Flashcards in Semantics Deck (30)
the study of meaning in language (of morphemes, words, phrases, and sentences)
The Principle of Compositionality
The semantic meaning of any unit of language is determined by the semantic
meanings of its parts along with the way they are put together.
study the variety of grammatical patterns which occur in individual languages and across the languages of the world.
what the speaker is referring to by using some linguistic expression. because it varies
according to the speaker and context, is outside the domain of semantics; instead it is part of pragmatics.
concerned with meaning variation with context
is the systematic denotation of some linguistic expression as part of a language.
For example, the linguistic expression Queen Elizabeth in the sentence Here comes Queen Elizabeth refers in fact to the public figure Queen Elizabeth
The entity identified by the use of a referring expression such as a noun or noun phrase is the referent of
that expression. If, for example, you point to a particular robin and say That bird looks sick, then the referent for the
referring expression That bird is the particular robin you are pointing at
the set of all potential referents for a referring expression. For example, the extension
of bird is the set of all entities (past, present, and future) that could systematically be referred to by the expression bird.
In other words, the extension of bird is the set of all birds.
A typical member of the extension of a referring expression is a prototype of that expression. For example,
a robin or a bluebird might be a prototype of bird; a pelican or an ostrich, since each is somewhat atypical, would not
A list of characteristics describing a prototype is said to be a stereotype. For example, the stereotype of
bird might be something like the following: has two legs and two wings, has feathers, is about six to eight inches from
head to tail, makes a chirping noise, lays eggs, builds nests, and so on.
Two linguistic expressions that refer to the same real-world entity are said to be coreferential. Consider,
for example, the sentence Jay Leno is the host of the Tonight Show. The expression Jay Leno and The host of the
Tonight Show are coreferential because they both refer to the same entity, namely the person Jay Leno.
A linguistic expression that refers to another linguistic expression is said to be anaphoric or an anaphor.
(pronounced DIKE-sis). A deictic expression has one meaning but can refer to different entities depending on
the speaker and his or her spatial and temporal orientation. Obvious examples are expressions such as you and I, here
and there, and right and left.
the meanings of words, and the relations among words‟ meanings
The logical meaning, which indicates the essential qualities of a concept which distinguish it
from other concepts.
The additional or associated meaning, which is attached to the denotative, conceptual
meaning. It consists of associations made with a concept whenever that concept is referred to
It is the meaning that a word possesses by virtue of its use in particular social situations and
It lies in the manner in which a message is organized for emphasis.
The entity that performs the action.
The entity that is involved in or affected by the action
if an agent uses another entity in performing an action, that other entity takes the role of instrument
The noun or noun phrase that refers to the person or animal who benefits, or is meant to benefit, from
Two or more forms with very closely related meanings, which are often, but not always,
intersubstitutable in sentences. For example, Broad = Wide.
When the meaning of one form is included in the meaning of another, the relationship is called
hyponymy. In this category, we are looking at the meaning of words in some type of hierarchical relationship e.g.
When two or more differently written forms have the same pronunciation but different meaning; e.g.
When two or more forms are the same only in writing but different in pronunciation and meaning they
are described as homographs such as lead ([lid]) and lead ([led]).
It is when one form (written or spoken) has two or more unrelated meanings, but have the same
pronunciation and spelling; e.g. bank (of a river) and bank (financial institution).
It can be defined as one form (written or spoken) having multiple meanings which are all related by
extension. e.g. head refers to top of your body, top of a glass of beer, top of a company.
This relationship is essentially based on a close connection in everyday experience. It may be
container-content relation (can-juice); a whole-part relation (car-wheels); or a representative-symbol relation