is atype of furniture‟, „a flute is a type of musical instrument‟, and so on). The set of terms which arehyponyms of the same super ordinate term are co-hyponym.Introduction of thetext: We applied Lexical Relations on the short story The Kite by W. Somerset Maugham.This story revolves around the main character Herbert. In the common the local people fly kiteson Saturday afternoon. Herbert was too young to fly a kite, so his father does the same Herbertholds the cord and enjoys the tug of the soaring kites. This rouses the passion for kites in Samuelalso. By and by they become the family kite fliers. One day Herbert tells his parents that he has invited a girl named Betty, to tea on the nextday. On meeting her, His mother does not like the girl as she thinks that Betty is a rival for theaffection of Herbert. She makes the girl fell uncomfortable in any way. One day Herbert tellsher that he is going to marry Betty and will rent a home and live there. Herbert then movedaway. This made the relationship between Herbert and his mother no friendlier. One day Mr. Sunbury told Herbert that he along with his mother used to fly kite and thathis mother has learnt to fly it. This is the news for Herbert who arouses his passion again for thekite and next day he went to the same place where he used to fly kite. Betty begins to suspectthat there is something more than that he told her so she follows him to the common and findshim flying kite with his parents. On that day Betty and Herbert had a quarrel on this issue. At the end Betty lodges a complaint with the magistrate that his husband is not payingher. He calls Herbert and tried to settle between them but he refused to live with her at any cost.He refused and is imprisoned. He remained in prison for long time without paying her the sumstipulated and enjoys the pleasure of thinking how much she must have been suffering onaccount of the nonpayment of maintenance. 10
  11. 11. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storyApplication: We applied semantic field theory and truth conditional semantic on short story The Kite.As semantic field theory is meanings of words cluster together to form fields of meaning whichturn cluster onto even larger fields until entire language is encompassed. Semantic Field theory isan attempt to classify lexemes according to shared and differentiating features.whereasTruthconditional semantics studies lexical relations by comparing predications that can be made aboutthe same referring expression. Its task is to account for the meaning relations between differentexpressions in a language. Below are the examples of the lexical relations taken from abovementionedtext.Semantic field theory:-SET:- A set is comprised of different items which share common features, and on the bases ofthese features, they are differentiated from others. It can be thoroughly analyzed by themeticulous description of physical appearance of Betty Bevan in the kite. Writer has used diversecolors.1) “She had the same sharp features and the same rather small beady eyes but her lips werescarlet with paint, her cheeks lightly rouged and her short black hair permanently waved. Mrs.Sunbury took in all this at a glance, and she reckoned to a penny how much her smart rayondress had cost her, her extravagantly high heeled shoes and the saucy hat on her head. Her frockwas very short and she shoed a good deal of flesh coloured stocking.” From the given statement a set of different colours can be made, which contains scarlet,rouged, black and flesh coloured. The analysis of this statement demonstrates that scarlet, flesh-coloured and rouged confines within the set of red colour.The definition of set will be further elaborated by the following example.“He was neat in his dress; he went to work in quiet grey trousers, a black coat and a bowler hat.”The scrutiny of the statement illustrates that trouser, coat and bowler hat comes under thecategory of set. 11
  12. 12. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storyKinship:- W. Somerset Maugham‟s „The kite‟, comprises four major characters Mr. SamuelSunbury, Miss. Beatrice, Herbert and Betty Bevan. Kinship system can be explained throughfour primitive features, parent, offspring, sibling and spouse. Mr. Samuel Sunbury and MissBeatrice are husband and wife, Herbert is their son and Betty Bevan is their daughter in law.Samuel is M parent, Beatrice is F parent, Herbert is M offspring and Betty is M offspring spouse.Herbert has consanguineal relation with Mr. and Mrs. Sunbury. The relation of Miss Beatriceand Mr. Samuel; Herbert and Betty is called affinities.Componential analysis:- The classification of the set on the basis of distinctive features is called componentialanalysis, and how various members of the same group are different from each other.Componential analysis can be illustrated by the underlined words in the two statementsmentioned below.“on principle the Sunbury‟s were total abstainers, but on Sundays, when to make up for thefrugal lunch consisting of scone and butter with a glass of milk, which Samuel had during theweek, Beatrice gave him a good dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, for his health‟s sakeshe liked him to have a glass of beer”.“She poured out tea and asked Herbert to give a cup to his lady friend. „Ask Miss Bevan if she‟llhave some bread and butter or scone, Samuel, my dear.‟Scone bread butter pudding roast beef milk beer tea The words mentioned above have a common feature that is food. If these food items arefurther classified on the basis of their distinctive features then scone, butter, roast beef, puddingare cooked food items while milk, beer and tea come within the category of drinks. Scone andbread differ from the butter and pudding in being, [baked in an oven]. Let say that scone differsfrom the bread in the feature [cut into diamonds or sticks shape]. As for the differentiatingfeatures of the beer and milk, it can be analyzed that beer is a liquor containing alcohol as theactive agent which differs from the milk because milk is a nutritious liquid secreted bymammals. Both are liquids but the differ from each other on the basis of there advantages, beer isharmful for human health and milk is good for human beings. 12
