Chapter+6+-+Semantics

Chapter+6+-+Semantics - 6 SeITlantics I _. KING FEATURES...

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I <.II: I I / ,/ _ .... 6 SeITlantics © KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
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232 6.4 Compositional Semantics: The Meanings of Sentences Presents a theory ofsentence meaning. Semantics /Tamewoirk within which to understandsemantic im'estigatio:n. I n semantics, the focus of study is on meaning: the meaning of individual words as as meanings of phrases and sentences. Semantics endeavors to answer such questions the following: What are the components of word meanings? How do word meanings late to one another? How do the meanings of discrete words combine to create more co plex meanings (in phrases and sentences)? Why does one string of words mean one thi while a similar string of words may mean something How can a single str'i words mean more than one thing? When can two mean the Moreover, semantics asks, "What is meaning, anvwav;W 6.0 6.6 Practice Provides exercises, discussion questions, activities, and further readings related to semantics. 6.5 Compositional Semantics: Putting Words Together and Meaning Relationships Describes the sorts ofgrammatical rules a language can employ for combining word meanings to generate phrase and sentence meanings, and explores possible relationships in meaning between sentences. 6.3 Lexical Semantics: Word Relations Discusses the kinds ofmeaning relationships that exist between words. 6.2 Lexical Semantics: The Meanings of Words Examines and evaluates several different ways ofdefining words. 6.1 Contents What Is Semantics?
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6.1 233 lotten this notion of a word's meaning is instead referred to bythe term intension, in order to reserve sense for a somewhat different meaning; for the purposes of this text, however, we will adopt the word sense. 6.1.1 Two Aspects of Linguistic Meaning Semantics is the subfield of linguistics that studies meaning in language. Semantics deals with the meanings of words as well as the meanings of phrases and sentences; this chapter will address each of these types ofmeaning. Before we address either, though, it is impor- tant to Consider what we mean by meaning. Meaning is a multifaceted phenomenon. First, language communicates information about the world around us: we can refer to people, places, concrete objects, and abstract ideas (e.g., Queen Elizabeth, Alaska, bicycles, and love). We can also assertthat these things have certain properties or stand in certain re- lationships to one another (such as the properties 'is purple' and 'is singing' orthe relations 'is abrother of,' 'is located at,' and 'strongly dislikes'). By using sentencesofalanguage, one person can expand another person's knowledge of the world-from simple facts, like who is sitting in the next chair, to complex facts about astrophysics. AlangUage is thus a system of symbols that are used to represent objects and states of affairs inthe world. One aspect of linguistic meaning, then, is the information content of language: what language tells us about the real world. In other words, one aspect ofmeaning is the relationship between the symbols that we use to refer to things and the actual things or states of affairs that we use these symbols to describe. We will term the relationship that holds between language and
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Chapter+6+-+Semantics - 6 SeITlantics I _. KING FEATURES...

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