Types of Meaning

Topics: Semantics, Philosophy of language, Linguistics Pages: 5 (1674 words) Published: May 29, 2013
1) Conceptual or Denotative Meaning:
Conceptual meaning is also called logical or cognitive meaning. It is the basic propositional meaning which corresponds to the primary dictionary definition. Such a meaning is stylistically neutral and objective as opposed to other kinds of associative meanings. Conceptual Meanings are the essential or core meaning while other six types are the peripheral. It is peripheral in as sense that it is non-essential. They are stylistically marked and subjective kind of meanings. Leech gives primacy to conceptual meaning because it has sophisticated organization based on the principle of contrastiveness and hierarchical structure. E.g.

/P/ can be described as- voiceless + bilabial + plosive.
Similarly Boy = + human + male-adult.
2/Associative meaning
The associative meaning of an expression has to do with individual mentalunderstandings of the speaker. They, in turn, can be broken up into six sub-types:connotative, collocative, social, affective, reflected and thematic Collocative meaning is the meaning which a word acquires in the company of certain words. Words collocate or co-occur with certain words only e.g. Big business not large or great.Collocative meaning refers to associations of a word because of its usual or habitual co-occurrence with certain types of words. ‘Pretty’ and ‘handsome’indicate ‘good looking’. However, they slightly differ from each other because of collocation or co-occurrence. The word ‘pretty’ collocates with – girls, woman, village, gardens, flowers, etc. On the other hand, the word ‘handsome’ collocates with – ‘boys’ men, etc. so ‘pretty woman’ and ‘handsome man’.  7) Thematic Meaning:

It refers to what is communicated by the way in which a speaker or a writer organizes the message in terms of ordering focus and emphasis .Thus active is different from passive though its conceptual meaning is the same. Various parts of the sentence also can be used as subject, object or complement to show prominence. It is done through focus, theme (topic) or emotive emphasis. Thematic meaning helps us to understand the message and its implications properly. For example, the following statements in active and passive voice have same conceptual meaning but different communicative values. e.g.

1) Mrs. Smith donated the first prize
2) The first prize was donated by Mrs. Smith.
In the first sentence “who gave away the prize “is more important, but in the second sentence “what did Mrs. Smith gave is important”. Thus the change of focus change the meaning also. Sense relations,,,,

Sense relations are paradigmatic relations between words or predicates of the same syntactic categories, which can replace one another without violating the grammatical rules; or in other words, those relations reveal the semantic choices available at a particular structure point in a sentence. Two major types of sense relations can be distinguished:

* Sense relations of inclusion, esp. hyponymy and synonymy * Sense relations of exclusion, esp. complementarity and antonymy Synonymy is the relationship between two words that have the same sense. This is a strict definition of synonymy – the identity of sense. Some linguists, however, consider synonymy a similarity of meaning Hyponymy is a sense relation between lexemes such that the meaning of one lexeme is included in the meaning of the other. Antonymy is a sense relation in which oppositeness of meaning is observed. There are many pairs or groups of words, which, though different in meaning, are pronounced alike or spelled alike, or both. Such words are called homonyms. Polysemy refers to the phenomenon in which one and the same word has more than one meaning. Semantic field

Semantic field is a term to refer to the phenomenon that vocabulary is an integrated system interrelated in sense and can be divided into semantically related sets or fields. Words in each semantic field defines one another,

Sense and reference….
Frege is said to be...
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