Presentation on theme: "Unit 10 Connotative Meaning. Associative Meaning: In the United Nations, the non-English- speaking countries often refer to the Security council as “the."— Presentation transcript:
Unit 10 Connotative Meaning
Associative Meaning: In the United Nations, the non-English- speaking countries often refer to the Security council as “the highest organ” ， but “the highest organ” often has the sexual associations in the mind of the native speakers:“man’s genital organ”. Some Vips sometimes call “the Security Council” “this awesome organ”, （含有 “ 不文之物 ” 之意）,or “August Body”.
From Japan: Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts. You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.
From Mexico: The manager has personally passed all the water served here. From Rome: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time!
From Zurich: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedrooms, it suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose. From Copenhagen: We take your bags and send them in all directions.
From the most distinguished tobacco house in the world. (from an advertisement for Dunhills) “house” might be considered by the uninitiated an unremarkable alternative for firm or manufacturers; but its associations are with gentlemanly businesses carried on by long- established family firms.
Cigarettes by John Player, England. It is not so much the choice of words as the syntactic construction ( that of by connecting two noun phrases) that suggests exclusiveness.
This construction usually indicates some kind of artistic activity: Landscape gardening by X; Floral arrangements by Y; Costumes by Z
From the most distinguished tobacco house in the world. Cigarettes by John Player, England. So here there is an effort to dignify the somewhat tarnished image of cigarette-makers and -marketers with overtones of quality and distinction.
A BBC programme on 11 February 1969 reported a proposal for establishing a new category of ordained priest, who would do full- time work in a factory or office in addition to his pastoral duties.
When the question arose of what this new type of cleric would be called, the BBC interviewer made three suggestions: auxiliary priests, part- time priests, and worker priests.
For reasons not difficult to appreciate, all of these were rejected: auxiliary priests and part-time priests sound too much like second-rate assistants, whereas worker priests seems to allege that other priests do not work.Thus the arrival at a satisfactory title was a matter of discarding titles with unfortunate associations.
A conceptual explanation can also be given, e.g. part-time priest is theologically inaccurate because a priest is a priest all the time, even when working in a factory; worker priest is pleonastic in as much as all priests have work to do. Thus an issue of associations of “the right image” can easily be turned into an argument about dictionary meanings.
Connotative Meaning: Connotative meaning is the communicative value an expression has by virtue of what it refers to, over and above its purely conceptual content.
If the word woman is defined conceptually by three feature (+human, -male, +adult), then the three properties "human", "adult', and "female " must provide a criterion of the correct use of that word.
But there is a multitude of additional, non-criterial properties that we have learnt to expect a referent of woman to possess.
They include not only physical characteristics (biped, having womb), but also psychological and social properties (gregarious, subject to maternal instinct), and may extend to features which are merely typical rather than invariable concomitants of womanhood (capable of speech, experienced in cookery, skirt-or-dress-wearing).
Still further, connotative meaning can embrace the putative( 推定 的 )properties of the referent, due to the viewpoint adopted by an individual, or a group of people or a whole society.
So in the past woman has been burdened with such attributes (frail, prone to tears, cowardly, emotional, irrational, inconstant) as the dominant male has been pleased to impose on her, as well as with more becoming qualities such as gentle, compassionate, sensitive, hard-working.
Obviously, connotations are apt to vary from age to age and from society to society. Connotations will vary, to some extent, from individual to individual within the same speech community. In talking about connotation, one is in fact talking about the real world experience one associates with an expression when one uses or hears it.
Connotations are relatively unstable: that is, they vary considerably, according to culture, historical period, and the experience of the individual.
Connotative meaning is indeterminate and open-ended in a sense in which conceptual meaning is not. Connotative meaning is open-ended in the same way as our knowledge and beliefs about the universe are open-ended;
Affective meaning is largely a parasitic category in the sense that to express our emotions we rely upon the mediation of other categories of meaning:conceptual, connotative, or stylistic.
little Small famous notorious slim/slender skinny determined pigheaded
Affective Meaning can depend on the context: He is bright and ambitious. Knowledge of inequality has stimulated envy, ambition and greed.
Someone who is addressed: " You are a vicious tyrant and a villainous reprobate, and I hate you for it!" is left in little doubt as to the feelings of the speaker towards him.
Hayakawa S.I.(1978) 在他所著的 “Language in Thought and Action” 一 书中描述了这样一个故事：一位著 名的黑人社会学家外出旅行受到了 一对白人夫妇的热情款待，为他提 供食宿等便利条件。 见 Geoffrey Leech 的著作 Semantics: the study of meaning Second Edition. Penguin Books.P44.
“Who’s insulting you, son?” said the man. “You are, sir---that name you’re always calling me.” “What name?” “Uh…you know.” “I ain’t callin’ you no names, son.” “ I mean your calling me ‘nigger’.” “Well, what’s insultin’ about that? You are a nigger, ain’t you?”
Emotional expression through style comes about, for instance, when we adopt an impolite tone to express displeasure, or when we adopt a casual tone to express friendliness.
On the other hand, there are elements of language (chiefly interjections, like Aha! and Yippee!) whose chief functions to express emotion. When we use these, we communicate feelings and attitudes without the mediation of any other kind of semantic function.
Reflected meaning is the meaning, which arises in cases of multiple conceptual meaning, when one sense of a word forms part of our response to another sense.
In a church service, the synonymous expressions The Comforter and The Holy Ghost, both refer to the Third Person of the Trinity, but the reactions to these terms can be conditioned by the everyday non-religious meanings of comfort and ghost.
The Comforter sounds warm and " comforting" (although in the religious context, it means " the strengthener or supporter ", while The Holy Ghost sounds awesome.
More examples: Since their popularization in senses connected with the physiology of sex, it has become increasingly difficult to use terms like intercourse, ejaculation, and erection in "innocent" senses without conjuring up their sexual associations.
This process of taboo contamination has accounted in the past for the dying-out of the non-taboo sense of a word: Bloomfield explained the replacement of cock in its farmyard sense by rooster as due to the influence of the taboo use of the former word, and one wonders if intercourse is now following a similar path.
Thematic meaning is what is communicated by the way in which a speaker or writer organizes the message, in terms of ordering, focus, and emphasis.
It is often felt, for example, that an active sentence such as 1) has a different meaning from its passive equivalent 2), although in conceptual content they seem to be the same: 1) Mrs. Bessie Smith donated the first prize. 2) The first prize was donated by Mrs. Bessie Smith.
Certainly these have different communicative values in that they suggest different contexts