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Semantics & Pragmatics. What does this mean?. From the lowly phone through the morph , the phrase , and the clause : NPs & VPs label meaning at a very general level; grammatical relations (Actor/ Undergoer , S/O, Theme) address it more subtly; morphs are full of it;

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Semantics pragmatics

Semantics & Pragmatics

What does this mean?


Meaning

  • From the lowly phone through the morph, the phrase, and the clause:

    • NPs & VPs label meaning at a very general level;

    • grammatical relations (Actor/Undergoer, S/O, Theme) address it more subtly;

    • morphs are full of it;

    • & even some phones may correlate with meaning (cf. phonoaesthesia)

  • SO WHAT IS IT?

Meaning


Approaches to meaning

  • Semantics: meaning as encoded by words and sentences

  • Pragmatics: speakers’ intended meaning; ‘what they meant’ in particular instances

    • and what hearers’ infer

Approaches to Meaning


Goals

Goals


Goals1

  • X-cultural diffs in LexSem

  • Speech acts, Reference, Presuppositions, & Co-operative Principle

  • NB ‘Context’ in utterance mng

Goals


Meaning1

Meaning


Meaning reference sense

Meaning: Reference & Sense


Meaning sense value

  • The components”sense of a linguistic sign derives part of its essence from the greater system of inter-sign relations in which in resides

    • The sense of ‘hand’ is defined in part by its reln to ‘arm’

    • The idea of ‘plural noun’ gets its sense partly due to the notion ‘singular noun’ (vs. Jap & Skt)

  • This contrast = value

Meaning: Sense = value…


Meaning sense value1

Meaning: Sense=value+_____


Sense connotations

  • Connotations application of a linguistic item’ …

    • Unstable meaning associations e.g. emotional overtones which are not always present (vs. sense, which is essential)

    • Differ by attitudes (e.g. a mathematical way of thinking about…)

    • NB language acquisition & change; connotation becomes part of sense

Sense &Connotations


Literal vs figurative meaning

  • Literal application of a linguistic item’ … = the sense encoded by its component lexical and grammatical signs

    • ‘kick the bucket’

  • Figurative = an extension of literal mng

  • Rhetoric codifies many types of meaning extension; 3 of which are:

    • Metaphor

    • Metonymy

    • Synedoche

Literal vs.FigurativeMeaning


Figurative mng metaphor

  • Metaphor application of a linguistic item’ …

  • Sense is extended to another concept based on resemblance

  • ‘Belgian drivers are cowboys’

  • …they tend to invoke notion of a cowboy

  • (the hearer then decides the basis for comparison)

Figurative Mng: Metaphor


Figurative mng metonymy

  • Metonymy application of a linguistic item’ …

  • Sense extended to another concept due to a typical or habitual association

  • ‘go to the university’

  • ‘likes the bottle’

  • ‘Washington is in talks with the Kremlin)

Figurative Mng: Metonymy


Figurative mng synedoche

  • Synedoche application of a linguistic item’ …

    • Sense is extended via a part-whole relation

    • ‘wheels’

    • ‘the denver omelet’

    • ‘the radiator job’

Figurative Mng: Synedoche


Lit fig dis tinc tion

  • Contrasting the two is application of a linguistic item’ … literally not so easy

  • Cognitive Linguistics: metaphor has a central role in language & thought, & is pervasive in ordinary language

Lit-fig: distinction


Lit fig dis tinc tion1

  • Contrasting the two is application of a linguistic item’ … literally not so easy

  • Cognitive Linguistics: metaphor has a central role in language & thought, & is pervasive in ordinary language

  • Metaphoris seen as a cognitive strategy allowing us to understand one experiential domain in terms of another

Lit-fig: distinction


Cognitive linguistics

  • Metaphor application of a linguistic item’ … is seen as a cognitive strategy allowing us to understand one experiential domain in terms of another

Cognitive Linguistics


Cognitive linguistics1

  • Metaphor application of a linguistic item’ … is seen as a cognitive strategy allowing us to understand one experiential domain in terms of another

  • NB many domains are understood in terms of space, and are expressed linguistically via spatial relations:

    • ‘cat at me’

  • Hence Lit-Fig distinction is iffy

Cognitive Linguistics


Sentence vs utterance mng

  • Sentence application of a linguistic item’ … Mng = combine signs (morphs, phrases, grrelns) and their mngs