  13. 13. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storyTruth conditional semantic:Application of truth conditional semantics are given belowwith reference to the examples from text.Hyponymy: “on principle the Sunbury‟s were total abstainers, but on Sundays, when to make up forthe frugal lunch consisting of scone and butter with a glass of milk, which Samuel had duringthe week, Beatrice gave him a good dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding , for his health‟ssake she liked him to have a glass of beer”. From the statement given above it can be extracted that, food consisting of butter, milkand roast beef were served to Samuel Sunbury on Sunday.We transform the statement in this way:a) Butter, milk and roast beef was served to Samuel in lunch.b) Food was served to Samuel on Sunday. If we say that statement a) is true, then statement b) must be true, if we say that a) is nottrue then we cannot challenge the truth of b). We can infer that terms milk, butter and beef arehyponyms of food. We can also say that beef is a food item and it is a hyponym of food and anylexeme (milk, scone, butter) can be substituted for a for a hyponym is also a hyponym, and milk,butter and scone are co-hyponyms of beef.“He was neat in his dress; he went to work in quiet grey trousers, a black coat and a bowler hat”. From the example given above it can be deduced that trousers, coat and hat confineswithin the dress or clothing. If coat is dress then trouser and hat are two hyponyms of dress andthey are the co-hyponym of coat.“She gave him back three half-crowns for his lunch and ten shillings for pocket money”. The currency half-crowns and shillings falls within the category/ class of pounds, they arethe hyponyms of pound, they are the co-hyponyms of each other and pound is their superordinate. Pound is hyponym of currency and is co-hyponym of rupee, yen, dollar and euro.This can be illustrated that hyponymy is hierarchical; one term may be a super ordinate to 13
  14. 14. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storyvarious hyponyms and at the same time it may be a hyponym of some higher super ordinate.Synonymy:1a) He just stood there for a while looking on and then strolled away.2b) He‟d told Betty he was just going for a walk to stretch his legs. Supposing that he refers to the same person in two sentences, and then if a) is true then b)is also true, if a) is false then b) should be false. When two lexemes are use to predicate with thesame referring expression, the predicates have the same truth value. Lexemes smashed andruined are synonyms and both sentences are paraphrase of each other.2) The kite, the new, expensive kite, was in fragments. It had been savagely attacked with thehatchet, the woodwork was all in pieces, and the reel was hacked to bits.3) She was a little woman, but strong, active and wiry, with a sallow skin; sharp, regular featuresand small beady eyes.4a) „it was not without satisfaction that Mrs. Sunbury perceived that Betty was offended. 4b)„She said she‟d never been so insulted in her life. I had a rare job pacifying her‟.5) „There was a fresh breeze blowing and a number of kites small and large were sailing throughthe air‟. In these sentences given above strolled and walk, fragments and pieces, offended andinsulted, breeze and air are synonyms of each other. The underline words have the same sense inthe given context, they are the instances of synonymy and they are synonymous to each other.Synonyms share the same meaning but they never have the same range of syntactic occurrences.It can be noticed from the sentences given above that W. Somerset Maugham has expeditiouslyused synonyms in his literary piece, „The kite‟.6a) „he (Herbert) had a good head for figures‟.6b) he was good in mathematics. The head for figures, the complex term is a paraphrase of the simple term mathematics,but not synonymous to each other, because synonyms are typically single lexemes of the sameweight.Antonym: W. Somerset Maugham has explicitly used antonyms in his short story „The kite‟, which 14
  15. 15. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storycan be analyzed from the sentences cited below.1a) „Perhaps the acquaintance is a bit short for that,‟ said Mrs. Sunbury with a gracious smile‟.1b) „I hope so.‟ said Mrs. Sunbury with an acid smile, „I Wouldn‟t dream of letting you eat apiece of cake that‟s been on the floor‟.In the above sentences gracious smile and acid smile are mutually contradictory words. Thesehave the same subject and have predicates which are antonymous and contradictory. Both of thesentences were uttered by Mrs. Sunbury, but the act of smiling is opposite in each sentence.2) „He was a stubborn boy and he wasn‟t going to be beaten. Something was wrong and it was upto him to put it right‟.3) „She hesitated. Mr. Sunbury fidgeted, he didn‟t know whether to stay or go‟.4) „Mrs. Sunbury was anxious because she had never let him play with the children in the street.Evil communication corrupts good manners‟.5) They weren‟t flying the big kite which he was used to, but a new one, a box kite, a small oneon the model for which he had made the designs for himself. In the sentences mentioned above, gracious and acid; wrong and right; stay and go; eviland good; big and small are antonyms of each other. They differ in polarity and are mutuallycontradictory. They are antonymous and are instances of antonyms.Binary antonyms:1a) „I‟m not going to let you, so that‟s that she shut the door and stood in front of it‟1b) „She said, I‟ll see her. She opened the door. Betty was standing on threshold‟.Open and shut are binary antonyms because the door is either open or shut and there is no middleground.2) It was an accident like she was sitting next me and she dropped her bag and I picked it up.In the above quoted sentence dropped and picked are binary antonyms.Non binary antonyms:1) They were contemptuous of smaller kites than theirs and envious of bigger ones.Small and big are non binary antonyms and they are having various intermediate terms. Nonbinary antonyms are easily modified, like very big, quiet big, rather big, extremely small, very 15
  16. 16. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storysmall, etc.2) “Just the right height, said his mother „Not too tall and not too short.”In the above statement tall and short are binary antonyms.Conclusion:All the lexical relations has been successfully applied on short story „The Kite‟ by W. SomersetMaugham „that are semantic field theory and truth conditional semantics. Features that were notapplicable are paradigms and converse antonyms. By applying most of the features on the text itis proved that lexical relations are not just a theory but are actually applicable. 16
  17. 17. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short storyREFERENCES: LINGUISTIC TERMS AND CONCEPTS BY Geoffrey Finch http://staff.uny.ac.id/sites/default/files/compential%20analysis%20of%20meaning.pdf Susana Widyastuti (Yogyakarta State University) The Study of Language - Page 118 http://hardy.christine.free.fr/index.htm .... CHRISTINE HARDY) 17
  18. 18. Application of Lexical Relation on ‘THE KITE’ short story 18

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