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Chapter 1: Basic Ideas Semantics. The meaning of ‘ meaning ’

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 1: Basic Ideas Semantics. The meaning of ‘ meaning ’"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 1: Basic Ideas Semantics

2 The meaning of ‘ meaning ’

3 What is semantics? The study of meaning in language

4 Good morning! What do you mean? Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether we want it or not, or that YOU feel me good this morning, or that is a morning to be good on? Bilbo greeted Gandalf by saying ‘good morning’ outside his house.

5 Alice in Wonderland “And only one birthday presents, you know. There is glory for you!” “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’” Alice said. “Of course you don’t-till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s nice knockdown argument for you.’” “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knockdown argument,” Alice objected.

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7 ‘Mean’ meaning… Sentence meaning Literal meaning of the sentence Speaker meaning The speaker’s intention

8 Language: the loaded weapon My shoes are killing me! 人言可畏

9 We should gather together for a drink some time. Will you make the phone call?

10 Sentences, utterances, and propositions

11 utterances Partial or complete set of words, phrases, or sentences. Coffee, please. A cup of coffee, please. I’d like a cup of coffee, please.

12 Sentences A grammatical string of words *Coffee, please. *A cup of coffee, please. I’d like a cup of coffee, please.

13 Propositions A central semantic concept The truth value of a declarative sentence True or false Example: John gave Mary the flowers. Mary was given the flowers by John.

14 utterancessentencesproposition Can be loud or quiet +-- Can be grammatical or not ++- Can be true or false +++ In a particular regional accent +-- In a particular language ++-

15 Reference & Sense

16 Reference The thing/person in the world being talked about referent

17 An expression with different references The President declared war on Iraq in the White House today. in 1990 in 2003

18 An expression with constant reference The moon, the sun. Your boyfriend?

19 Different expressions with the same reference Smiley sat quietly in the car. He watched Karla walking across the dark street. The chief of Soviet Intelligence is up to something, thought Smiley. Voldmore is an evil character in Harry Potter. He-who-must-not-be- named is determined to kill Harry Potter in every episode.

20 An expression with no (physical) reference Function words and, if, the Myth creatures Unicorn, phoenix

21 sense The sense of an expression is its place in a system of semantic relationships with other expressions in the language

22 Sense in words and sentences Sense in words Sameness: synonyms Contrast: antonyms A word with multiple senses Polysemy

23 Sense in phrases and sentences You write down the answer./You write the answer down. Tom is a bachelor./Tom is single and unmarried. A sentence with multiple senses. The chicken is ready to eat.

24 Reference vs. sense Reference A thing/person in the world Sense Abstraction

25 Assignment 1 Find the following types of reference in news articles and explain why they fit into the type of reference. An expression with different references An expression with constant reference Different expressions with the same reference An expression with no (physical) reference How to turn in the assignment: to: Filename/ subject Semantics_01_ID Due:10/14


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