    • The car - broke down - yesterday

    • Actor-------event----temporal location

SentencevsUtteranceMng


Sentence vs utterance mng1

  • Sentence application of a linguistic item’ … Mng = combine signs (morphs, phrases, grrelns) and their mngs

    • The car - broke down - yesterday

    • Actor-------event----temporal location

  • But context alters that ‘same conceptual event’

    • Thus its utterance meaning varies

SentencevsUtteranceMng


Sentence vs utterance mng2

  • Sentence application of a linguistic item’ …  Semantics

    • Meaning in isolation; meaning as it is within the ‘system of language’

SentencevsUtteranceMng


Sentence vs utterance mng3

  • Sentence application of a linguistic item’ …  Semantics

    • Meaning in isolation; meaning as it is within the ‘system of language’

  • Utterance  Pragmatics

    • Meaning in actual language use; meaning as conveyed by an expression in real speech; patterns in speech (outside grammar/lexicon) – re: reln b/w speaker & hearer

SentencevsUtteranceMng


More to come

  • Is the application of a linguistic item’ … sem-prag division real?...

  • Some linguists reject the division or are dubious about the ‘division of labor’ b/w the two

More to come…


  • P 134 application of a linguistic item’ …

    • Students: note fig 6.1 – try to ‘read’ it; it’s worthwhile. However, I think the first sentence below the figure shd be ‘value and INtension…’ – not EX- look above the two people and you’ll see a rectangle w/ value and intension in it. At the top is a tree diagram: the metaphorical EXtension


Semantics

  • Re: the semantics of application of a linguistic item’ … lexical items which must be listed separately in the lexicon.

  • These are signs and we will focus on their senses

Semantics


Semantics issues

  • 3 interrelated key issues in application of a linguistic item’ … LexSem:

    • Pinning down & identifying the meanings of lexical items

    • Relns amongst lexical items’ meanings

    • The specification of the meaning of items

      The value of a sign depends on its contrasts with the rest of the language system

Semantics – issues


Semantics concerns

  • Homophony application of a linguistic item’ …

    • 2 different lexemes share the same phonological form (port, bank, bouy/boy)

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns1

  • Homophony application of a linguistic item’ …

    • 2 different lexemes share the same phonological form (port, bank, bouy/boy)

      • Partial homophones: ‘bear’ (N & V) – shares same phonological form in some inflected forms but not all:

        • Bear, bears

        • Bear, bears; bore; born

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns2

  • Poly application of a linguistic item’ … semy

    • Identical forms have related meanings

    • ‘ear’ = hearing organ; attention; ability; favorable disposition; etc

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns3

  • Poly application of a linguistic item’ … semy

    • Identical forms have related meanings

    • ‘ear’ = hearing organ; attention; ability; favorable disposition; etc

  • Dictionaries tend to separate homophones but not polysemous terms; however distinction is not always easy

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns4

  • Poly application of a linguistic item’ … semy

  • Cf. ear:

    • Above e.g.s are easy to relate

    • But ‘ear of corn’ (though usually listed separately in dictionaries) is often imagined to resemble the above ‘ear’

    • Lexicographers go beyond folk etymology (usually) and look into OE & ME

Semantics: concerns


Semantics poly semy that you can bank on

  • Poly application of a linguistic item’ … semy

  • bank

    • Few of us see semantic reln b/w ‘ridge’ & ‘$’

    • Dictionaries tend to treat them separately

Semantics: polysemy that you can bank on


Semantics polysemy that you can bank on

  • Polysemy application of a linguistic item’ …

  • bank

    • Few of us see semantic reln b/w ‘ridge’ & ‘$’

    • Dictionaries tend to treat them separately

    • Both originate from *bangk in Proto-Germanic (offshoot of Proto I-E <4m BC> & parent of English, German, Dutch, Nor, Swed, Dk, Ic)

Semantics: polysemy that you can bank on


Semantics concerns5

  • Polysemy application of a linguistic item’ …

    • *bangk in Proto-Germanic = ‘ridge, mound, bordering slope’

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns6

  • Polysemy application of a linguistic item’ …

    • *bangk in Proto-Germanic = ‘ridge, mound, bordering slope’

