Semantics

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semantic features, semantic roles, semantic analysis diagram chart

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Semantics

  1. 1. SEMANTIC ROLES & SEMANTIC FEATURES
  2. 2. SEMANTIC ROLESLinguistic semantics deals with the meaning conveyed by words, phrases and sentences that are used in a language.These words, phrases and sentences tell us about an event that occurs in the real world.e.g. Ali cut the cake tells us about something that happened in reality. A real boy Ali, did an action [cut] to a real thing [cake]
  3. 3. SEMANTIC ROLESThus the sentence describes a situation.And the words used in the sentence fulfill some ‘roles’ , in the given situation.The verb of the sentence describes the action that took place. i.e. cutting of the cake.The boy cut the cake.The noun phrases describe what roles were played by the entities involved in the action. ‘boy’ had the role of the cutter ‘cake’ had the role of the one who was cut
  4. 4. SEMANTIC ROLESThese roles are called SEMANTIC ROLESSemantic roles describe the relation of the constituents of an utterance to their meaning.Why do we need to considerSemantic Roles?
  5. 5. SEMANTIC ROLESThe girl opened the doorSubject ObjectThe key opened the doorSubject ObjectSyntactically, the key and the man are equivalent – both are subjects.Both open the door…………
  6. 6. SEMANTIC ROLESBut obviously, they do different things. One instigates the action [girl], the other is used to perform the action [key].This is understood by assigning them different semantic roles.Semantic Roles tell us Who does/did whatOr more specifically Who did what to whomThese Semantic roles are also called Thematic Roles
  7. 7. SEMANTIC ROLESIn the previous example, the semantic roles are:The girl opened the doorSubject ObjectAGENT PATIENTThe key opened the doorSubject ObjectINSTRUMENT PATIENT
  8. 8. SEMANTIC ROLESWe can seeAGENT: the one ‘that performs the action, possibly intentionally’ [the girl]PATIENT: that which is affected by the action, something happens to it [door]IINSTRUMENT: that which is used by the agent to perform the action, physical cause of action [key]
  9. 9. SEMANTIC ROLESPatient is the entity which is affected by an action. It is also called THEME.But theme is used in another sense. It is also the entity that is being described in some way Described--- It is not performing an action The sailboat is white. The woman is beautiful.
  10. 10. SEMANTIC ROLESSo we have: Agent who? Patient, Theme to whom?; described Instrument with what?
  11. 11. SEMANTIC ROLESAgents are mostly human, but can be non human. e.g. The cat chased the mouse. [animal] The truck hit the cart. [machine] The hurricane destroyed the town. [natural force]Themes are typically non human, but can be human. e.g. The dog bit the boy The woman slapped her daughter
  12. 12. SEMANTIC ROLESWe know that the agent is the one who performs the action, mostly intentionallyBut what if the action is not intentional?What if he endures or experiences something?e.g. Asif felt sad. Sana heard a gunshot.The actions felt and heard are experienced by Asif and Sana. So Asif and Sana are here, in the role of the EXPERIENCER
  13. 13. SEMANTIC ROLESHence, the Experiencer is the living entity that experiences the action mentioned in the predicateAnother example, Did you enjoy the ride?Here the experiencer is the noun phrase ‘you’.
  14. 14. Benefactive (or Recipient): The living entity that benefits from the action[s] of an agent Sadia gave Khalid the tickets Huda brought her mother some water I gave him a lift
  15. 15. SEMANTIC ROLESWe know the roles of Agent Patient/theme Instrument Experiencer RecipientThere are some other roles that provide further details of a situation. e.g. She was hiding under the bed The book is on the table Zainab is at her parents houseThe underlined words that describe where an entity is located or is present, are the LOCATIVES
  16. 16. SEMANTIC ROLESLOCATIVES: the specific place or location where an action or event happens/ is situated e.g. The mosquito bit on his armIf an entity changes its location, moves from one place to another or is moved from one place to anotherThe first location is the SourceAnd the final location is the Goal
  17. 17. SEMANTIC ROLESSource: from where the entity movesGoal: the destination where the entity arrivese.g. Ali went from Peshawar to Islamabad I carried the dish from the kitchen to the terrace She took the pickles from the shelve He gave the book back to Khawar
