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Unit 7 Unit 7 M The Meaning of English (II). What do “ sense ” and “ reference ” mean respectively? Use an example to illustrate. What do “ sense ”

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 7 Unit 7 M The Meaning of English (II). What do “ sense ” and “ reference ” mean respectively? Use an example to illustrate. What do “ sense ”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 7 Unit 7 M The Meaning of English (II)

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3 What do “ sense ” and “ reference ” mean respectively? Use an example to illustrate. What do “ sense ” and “ reference ” mean respectively? Use an example to illustrate. Review:

4 Major contents 8.1 Semantic categorization 8.2 Semantic extension 8.3 Sentence semantics 8.4 Semantic roles

5 8.1 Semantic categorization The notion of “ prototype ” The notion of “ prototype ” P. 133 No. 2

6 8.2 Semantic extension 1. Metaphor 1. Metaphor foot/ 脚: foot of the hill 山脚; the foot of the bed 床脚 foot/ 脚: foot of the hill 山脚; the foot of the bed 床脚 head/ 头: 核弹头 nuclear head ;头条新 闻; headline head/ 头: 核弹头 nuclear head ;头条新 闻; headline

7 Some metaphors Conceptual metaphors: win an argument; indefensible arguments Conceptual metaphors: win an argument; indefensible arguments PP No. 2, 3 Orientational metaphors: Orientational metaphors: P. 128 No. 4

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9 Metonymy (转喻) Metonymy (转喻) one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated. one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated. e.g. ‘ Washington ’ for ‘ the United States ’ government ’ ; ‘ the sword ’ for ‘ military power ’ ; ‘ olive branch ’ for ‘ peace ’ (Arafat: a gun in one hand and an olive branch in the other) e.g. ‘ Washington ’ for ‘ the United States ’ government ’ ; ‘ the sword ’ for ‘ military power ’ ; ‘ olive branch ’ for ‘ peace ’ (Arafat: a gun in one hand and an olive branch in the other) I like to read Jack London. I like to read Jack London. He ’ s going to meet his Waterloo. He ’ s going to meet his Waterloo.

10 Presentation Session Metonymy in English Metonymy in English PP No. 8 PP No. 8

11 Synecdoche ( 提喻) a part is used for the whole (as ‘ hand ’ for ‘ labor ’ ), the whole for a part (as ‘ the law for police officer ’ ), the specific for the general (as ‘ cutthroat ’ for ‘ assassin ’ ), the general for the specific (as ‘ thief ’ for ‘ pickpocket ’ ), the container for the contained (as ‘ bottle ’ for ‘ wine ’ ), or the material for the thing from which it is made (as ‘ Cotton suits you ’ ). a part is used for the whole (as ‘ hand ’ for ‘ labor ’ ), the whole for a part (as ‘ the law for police officer ’ ), the specific for the general (as ‘ cutthroat ’ for ‘ assassin ’ ), the general for the specific (as ‘ thief ’ for ‘ pickpocket ’ ), the container for the contained (as ‘ bottle ’ for ‘ wine ’ ), or the material for the thing from which it is made (as ‘ Cotton suits you ’ ). 一帆风顺;贪杯 一帆风顺;贪杯 I met a couple of new faces yesterday. [representational metaphor] I met a couple of new faces yesterday. [representational metaphor] what else? what else?

12 A. Radiation (辐射) A. Radiation (辐射) An important process by which words extend their meaning is called radiation. The primary or central meaning appears at the centre in the form of a hub and secondary meanings radiate out from the centre like the spokes of a wheel. Each of the secondary meanings is independent of all the rest, and may be traced back to the central signification. Take ‘ power ’ for example. Its central meaning is ‘ ability to act ’. It may refer to (1) control over one ’ s subordinates; (2) delegated authority; (3) physical strength; (4) mechanical energy; (5) moral or intellectual force; (6) a person of influence; etc. An important process by which words extend their meaning is called radiation. The primary or central meaning appears at the centre in the form of a hub and secondary meanings radiate out from the centre like the spokes of a wheel. Each of the secondary meanings is independent of all the rest, and may be traced back to the central signification. Take ‘ power ’ for example. Its central meaning is ‘ ability to act ’. It may refer to (1) control over one ’ s subordinates; (2) delegated authority; (3) physical strength; (4) mechanical energy; (5) moral or intellectual force; (6) a person of influence; etc.

13 B. Concatenation (串联) Another process, as opposed to radiation, is called ‘ concatenation ’. It means that a word moves gradually away from its original sense as a result of successive semantic changes until, in many cases, there is not a trace of connection between the sense that is finally developed and the primary sense. For example, ‘ candidate ’ originally meant ‘ a person dressed in white ’. Then, ‘ a white-robed seeker for the office ’, now ‘ an applicant for office ’, which is no longer related to the original idea. Another process, as opposed to radiation, is called ‘ concatenation ’. It means that a word moves gradually away from its original sense as a result of successive semantic changes until, in many cases, there is not a trace of connection between the sense that is finally developed and the primary sense. For example, ‘ candidate ’ originally meant ‘ a person dressed in white ’. Then, ‘ a white-robed seeker for the office ’, now ‘ an applicant for office ’, which is no longer related to the original idea.