    • Ridge>bench>moneylender’s counter>money lender’s shop>financial institution

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns7

  • Polysemy application of a linguistic item’ …

    • *bangk in Proto-Germanic = ‘ridge, mound, bordering slope’

    • Ridge>bench>moneylender’s counter>money lender’s shop>financial institution

    • Ridge>slope>side of watercourse

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns8

  • Polysemy application of a linguistic item’ …

    • *bangk in Proto-Germanic = ‘ridge, mound, bordering slope’

    • Ridge>bench>moneylender’s counter>money lender’s shop>financial institution

    • Ridge>slope>side of watercourse

    • …typical semantic extension

Semantics: concerns


Semantics1

  • Vagueness application of a linguistic item’ …

    • A lack of specificity of meaning

    • Recall ‘ear’ = ‘hearing organ’

      • ‘in your ear’

Semantics


Semantics2

  • Vagueness application of a linguistic item’ …

    • A lack of specificity of meaning

    • Recall ‘ear’ = ‘hearing organ’

      • ‘in your ear’

    • But also: ‘pull your ear’ & ‘scratch its ear’

Semantics


Semantics3

  • Vagueness application of a linguistic item’ …

    • A lack of specificity of meaning

    • Recall ‘ear’ = ‘hearing organ’

      • ‘in your ear’

    • But also: ‘pull your ear’ & ‘scratch its ear’

    • The mental concepts invoked in each differ

Semantics


Semantics concerns9

  • Vagueness application of a linguistic item’ …

  • ‘in your ear’

    • Ear as an orifice

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns10

  • Vagueness application of a linguistic item’ …

  • ‘in your ear’

    • Ear as an orifice

  • ‘pull your ear’

    • Ear as an appendage of human head

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns11

  • Vagueness application of a linguistic item’ …

  • ‘in your ear’

    • Ear as an orifice

  • ‘pull your ear’

    • Ear as an appendage of human head

  • ‘scratch its ear’

    • Ear as appendage of dog’s head

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns12

  • Vagueness application of a linguistic item’ …

    • We don’t usually think of these as polysemiesof ear – because they’re so closely related

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns13

  • Vagueness application of a linguistic item’ …

    • We don’t usually think of these as polysemiesof ear – because they’re so closely related

  • See also ‘wrong’

    • Depending on its sentence, the meaning gets narrowed

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns14

  • Vagueness application of a linguistic item’ …

    • ‘wrong…

      • to speak w/ your mouth full’ (improper)

      • to take Indian kids from their moms’ (immmoral)

      • to attribute that quote to Saussure’ (incorrect)

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns15

  • Vagueness application of a linguistic item’ …

    • ‘wrong…

      • to speak w/ your mouth full’ (improper)

      • to take Indian kids from their moms’ (immmoral)

      • to attribute that quote to Saussure’ (incorrect)

    • A general sense covers these but the sentential context narrows the meaning down

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns16

  • These are: application of a linguistic item’ … contextual meanings

    • They aren’t fixed (vs. sense of a lexeme)

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns17

  • These are: application of a linguistic item’ … contextual meanings

    • They aren’t fixed (vs. sense of a lexeme)

    • Cf. ‘it was wrong for the govt to have taken the Indian children’

      • This doesn’t necessarily invoke a moral comment

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns18

  • These are: application of a linguistic item’ … contextual meanings

    • They aren’t fixed (vs. sense of a lexeme)

    • Cf. ‘it was wrong for the govt to have taken the Indian children’

      • This doesn’t necessarily invoke a moral comment

  • Vagueness-polysemy =

Semantics: concerns


Semantics concerns19

  • These are: application of a linguistic item’ … contextual meanings

    • They aren’t fixed (vs. sense of a lexeme)

    • Cf. ‘it was wrong for the govt to have taken the Indian children’

      • This doesn’t necessarily invoke a moral comment

  • Vagueness-polysemy = variations on degrees of abstraction

Semantics: concerns


Semantics lex sem relns

Semantics: LexSemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns1

Semantics: LexSemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns2

Semantics: LexSemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns3

  • Synonymy form a highly structured system

    • Reln of sameness/similarity (p 137)

  • Exact synonyms are rare (impossible?)

