SEMANTICS is the study of MEANING in
Victory, majesty, beauty, etc.
A nice knockdown argument
Humpty Dumpty: … that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four
days when you might get un-birthday presents.
Alice : certainly.
Humpty Dumpty: and only one for birthday presents, you know. There’s
glory for you!
Alice : I don’t know what you mean by glory
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously
Humpty Dumpty: Of course you don’t till I tell you. I meant there’s a nice
knockdown argument for you.
Alice : but glory doesn’t mean a nice knockdown arguent. m
Humpty Dumpty : when I use a word, it means just what I choose it
to mean neither more nor less.
Alice : the question is ….. whether you can make words mean so
many different things.
Humpty Dumpty: the question is ….. which is to be master that’s all.
Although a word has one or more particular
meaning, such as the meaning of glory is
victory, majesty, beauty, etc. It would be
different if the speakers use their own
meaning, like glory is a knockdown argument
according to Humpty Dumpty in that
conversation. All of it is up to the speakers to
mean the meaning of a word.
SPEAKER MEANING is what a speaker
means (i.e. intends to convey) when he uses
a piece of language.
SENTENCE MEANING (or WORD
MEANING) is what a sentence (or word)
means, i.e. what it counts as the equivalent
of in the language concerned.
A THEORY is precisely specified, coherent
and economical framework of interdependent
statements and definitions, constructed so
that as large a number as possible of
particular basic facts can either be seen to
follow from it or be describable in terms of it.
Expensive means opposite of cheap.
Camile is and is not a meaningful English
AN UTTERANCE is any stretch of talk, by
one person, before and after which there is
silence on the part of that person.
An utterance is the USE by a particular
speaker, on a particular occasion, of a piece
of language, such as a sequence of
sentences, or a single phrase, or even a
“Xpigtlmeq” It is not part of any
A SENTENCE is neither a physical event
nor a physical object. It is conceived
abstractly, a string of words put together by
the grammatical rules of a language. A
sentence can be thought of as the IDEAL
string of words behind various realization in
utterances and inscriptions.
A book contains no utterances (since books
don’t talk) or sentences (since sentences are
Double quotation marks represents an
Anything italicized represents a sentence or
(similarly abstract) part of sentence, such as
a phrase or a word.
“Stop” represents an utterance.
Claudia hit the ball by her stick represents a
“Claudia hit the ball by her stick” represents
Kevin represents a word conceived as part of
A PROPOSITION is that part of the meaning
of the utterance of a declarative sentence
which describes some state of affairs.
The state of affairs typically involves persons
or things referred to by expression in the
The notion of the truth can be used to decide
whether two sentences express different
Jasmine spent her weekend with Russell
Jasmine did not spend her weekend with
Claudia hurt Peter
Claudia caused Peter broken heart
In talking of sense, we deal with relationships
inside the language; in talking of reference
we deal with the relationships between
language and the world.
REFERENCE indicates which things in the
world (including person) are being talked
“My mother is in the kitchen”
In everyday, conversation almost all of the
fixing of reference comes from the context in
which expression are use. There are two
different expression can have the same
The classic example is the Morning Star and
the Evening Star, both of which normally
refer to the planet Venus.
THE SENSE of an expression is its place in
a system of semantic relationships with other
expressions in the language. The first of
these semantic relationships that we will
mention is sameness of meaning, an intuitive
concept which we will illustrate by example.
We will deal first with the senses of words in
Tomorrow is day
A REFERRING EXPRESSION is any
expression used in an utterance to refer to
something or someone (or a clearly delimited
collection of things or people), i.e. used with
a particular referent in mind.
The name Intan in an utterance such as “Intan
joins group 5 with me”, where the speaker has a
particular person in mind when he says
“Intan”, is a referring expression.
Intan in “There’s no Intan at this address” is not
a referring expression, because in this case a
speaker would not have a particular person in
mind in uttering the word.
AN OPAQUE CONTEXT is a part of a
sentence which could be made into a
complete sentence by the addition of
referring expression, but where the addition
of different referring expressions, even
though they refer to the same thing or
person, in a given situation, will yield
sentences with DIFFERENT meanings when
uttered in a given situation.
The incomplete sentence David argued that
… is a genius constitutes an opaque context,
because, even in a conversation about
Indonesia politics, the following two
utterances would make different claim:
A: “David argued that the Third President is a
B: “David argued that the father of
technology is a genius”
If, for example, David believes erroneously
that the Third President is not the father of
technology, then A and B will mean different
AN EQUATIVE SENTENCE is one which is
used to assert the identity of the referents of
two referring expression, i.e. to assert that
two referring expressions have the same
Soekarno is the First President in Indonesia
The girl over there is my girlfriend
Equative sentence is always positive
Equative sentence is normally used as
THE PREDICATOR of a simple declarative
sentence is the word (sometimes a group of
words) which does not belong to any of the
referring expressions and which of the
reminder, makes the most specific
contribution to the meaning of the sentence.
Sleep is the predicator in Rifky is sleeping in
Drive is the predicator in my brother drives
his new car
Look for is the predicator in I am looking for
my bike lock
The predicators in sentences can be of various
part of speech: adjective (red, asleep, hungry),
verbs (write, drive, cook), proposition (in,
between, behind) and nouns (crook, genius).
Words of other parts of speech, such as
conjunction (and, but, or), articles (the, a) can
not serve as predicators in sentences.
Verb be in it various forms (is, am, are, was,
were) is not the predicators.
A PREDICATE is any word (or sequence of
words) which (in a given single sense) can
function as the predicator of a sentence.
Hungry, sleep, eat, hurt, spoon, try, are all
And or, but, not, are not predicates.
