semantics (2) dr. ansa hameed. previously….  semantics: study of meanings  why meanings are...

Download SEMANTICS (2) Dr. Ansa Hameed. Previously….  Semantics: Study of Meanings  Why meanings are important???  Types of Meanings  Meanings at two levels:

Post on 17-Dec-2015




2 download

Embed Size (px)


  • Slide 1
  • SEMANTICS (2) Dr. Ansa Hameed
  • Slide 2
  • Previously. Semantics: Study of Meanings Why meanings are important??? Types of Meanings Meanings at two levels: Sentential Semantics Lexical Semantics
  • Slide 3
  • Todays Lecture Lexical Semantics
  • Slide 4
  • Lexical Semantics Definitions: 1.The scientific study of the meanings of Words and the systematic meaning related connections between words is known as Lexical Semantics. 2.The branch of Linguistics dealing with the meanings of words is called Lexical Semantics
  • Slide 5
  • Principal Goal of Lexical Semantics The principal goal of Lexical Semantics is to build a model for the structure of the lexicon by categorizing the types of relationship between words.
  • Slide 6
  • Semantic Field Semantic Field refers to the set of words with an identifiable semantic affinity. The following set (1) is an example of Semantic Field in which all the words refer to the Emotional States, while in set (2), all the words refer to Vessels 1.Angry,Sad, Exuberant, Depressed, Afraid 2.Cup, Mug, Wine glass, Plastic Cup, Goblet, Tumbler
  • Slide 7
  • Semantic Analysis at Word Level Three types of semantic analysis at lexical level: Words as containers Semantic features roles they fulfill Semantic roles relationship with other words lexical relation
  • Slide 8
  • Lexical Semantics Analysis 1.Semantic Features: Words as containers of meanings Examples: Syntactically correct sentences but semantically odd. The hamburger ate the man. My cat studies linguistics. The table listens to the radio This relates to the conceptual components of the words hamburger, cat & table not human.
  • Slide 9
  • Lexical Semantics Analysis Semantic properties: The components of meaning of a word. Meaning as collection of properties/features typically with two possible values (+ / -) Example of componential analysis: baby is [+ young], [+ human], [+animate]
  • Slide 10
  • Lexical Semantics Analysis Semantic Features:
  • Slide 11
  • Lexical Semantics Analysis 2. Semantic Roles: Words are described according to the roles they fulfill with the situation described in a sentence. The boy kicked the ball verb indicates action Boy performs the action= agent Ball undergoes the action= theme The NPs describe the role of entities (people or things) involved in the action, i.e. they have certain semantic (or thematic) roles.
  • Slide 12
  • Lexical Semantics Analysis Semantic Roles: Agent= the entity that performs the action Theme= the entity that undergoes the action Experiencer= one who perceives something Instrument= an entity used to perform an action Location= the place where the action happens Source= the place from which an action originates Goal= the place where the action is directed
  • Slide 13
  • Lexical Semantics Analysis Examples of Semantic Roles: John is writing with a pen agent instrument Mary saw a mosquito on the wall experiencer themelocation The children ran from the playground to the pool agent source goal
  • Slide 14
  • Lexical Semantics Analysis 3.Lexical Relationships: What is the meaning of big ? Large or the opposite of small What is the meaning of daffodil ? A kind of flower Analysis in terms of lexical relations- explain the meaning in terms of the relationship with other words Synonymy Antonymy Hyponymy Prototype Homophones and Homonyms Polysemy
  • Slide 15
  • Lexical Semantics Synonyms words that have the same meanings or that are closely related in meaning E.g. answer/reply almost/nearly broad/wide buy/purchase freedom/ liberty sameness is not total sameness - only one word would be appropriate in a sentence. E.g. Sandy only had one answer correct on the test. (but NOT reply) Synonyms differ in formality E.g. buy/purchase automobile/car
  • Slide 16
  • Lexical Semantics Synonyms: Some More Examples: Gloomy, Sorrowful, Rueful Happy, Glad, Cheerful Intelligent, Astute, Scintillating Note: However, true synonyms are rare. In most cases, synonyms may differ in one or more of the following aspects: A. Difference in origin B. Difference in the shades of meaning C. Difference in socio-expressive meaning D. Difference in stylistic meaning E. Differences in collocation and distribution
  • Slide 17