  • Often differentiate registers/dialects

  • May differ in their collocations

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns4

  • Antonyms form a highly structured system

    • Gradable

      • Allow intermediate degrees: used w/ comparatives

      • Its negation doesn’t imply its opposite

    • Non-gradable: polaric

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns5

  • Hyponymy form a highly structured system

    • One lexeme includes another

    • Tool: hammer, saw, chisel, screwdriver…

      • Hypernym: tool

      • Hyponyms: saw, hammer,…

    • Common in some semantic domains:

      • Kinship, colors, plants/animals

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns6

  • Meronymy form a highly structured system

    • Part-whole reln

    • Door & window are meronyms of room

    • Wheel & pedal are meronyms of bicycle

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns7

  • Meronymy form a highly structured system

    • Part-whole reln

    • Door & window are meronyms of room

    • Wheel & pedal are meronyms of bicycle

      differs from hyponymy in the notion of transitivity

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns8

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns9

  • Difference in transitivity b/w form a highly structured systemmeronyms & hyponyms

    • Alsatian>dog>animal (hyponyms)

    • Nostril>nose (meronym)

    • Nose>face (meronym)

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns10

  • Difference in transitivity b/w form a highly structured systemmeronyms & hyponyms

    • Alsatian>dog>animal (hyponyms)

    • Nostril>nose (meronym)

    • Nose>face (meronym)

    • But nostril>face (not meronym)

      • We don’t say a nostril is part of a face (we could but we don’t normally conceptualize it as such)

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns11

  • Hyponymy form a highly structured system is transitive

  • Meronymyis not.

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns12

  • Hyponymy form a highly structured system is transitive

  • Meronymy is not.

  • These are lexical networks – not network relations in the ‘real world’

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns13

  • Hyponymy is transitive form a highly structured system

  • Meronymy is not.

  • These are lexical networks – not network relations in the ‘real world’

  • Folk conceptualizations vs. science

  • Whale = mammal? fish?

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns14

  • To pin down the sense of a word… form a highly structured system

    • (e.g. ‘mother’)

    • Decide if diff mngs belong to diff lex items sharing the same form

    • Or are polysemies

    • Or are separate contextual mngs

  • One technique is componential analysis

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns15

Componential analysis form a highly structured system

  • A lexeme’s semantic mng is decomposed

  • Identifies features that differentiate words

  • E.g. +/- animate

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Semantics lex sem relns16

  • Componential analysis form a highly structured system

    • Criticized by prototype theory for its intensional definitions

    • Component features are more technical than the term they describe

Semantics: lexsemrelns


Pragmatics utterance mng

  • Semantics form a highly structured system = mng as encoded in Lx form

Pragmatics: utterance mng


Pragmatics utterance mng1

  • Semantics form a highly structured system = mng as encoded in Lx form

  • But there’s more to meaning-making than this

Pragmatics: utterance mng


Pragmatics utterance mng2

  • Semantics form a highly structured system = mng as encoded in Lx form

  • But there’s more to meaning-making than this

  • The sounds that make up speech merely outline mng; listeners then fill in/extrapolates

Pragmatics: utterance mng


Pragmatics

Pragmatics


Pragmatics1

Pragmatics


Pragmatics2

  • We excel at ‘reading into’ things (+/-) form a highly structured system

  • 2 types of mng we fill in:

    • What the spkr intends to do with the utterance –why they spoke it in the first place - & how its inferred

    • Reference or referential meaning

Pragmatics


Prag speech acts

  • Speech is a form a highly structured systemsocial act – it’s for doing stuff

Prag: Speech Acts


Prag speech acts1

  • Speech is a form a highly structured systemsocial act – it’s for doing stuff

  • Informing, promising, requesting, questioning, commanding, warning, preaching, congratulating, betting, swearing, exclaiming….are speech acts

Prag: Speech Acts


Prag speech acts2

  • Speech is a form a highly structured systemsocial act – it’s for doing stuff

  • Informing, promising, requesting, questioning, commanding, warning, preaching, congratulating, betting, swearing, exclaiming….are speech acts

