Semantics

Topics: Linguistics, Semantics, Semiotics Pages: 14 (778 words) Published: February 10, 2015
SEMANTICS
(Concepts, and major
questions)

Prepared by: Mabanag, Leomar A.

SEMANTICS
Sub discipline of linguistics focuses on the
study of meanings.
 It understands what meaning is as an
element of language.
 It is closely linked to pragmatics.


PRAGMATICS

SEMANTICS

 Study of meaning

 Study of meaning

 More practical subject and
is interested in meaning in
language in use.

 highly theoretical research
perspective, and looks at
meaning in language in
isolation, in the language
itself

MEANING
CONNOTATION

WHAT IS
 Is meaning simply the
MEANING?set of associations that
a word evokes, is the
meaning of a word
defined by the images
that its users connect
to it?

 Implied meaning

DENOTATION
 It has also been
suggested that the
meaning of a word is
simply the entity in the
World which that word
refers to.
 DICTIONARY meaning

EXTENSION
INTENSION
 Things in the world that  Concepts, mental
the word/phrase refers
images that the word or
to.
phrase evokes.

HOW MEANING WORKS IN LANGUAGE?
The study of semantics looks at how meaning
works in language, and because of this it
often uses native speaker intuitions about
the meaning of words and phrases to base
research
on.
Why
is semantics
studied?
 "If we view Semantics as the study of
meaning then it becomes central to the
study of communication which in turn is
an important factor in how society is
organised.“
 The aim of semantics is to discover why
meaning is more complex than simply the
words written down in a sentence



EXAMPLE:
a) An enraged cow killed a farmer
using an axe.
b) An enraged cow killed a farmer
who had an axe.

HOW IS SEMANTICS BEING
STUDIED?
 The

study is semantics is highly
theoretical. The main researchers
are philosophers who study semantics
in a more theoretical manner
 Lexical semantics can be defined
as 'the study of meaning', therefore
semanticists are interested in the
lexical meaning of words rather than
grammatical meaning.
 It is about studying language in
isolation

Pragmatics- it would be impossible when
studying semantics not to come into
contact with pragmatics. Some theoretical
approaches have got rid of the distinction
between semantic and pragmatic
competence. However, it is important to
make the distinction between a word's
contribution to the meaning of an
utterance and the contributions of context
(pragmatics). Pragmatic issues have been
touched upon in many lexical semantic
issues. 
 Morphology- there is a question of whether
word class is semantically determined. 
o

 Psycholinguistics- Most

lexical semantic
issues can be addressed from a
psycholinguistic perspective, and
psycholinguistic methods offer
evidence concerning how words and
meanings are organised in the mind. 
 Language acquisition– Unlike grammar,
vocabulary is acquired throughout life,
so some of the issues in lexical
acquisition can be addressed from an
adult first- or second-language angle.

WHAT IS SEMANTIC
COMPETENCE?
 ability

to judge which strings of
words form grammatical
sentences.
 ability to determine
the meaning of a particular string
of words.
 ability to determine
the meaning of a particular
syntactic structure.
 the ability to determine the
relationships between the

WHO DOES SEMANTICS?
 He

was an American
mathematician and philosopher
 Studied at The University of
California, Berkeley, earning a
BA in Philosophy in 1950, an
MA in Mathematics in 1953 and
PhD in Philosophy in 1957.He
Richard Montague pioneered a logical approach to
natural language semantics,
(1930-1971)
which became known as the
Montague Grammar.

 Was

an American philosopher
born in Springfield,
Massachusetts.
 Served as Professor of
Philosophy at The University
California.
 Developed an inspired
Donald Davidson approach to truth-conditional
semantics
(1917-2003)
...

References: 2] Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. (1996). 'Donald
Davidson '.
[3] Tufts University. (2010).  'Ray Jackendoff 's Homepage '. 
   
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