THE DEGREE of a predicate is a number
indicating the number of arguments it is
normally understood to have in simple
The degree of predicate:
1. One-place predicate
2. Two-place predicate
3. Three-place predicate
These are predicates that have one
Peter is handsome
Salsa’s father is a teacher
He is cute enough
These are predicates that have two
Kim repaired a broken bicycle
The chef cooks delicious foods
Timmy speaks English fluently
These are predicates that have three
Salatiga is between Semarang and Solo
My father bought me a new dress
Kate brought him nick’s book
PREDICATES, REFERRING EXPRESSIONS AND
A GENERIC SENTENCE is a sentence in
which some statement is made about a
whole unrestricted class of individuals, as
opposed to particular individual.
Ladies like flowers
Tigress bear its baby
UNIVERSE OF DISCOURSE for any utterance as the
particular world real or imaginary (or part real, part
imaginary) that the speaker assumes he is talking
about at the time.
The sun rises on the east (the universe discourse is
the real world)
The fairy godmother transforms the Cinderella’s old
clothes into the beautiful dress (the universe
discourse is not the real world but a fictitious world).
All languages do contain small sets of words
whose meaning vary systematically
according to who uses them, and where and
when they are used. These words are called
deictic words: the general phenomenon of
their occurrence is called deixis. The word
deixis is from a Greek word meaning
A DEICTIC word is one which takes some
element of its meaning from the situation (i.e.
the speaker, the addressee, the time and the
place) of the utterance in which it is used.
The person singular pronoun I is deictic.
When Mika says “I’ve lost my key”, the word I
here refers to Mika. When Daniel says “I’ll sand
you our schedule”, the I here refers to Daniel.
DEFINITENESS is a feature of a noun
phrase selected by a speaker to convey his
assumption that the hearer will be able to
identify the referent of the noun phrase,
usually because it is the only thing of its kind
in the context of the utterance or because it
is unique in the universe of discourse.
That dress is definite. It can only appropriately be
used when the speaker assumes the hearer can tell
which dress is being referred to.
The personal pronoun he is definite. It can only
appropriately be used when the speaker assumes the
hearer can tell which person is being referred to.
The planet is definite. It is only thing in a normal
universe of discourse known by this name.
WORDS AND THINGS: EXTENSIONS AND
THE EXTENSION of a one-place predicate is
the set of all individuals to which that
predicate can truthfully be applied. It is the
set of things which can POTENTIALLY be
referred to by using an expression whose
main element is that predicate.
The extension of door is the set of all doors
in the universe.
The extension of elephant is the set of all
elephants in the universe.
The extension of blue is the set of all blue
A PROTOTYPE of a predicate is an object
which is held to be very TYPICAL of the kind of
object which can be referred to by an
expression containing the predicate.
A girl of medium height between 15 and 20
years old, with black hair, with no particularly
distinctive characteristics or defects could be a
prototype of the predicate girl areas the world.
THE REFERRENT of a referring expression is the
thing picked out by the use of that expression on a
particular occasion of utterance.
THE EXTENSION of a predicate is the complete set
of all things which could potentially (i.e. in any
possible utterance) be the referent of a referring
expression whose head constituent is that predicate.
A PROTOTYPE of a predicate is a typical member of
THE SENSE of an expression is its
indispensable hard core of meaning.
The sense of expression can be thought of as
the sum of its sense properties and sense
relations with other expressions.
Three important sense properties of sentences:
AN ANALYTIC sentence is one that is
necessarily TRUE, as a result of the senses
of the words in it. An Analytic sentence,
therefore, reflects a tacit agreement by
speakers of the language about the senses
of the words in it.
The Earth revolves around the Sun.
A SYNTHETIC sentence is one which is NOT
analytic, but may be either true or false,
depending on the way the world is.
Erick steals Emma’s wallet
There is nothing in the senses of Erick or steal
or Emma’s wallet which makes this necessarily
true or false.
A CONTRADICTION is a sentence that is
necessarily FALSE, as a result of the senses
of the words in it. Thus a contradiction is in a
way the opposite of an analytic sentence.
The Forth President of Indonesia is
Megawati Soekarno Putri.
A NECESSARY CONDITION on the sense of a
predicate is a condition (or criterion) which a
thing MUST meet in order to qualify as being
correctly described by that predicate.
A SUFFICIENT SET OF CONDITIONS on the
sense of a predicate is a set of conditions (or
criteria) which, if they are met by a thing, are
enough in themselves to GUARANTEE that the
predicate correctly describes that thing.
Take predicate rectangle, as usually
understood in geometry. ‘Four angles’ is
necessary condition for this predicate, since for
anything to be rectangle, it must be four angles.
‘Field figure, four-sided, four angles and
containing right angles’ is a sufficient set of
conditions for the predicate rectangle, since if
anything meets all of these conditions, it is
guaranteed to be a rectangle.
THE STEREOTYPE of a predicate is a list of
the TYPICAL characteristics of things to
which the predicate may be applied.
The stereotype of dog: They have Four
claws on their hind feet and 5 on the front, a
keen sense of smell, excellent hearing due to
ear flaps called "leathers", etc.
SYNONYMY is the relationship between two
predicates that have the same sense.
Good and nice are synonyms
Difficult and hard are synonyms
PARAPHRASE is to SENTENCES (on individual
interpretations) as SYNONYMY is to
PREDICATES (though some semanticists talk
loosely of synonymy in the case of sentences as
Single women prefer independent men is a
paraphrase of Independent men preferred by
HYPONYMY is a sense relation between
predicates (or sometimes longer phrases) such
that the meaning of one predicate (or phrase) is
included in the meaning of the other.
The meaning of blue is included in the
meaning of sapphire.
Blue is the subordinate term; sapphire is a
hyponym of blue (sapphire is a kind of blue).