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ch_10stu - Chapter 10 Semantics Click to edit Master...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style Chapter 10 Semantics
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Semantics n Semantics: the study of meaning. n What kind of meaning? n Linguistic semantics deals with the   conventional  meaning conveyed by the 
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Conceptual vs. associative  meaning  n Conceptual meaning: covers the basic,  essential components of meaning  conveyed by the literal use of the word. n Associations: words that come to mind  when we hear a word but which are  not part of the definition or meaning of  the word.
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Conceptual vs. associative  meaning  n One aspect of semantics is the conceptual meaning  of words. n Example:  needle n We can contrast the conceptual meaning of a word  with its associations or its associative meanings. n Conceptual meaning: thin, sharp, steel instrument
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Approaches to word  meanings n Yule says that part of the job of  semantics is to account for the fact  that some syntactically correct  sentences can be meaningless or  strange. The hamburger ate the man. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
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Semantic features What’s wrong with “the hamburger ate  the man?”
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…The hamburger ate the  man…. n S  NP VP, NP  Art N, VP  V NP, NP   Art N n The verb “eat” requires an animate subject  and hamburgers are not animate.  So that  sentence is unacceptable (except for maybe  a cartoon).  Syntactically correct, but  semantically odd.
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Semantic features n Selectional restriction:  the verb  selects only certain kinds of subjects. n Semantic feature analysis: the way of  describing the meanings of words in  terms of categories that they do and 
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Semantic feature n Animacy is an important semantic  feature of nouns. n Hamburger = - animate n Man =    + animate
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Semantic features Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. n “idea” = - concrete n “leaf” = + concrete. In conventional usage, “green” cannot modify an abstract noun like  “ideas”, it can only modify concrete nouns like “grass” – a selectional  restriction of color adjectives. We could say that the strangeness of the sentence is an important  semantic feature of nouns, affecting which kinds of adjectives can  modify them
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Semantic features Man, woman, girl, boy n Man +animate  +human  +male  +adult  n Girl +animate  +human  -male  -adult   n Using 4 binary features (+/-), we can 
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Semantic features n It becomes harder to think of a discrete  set of binary features (+/-) to  differentiate their meanings, so  semantic feature analysis is not a  comprehensive theory.
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ch_10stu - Chapter 10 Semantics Click to edit Master...

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