14 8.3 Sentence semantics John loves Mary. /Mary loves John. The meaning of a sentence is not the sum of the meanings of the words that make up the sentence. lexical meaning vs. grammatical/structural meaning

15 Meaning and truth of a sentence Truth conditions Truth conditions

16 Relations between sentences A. Entailment ( 蕴涵) B. Presupposition (前提,预设) C. Inconsistency (矛盾) D. Synonymy (同义) E. Implicature (隐含,含意)

17 A. Entailment (X) She saw a girl. (Y) She saw a child. (X) He is in love. (Y) He has a girlfriend. When we say X entails B, we mean: If X is true, Y must be true. (because “ a girl ” entails “ a child ” ) If X is false (e.g. She saw a teacher/boy), Y may be true or false. If Y is true, X may be true (e.g. a girl) and false (e.g. a boy). If Y is false (e.g. a teacher), X must be false.

18 B. Presupposition B. Presupposition (X) Jack ’ s wife fell ill. (Y) Jack had a wife. (X) I lost 1 million pounds. (Y) I once had 1 million pounds. (X) I opened the door. (Y) The door was shut. When we say X presupposes Y, we mean: If X is true, Y is also true. If X is is to be true, Y must be true; If X is false (e.g. Jack ’ s wife went to work), Y can still be true; If Y is false (i.e. Jack had no wife), X must be false.

19 C. Inconsistency (X) Jack is in town. (Y) He is away on business. (X) Tom is married to Mary. (Y) He is a bachelor. (X) John passed the exam. (Y) He was failed by the teacher. When we say X is inconsistent with Y, we mean: Either X is true or Y is true. Either X is false or Y is false. X and Y cannot be true or false at the same time.

20 D. Synonymy (X) Jack is still single. (Y) He is a bachelor. (X) The boy killed the dog. (Y) The dog was killed by the boy. (X) Jack sits on the left of Tom. (Y) Tom sits on the right of Jack. When we say X is synonymous with Y, we mean: When X is true, Y must be true. When X is false, Y must be false. X and Y share the same truth conditions. ( 真值条件)

21 E. Implicature X: I cut a finger when I was preparing the dish. Y: I cut one of my finger. X: Jack dated a woman last night. Y: Jack dated a woman who was neither his sister nor his mother. A: Are you coming to the lecture this afternoon? A: Are you coming to the lecture this afternoon? (X) B: I ’ m not feeling well. Y: I ’ m not going to the lecture this afternoon. Y: I ’ m not going to the lecture this afternoon. What can we say about the relation between X and Y?

22 Meaningfulness and semantic ill-formedness A. Redundancy (冗余,羡余) B. Tautology ( 同义反复) C. Semantic anomaly (语义畸形)

23 A. Redundancy It refers to the situation in which an utterance contains more information than is necessary for successful communication. e.g. She is a student. les jaunes é tudientes la grande salle She is a female student. He is a single bachelor. He repeated the sentence again.

24 B. Tautology It refers to the situation where the information contained in an argument (题元) includes the information contained in the rest of the predication (述谓结构). Tautology: A meaningless repetition (Wardhaugh) *The male is male. *This orphan has no father. Boys are boys. Boys are boys. P. 131 No. 9

25 C. Semantic anomaly It refers to the situation where one of the arguments or the predicate ( 谓词) is self- contradictory , or the information contained in an argument of a predication is incompatible with the information contained in the predicate: It refers to the situation where one of the arguments or the predicate ( 谓词) is self- contradictory , or the information contained in an argument of a predication is incompatible with the information contained in the predicate: *This programme is for the music lovers who dislike music. *That man is female.

26 Other examples: *This orphan has a father. *My bother is an only child. *The orphan ’ s father drinks heavily. *That bachelor is pregnant. *John frightened a tree. *Honesty plays golf.

27 8.4 Semantic roles Common roles Common roles PP Discuss P. 129 No. 6

28 a. Agent [A] as subject : a. Agent [A] as subject : The FBI was tapping the telephones. The FBI was tapping the telephones. b. Dative[D] as subject : b. Dative[D] as subject : Jack likes the gift. Jack likes the gift. c. Instrument [I] as subject : c. Instrument [I] as subject : The (President's) veto stopped the program. The (President's) veto stopped the program. A dagger killed the tourist. A dagger killed the tourist. Semantic roles as found in the subject position

29 Compare: 1). John used a stick to scare the burglar off. 2). John scared the burglar off with a stick. 3). A stick scared the burglar off.

30 d. Causative [ C ] as subject : The crisis hit rich and poor alike. The crisis hit rich and poor alike. A hurricane killed eight people. A hurricane killed eight people. c.f. 1). The nation's economy has been wrecked in the crisis. 2). The crisis has wrecked the nation's economy. 2). The crisis has wrecked the nation's economy. e. Locative [ L ] as subject : The new stadium seats 80,000. The new stadium seats 80,000.

31 Assignments Collect 4 advertisements employing metaphor, metonymy, or synecdoche. Collect 4 advertisements employing metaphor, metonymy, or synecdoche. PP No. 10 PP No. 10


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