  18. 18. SEMANTIC ROLES Agent Patient/theme Instrument Experiencer Locative Source GoalSimilarly, Time roles specify when an event or action takes placee.g.On Monday I have a doctors appointmentHe is always lateI will go there in the morning
  19. 19. SEMANTIC ROLESAgent Who did itExperiencer Who experiencedTheme/patient To whomInstrument With whatRecipient who benefitedLocative WhereSource From whereGoal to whereTemporal [time] when
  20. 20. Exercise:Salim went to Saudia by planeZara cut the thread with a pair of scissorsZubair repaired his car in the garageThe ball flew outside the groundMina carried the flowers into the drawing roomHe saw a thief outside his windowAmjad showed me the picturesThe car smashed through the wall into the restaurantSara brought her grandma a shawlShe finished her breakfast on the bus
  21. 21. SEMANTIC FEATURE ANALYSIS
  22. 22. Whats wrong with these sentences? The door kicked the man The ship died Are they wrong grammatically? Is the syntax incorrect? Then what?
  23. 23. The problem is with the meanings of the words used. They are wrong SEMANTICALLY. The door kicked the man The ship diedDoor and ship lack the crucial features or attributes that are required to kick and die.They cannot be the subject of these verbs
  24. 24. Only living entities can perform the actions of Kicking or DyingSo the entity/ noun able to perform these actions, should have an attribute [+] Of being alive/ animate Or in other words [+animate]
  25. 25. We may specify a list of attributes that are necessary for performing an action. e.g. Ali picked up his daughter and swung her.Ali should have the attributes of:Being a human [+human]Being a male [+male]Being an adult [+adult]
  26. 26. And the daughter should be: [+human] [+female] a bundle of attributes [+child]She cannot be:A male [-male]An animal [-animal]An adult [-adult]This bundle of attributes is called the SEMANTIC FEATURES of the word
  27. 27. SEMANTIC FEATURES ANALYSIS Semantic feature analysis allows us to decompose words into bundles of attributes. This is based on how an event or action is expressed linguistically. The conceptual meaning of the word is considered as part of its semantic features; not some personalized meaning.
  28. 28. Features that can be considered may be as general as +animate / -animate +human / -human +male / -maleOr if the words are fairly similar, they may be made as specific as required.KING and Duke may share the features of being: +male, +human, +adult, +royalBut they are dissimilar in King [+ruler] & Duke [-ruler]
  29. 29. Semantic features can be used to describe differences between antonyms, super-ordinates and their hyponyms, and near synonyms."HAPPY" "SAD“ antonyms+EMOTION +EMOTION+POSITIVE -POSITIVE"HAPPY" "THRILLED“hyponyms+EMOTION +EMOTION+POSITIVE +POSITIVE +EXCITEMENT
  30. 30.  Uses of semantic feature analysis? Shows in what ways words are similar or different Draws attention to the unique attributes of a word Clarifies student concepts [increases comprehension] May easily be integrated within a lesson, at any stage [Pre reading, While reading, Post reading]
  31. 31. Activates the student schemata about what they understand about a wordInitiates discussion about what are the crucial attributes or information about a wordEnhances vocabulary skillsErases confusions about certain words
  32. 32. SEMANTIC FEATURE ANALYSIS GRIDSemantic features analysis is performed using a grid. E.g. the grid for analysis of King and Prince is: Human Male Adult Royal Ruler King + + + + + Duke + + + + -
  33. 33.  How to make a semantic feature analysis chartSelect a category or topic for the semantic feature analysis. e.g. animals, food types etc.Provide students with key vocabulary words and important features related to the topic.E.g. for animals: Vocabulary: cat, dog, rabbit……………… Features: four legged, two legged, tree climbing…..
  34. 34. List vocabulary words down the left column. And the features on the top row. Place a "+" sign in the grid when a vocabulary word has the feature mentioned in the top row. If that feature is absent, put a "–" in the grid.
  35. 35. Analysis of Ali, dog, parrot, car animate human Found in animal machine pet the homeAli + + + - - -dog + - + + - +parrot + - + - - +car - - + - + -
  36. 36. SEMANTIC FEATURE ANALYSIS OF Slippers vs Joggers vs High heels Clothing Footwear For going comfortable Running Formal out WearSlippersJoggersHighHeels
  37. 37. Analysis of car, motorcycle, bus, bicycle, cart

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