JB-2050_Ch9

JB-2050_Ch9 - Chapter 9 Chapter 9 Semantics The epic...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 9 Chapter 9 Semantics The epic semantic question: The epic semantic question: “So really, what do you mean?” Semantics Semantics Semantics: the study of meaning. What kind of meaning? Linguistic semantics deals with the conventional meaning conveyed by the use of words, phrases and sentences. Conceptual vs. associative Conceptual vs. associative meaning meaning Conceptual meaning: covers the basic, essential components of meaning conveyed by the literal use of the word. Associations: words that come to mind when we hear a word but which are not part of the definition or meaning of the word. Conceptual vs. associative Conceptual vs. associative meaning meaning Example: needle We can contrast the conceptual meaning of a word with its associations or its associative meanings. Conceptual meaning: thin, sharp, steel instrument Associations: painful, doctor, shot Approaches to word Approaches to word meanings meanings 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. or – Pretty dogs always wear makeup The issue of what semantics tells us about language is hard to pin down because most of the time we’re not conscious of how we know what a word means, we just know. Semantic features Semantic features What’s wrong with, “the hamburger ate the man?” … … The hamburger ate the The hamburger ate the man…. man…. S NP VP, NP Art N, VP V NP, NP Art 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. When a verb “eat” requires a certain type of subject, the subject must be able to eat. Linguists call that a sectional restriction. Semantic features Semantic features-- one way to make sure sentences do not sound “odd” is to look at the features of the word.-Semantic features method used to analyze word meaning Semantic Features Semantic Features Semantic feature Semantic feature Animacy is an important semantic feature of nouns. Hamburger =- animate Man = + animate Semantic features Semantic features Man, woman, girl, boy Man +animate +human +male +adult Girl +animate +human -male -adult Using 4 binary features (+/-), we can summarize the meanings of all four words and we can also differentiate them from each other based on their values for “male” and “adult”. Semantic features...
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JB-2050_Ch9 - Chapter 9 Chapter 9 Semantics The epic...

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