  • Lexical Semantics Antonymy: Antonymy is the relationship of oppositeness of meaning. When two or more lexemes or expressions are "opposite" in meaning, they are said to be antonyms. According to the semantic relationship, antonyms can be loosely divided into three categories: A. Complementary antonyms B. Gradable antonyms C. Relational opposites
  • Slide 18
  • Lexical Semantics Complementary antonyms: dead - alive single - married male female Gradable antonyms hot cold we can insert adjectives like warm and cool between them along the continuum. ) Relational opposites : wife - husband student - teacher father - son
  • Slide 19
  • Lexical Semantics Hyponymy: Words whose meanings are specific instances of a more general word, i.e. one thing is included (kind of) in another thing. e.g. cats and dogs are hyponyms of the word animal. In this case cats and dogs are co-hyponyms share the same superordinate Other e.g. daffodil & flower / carrot & vegetable / ant & insect
  • Slide 20
  • Lexical Semantics Hyponymy
  • Slide 21
  • Lexical Semantics Hyponymy vs. Meronymy Meronymy is a term used to describe a part-whole relationship between lexical items. Root, trunk, branch and leaf are meronyms of a tree because they are in the relationship of X is part of Y, or Y has X. Hyponymy is used to refer to a specific-general semantic relationship between lexical items. Dog and cat, wolf and tiger are respectively hyponyms (or subordinates) of livestock and wildlife, which in turn are both hyponyms of animal.
  • Slide 22
  • Lexical Semantics Prototypes: Canary dove duck flamingo parrot-robin bird The best example that belongs to a bird is robin , but what about ostrich and penguin ? Prototype: Characteristic instance Furniture chair is a better example than bench or stool. Clothing shirts more than shoes
  • Slide 23
  • Lexical Semantics Homonymy: A word which has two or more entirely distinct (unrelated) meanings, e.g. bank: financial institution ; of a river . Bat: flying creature or used in sports Race: contest of speed or ethnic group
  • Slide 24
  • Lexical Semantics Homophony: Different words pronounced the same but spelled differently, e.g. two, to and too. Flour and flower Meat and meet Right and write
  • Slide 25
  • Lexical Semantics Polysemy: A word which has multiple meanings related by extension, e.g. bright: shining ; intelligent Head of the body and the person at the top of a company. Foot of a body and of a mountain and of the bed or chair. Run a person runs, the water runs
  • Slide 26
  • Lexical Semantics Metonymy: It is "a figure of speech in which an attribute or commonly associated feature is used to name or designate something." A short definition is "part for whole." What do you think about these sentence? He drank the whole bottle.(container-content) The White House announced. (king-crown) I gave her a hand. (whole-part) A word substituted for another word with which it is closely associated e.g. bottle is used for water
  • Slide 27
  • Lexical Semantics Collocation Words tend to occur with other words. E.g. table/chair Butter/bread Salt/pepper Hammer/ nail
  • Slide 28
  • Lexical Semantics Retronyms 1. a new term created from an existing word in order to distinguish the original referent of the existing word from a later one that is the product of progress or technological development (e.g. acoustic guitar for guitar). 2. a term consisting of a noun and a modifier which specifies the original meaning of the noun e. camera is a retronym Some more Examples: Day Baseball, Silent Movie, Whole Milk, First World War, Surface Mail (Retronyms do not apply to the individual words but rather to the group of words)
  • Slide 29
  • Finally Lexical Semantics is primarily concerned with discovering relationships in the lexicon of languages. The different facets of relationships are the basic tools of lexical semantics,forming its fundamental crux. One type of meaning cannot be characterized in terms of another type.Every Lexical item, conveying a specific meaning is thus unique in itself.
  • Slide 30
  • Recap Lexical Semantics
  • Slide 31
  • References Allwood, Jens and Peter Grdenfors (eds) 1999. Cognitive semantics. Meaning and cognition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Kittay, Eva. 1987. Metaphor. Its cognitive force and linguistic structure. New York: Oxford University Press. Goodman, S. and Graddol, D. (1996) Redesigning English: new texts, new identities. London: Routledge. Hudson, R, A.Sociolinguistics,2 nd ed, Cambridge University press, :Cambridge Oxfords Advanced Learners Dictionary (2005).p.362 Prasad, Tarni,(2012) A Course in Linguistics.New Delhi:PHI Learning Pvt Ltd. Retrieved from: http:/


View more >