Semántica y Pragmática I

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SEMÁNTICA Y PRAGMÁTICA I

UNIT 1
What is semantics?
Some linguistics link the notion of semantic to meaning, others to meaning in language, or meaning in communication through language, when others link it with other branches, like grammatical or literal meaning.
What is meaning? The fact we need to have in mind is where to locate meaning, or parts of meaning.
History of Semantics:
Semantics had a central place in linguistic study from the very beginning.
American structuralism banned Semantics from linguistics, Chomskyan generativism, considered Semantics like not a central part of linguistics, and in the 20th century was also banned. So that all of three rejected to study Semantics as a linguistic branch.
Meaning is what language is all about. The notion of meaning is central to theories of language.
There are two ways of approaching semantics:
The formal semantics approach: classical philosophical semantics, that is, logic, which uses the descriptive apparatus of formal logic. The meaning of the whole is a function of the meaning of the parts. Syntax is clearly very important to this type of analysis.
The other approach is called psychologically-oriented semantics or cognitive semantics. This approach does not consider the logical structure of language as important for the description of the meaning of language. It tries to explain semantic phenomena by appealing to biological psychological and even cultural issues, it means how through language we can analyse biological, psychological and cultural issues.
Through the years, only two plausible functions of language have been considered: a communicative function and a representational function; in both of them, semantics has to be placed at the very heart of the process. E.g.: this is a tree. “Tree” represents a real one.

1.2. How can meaning be communicated?
“Semantics is the study of meaning in language”. Language is not the only way in which we can communicate meaning. We can do it

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