English Linguistics 1. 3 What's in a word: lexicology 3.1 Conceptual and lexical categories 3.1.1 Conceptual categories 3.1.2 Lexical categories 3.2 Words and meanings 3.2.1 Routes to meaning 3.2.2 What is meaning?. 3.3 Lexical fields 3.4 Lexical relations/meaning relations
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3.1 Conceptual and lexical categories
3.1.1 Conceptual categories
3.1.2 Lexical categories
3.2 Words and meanings3.2.1 Routes to meaning3.2.2 What is meaning?
3.4 Lexical relations/meaning relations
3.4.2. Relationships of contrast
3.4.3. Hierarchical relationships
3.6 Metaphor and metonymy
aspects focused on so far:signs - the link between their (material) form and meaning / function
in order to get a better understanding of the nature of language:a 'look' into the minds of the speakers /
the conceptual world –
the pre-linguistic world
a person's 'idea' of what something in the world is likee.g. 'mother', 'dog' – single entities
→ conceptual categories
whenever we perceive sth.
we attempt to categorize it,
e.g. piece of music
jazz, rock, pop, classical, techno, ethno, world music etc.
= linguistic categories (signs)
we all have made experience
that there are more concepts
than linguistic expressions,
e.g. when we try to describe a phenomenon knowing that there is no exact term;
different from just not knowing a term!
other modes of expression
realization as sound
Fig. 3-1: Fromconcepttosound (simplified)
problems / questions:
- Are concepts universal/ the same for all humans?
- Are concepts socio-culturally determined?
- What happens when concepts are 'translated' into languages?
no attempt at definite answers!
just a glimpse at some phenomena
→ different languages may 'translate' the same phenomenon differently – the construal / construction of the 'world' in linguistic items
E , F, I – relationship between the animal as a whole and the protecting device
F, I, G –
F piano à queue -
G Flügel -
F and G
BE pavement -
AE sidewalk -
F trottoir - from trotter:
G Gehsteig -
AuGTrottoir - see French, but?
words or lexical categories
similar relationships applies also to 'translation'
Look at that rain.
same lexical category: rain
different word classes: (1) noun, (2) verb
when transforming a concept into a linguistic category languages may focus on different characteristics / features of the concept and make this characteristic the most prominent by expressing it linguistically,
at the same time – disregard other features;
the same applies to more complex conceptual phenomena
examples from 3.1.1 relatively 'clear' (horse-shoe, piano, pavement)
definition/ description of their
can be agreed upon by different people
other cases add another dimension,
many different shapes and types -
'container for flowers'
question: whatisourconceptof a typical 'vase'?
task: draw a picture of a 'chair', that comes to your mind, do not think too long about it, there is no 'right' or 'wrong'
– the subtype that first comes to mind
= prototype / prototypical member
≠ peripheral members
category of stools different from chairs –
lack of a back
Fig. 3-4: A selectionofthedrawingsofcup-likeobjectsusedbyLabov
3.2.1 Routes to meaning
Two starting points:
1. word which senses?
2. concept which words?
dictionary fruit a, b, c, d…..
word form list of various senses
= semasiology (Greek sema 'sign')
Look up the senses/meanings of 'fruit' in the DCE or another monolingual dictionary (at least 5 to 6 meanings):
onomasiology (Greek ónoma 'name')
concept list of words which denote the same or similar concepts
use a dictionary of synonyms to find synonyms for the concept of 'fruit':
(thesaurus, synonym finder)
no generally accepted definition of 'meaning'
words name or label things in the world,
two aspects are taken care of:
distinction between denotation and reference
e.g. A cat.
Three men .
two aspects -
all 'things' in the world the expression can be used to refer to
and the inherent / internal characteristics or features
distinction between extension and intension
all things, facts, abstract ideas …
which can be referred to by the same linguistic expression
(= ~ denotation, see above)
the features which define the expression
different intensions (up to 2007):
the prime minister of GB, the Labour leader, Cherie's husband
the semantic triangle –
room for the idea, the concept
(so far: 'denotation and reference')
That girl is a real cat. ('unpleasant woman')
cat – different from cat1 (denotation)
they differ in denotation - they also differ in the associations that come to our mind
connotation / connotational meanings
stylistic or social:
give other choices with a stylistic difference
the Holy Ghost,
pretty - handsome
pretty + [ ]
handsome + [ ]
different in their collocations
G Nase, Zähne, Schuheputzen