  • Type of action performed by speaking = its illocutionary force

Prag: Speech Acts


Prag speech acts performatives

Prag: Speech Acts: performatives


Prag speech acts performatives1

Prag: Speech Acts: performatives


Prag sp acts direct sp acts

  • Most sp acts are not so obvious

    • Cf. ‘the car broke down yesterday’ as a statement or a request/refusal

Prag: Sp Acts: direct sp acts


Prag sp acts direct sp acts1

  • Most sp acts are not so obvious

    • Cf. ‘the car broke down yesterday’ as a statement or a request/refusal

  • Direct speech acts

    • Naturally associated with form

      • Grammatically specified (table 6.1)

      • Lexically specified (performatives)

Prag: Sp Acts: direct sp acts


Prag sp acts in direct sp acts

Prag: Sp Acts: INdirect sp acts


Prag sp acts felicity conditions

Prag: Sp Acts: felicity conditions


Prag sp acts felicity conditions1

Prag: Sp Acts: felicity conditions


Prag sp acts felicity conditions2

Prag: Sp Acts: felicity conditions


Pragmatics reference

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference1

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference2

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference3

  • All languages have that are being referred towds/morphs we use to help pin down reference

    • Proper nouns

      • Noam Chomsky

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference4

  • All languages have that are being referred towds/morphs we use to help pin down reference

    • Proper nouns

      • Noam Chomsky

    • Articles

      • The, a/an

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference5

  • All languages have that are being referred towds/morphs we use to help pin down reference

    • Proper nouns

      • Noam Chomsky

    • Articles

      • The, a/an

    • Deictics

      • Pronouns, demonstratives, space & time adverbs

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference6

  • Deictics that are being referred to

    • Identify things by relating them to the social, linguistic, spatial, or temporal context of an utterance

    • Their reference varies with each utterance

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference7

  • Deictics that are being referred to

    • Identify things by relating them to the social, linguistic, spatial, or temporal context of an utterance

    • Their reference varies with each utterance

  • Pron: I, you, s/he, we…

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference8

  • Deictics that are being referred to

    • Identify things by relating them to the social, linguistic, spatial, or temporal context of an utterance

    • Their reference varies with each utterance

  • Pron: I, you, s/he, we…

  • Demon: this,that (spatial deixis)

  • Adv: here,there (spatial deixis)

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference9

  • Deictics that are being referred to

    • Identify things by relating them to the social, linguistic, spatial, or temporal context of an utterance

    • Their reference varies with each utterance

  • Pron: I, you, s/he, we…

  • Demon: this,that (spatial deixis)

  • Adv: here,there (spatial deixis)

  • Today, tomorrow, now, then (temp deixis)

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference10

  • Caveat: that are being referred to

    • The above deictics, though specifying referents, also have senses.

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference11

  • Caveat: that are being referred to

    • The above deictics, though specifying referents, also have senses.

    • E.g. pronouns are ‘encoded’ for person, number, case, gender.

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics reference12

  • Caveat: that are being referred to

    • The above deictics, though specifying referents, also have senses.

    • E.g. pronouns are ‘encoded’ for person, number, case, gender.

    • Yet their full mng comes only when uttered

      • ‘he’ then takes on the mng of ‘that guy’

Pragmatics: reference


Pragmatics the coop princ

  • A principle of interpretation & that are being referred toinferencing shared by spkrs & hearers, permitting the utterance mng intended by a spkr to be reliably inferred by the hearer

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics the coop princ1

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics the coop princ2

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics the coop princ3

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics the coop princ4

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics the coop princ5

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics the coop princ6

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics the coop princ7

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics the coop princ8

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics the coop princ9

  • Q. Are you ready? they’re not rules

  • A. Is the pope Catholic?

    A Y/N Q is interpreted as a response to it

    Maxim of Relevance = the Answer shd be relevant

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics the coop princ10

  • Q. Are you ready? they’re not rules

  • A. Is the pope Catholic?

    A Y/N Q is interpreted as a response to it

    Maxim of Relevance = the Answer shd be relevant

  • Thus against all odds, such Q&A succeeds due to aspects of the cooperative principle

Pragmatics: The coop princ.


Pragmatics presuppositions

Pragmatics: presuppositions


Pragmatics presuppositions1
Pragmatics: presuppositions required truths in order for utterance of the sentence to be appropriate or reasonable


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