LIN3041 -- Intro to Linguistics -- Week 5 Notes
LIN3041 -- Intro to Linguistics -- Week 5 Notes LIN3041
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gabrielle Isgar on Tuesday February 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LIN3041 at Florida State University taught by Dr. Gretchen Sunderman in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 36 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Linguistics in Linguistics and Speech Pathology at Florida State University.
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Date Created: 02/02/16
Lecture Notes – Week 5 – 2/2&2/4 Chapter 6 – Semantics: The Analysis of Meaning Semantics -- The Analysis of Meaning Meaning -- conveys a message; has content Semantics -- the study of meaning in human languages Four areas o The nature of meaning o Conceptual system o Semantics and syntax o Pragmatics (inferring something from the meaning) Nature of meaning: Semantic relations among words Semantic relations among sentences Semantic relations among words: Synonymy o Synonyms are words or expressions that have the same meaning in some or all contexts o Examples: flourish-thrive, intelligent-smart, casual-informal Antonymy o Antonyms are words or phrases that are opposites with respect to some component in their meaning o Examples: uncle-aunt, intelligent-stupid, young-old Said that we don't really need to focus on these: Hypernym (dog) Hyponym (spaniel, collie, beagle, etc.) Describes the relationship of the subcategory and the main category Meronym (head, nose, paws, tail) Holonym (dog) Polysemy o Occurs in situations in which a word has two or more related meanings o Example: mark Homophony o Exists in words in which a single form has two or more entirely distinct meanings o Need not have same spelling ** as soon as you see that they're spelled differently, you know it's a homophony o Example: bank (river vs. money bearing institution) Homograph o Different words, same spelling o Example: bank Homophone o Single form, two distinct meanings o Example: write/right Homonym Lecture Notes – Week 5 – 2/2&2/4 o Both a homograph and homophone Polysemy and homophony cause…Lexical Ambiguity o Liz bought a pen Could mean that she just bought a pen, as in the writing utensil, but if they tell you that she has some goats then it changes the meaning of the sentence o There was a bug in the building Could mean an insect, but with other information you could infer that this bug is referring to spyware security Semantic relations involving sentences: Paraphrase o Two sentences that can have the same meaning are said to be paraphrases o Example: The dog barked when he ran. When the dog ran he barked. Entailment o When the truth of one sentence guarantees the truth of another sentence o Example: I have a child. I am a mother. Contradiction o When two sentences cannot both be true o Example: I'm a mother. I've never had a child. Connotation o The set of associations that a word's use can evoke o Example: Winter in MN -- you're going to freeze, have to wear a huge coat, shoveling snow Winter in FL -- probably gonna be the same as summer at most times, 80 degrees on Christmas Denotation o Entities that a word or expression refers to (also called its referents or extension) Extension o The set of entities that a word of expression refers to (also called its referents and denotation) The things that the phrase is referring to If there isn't anyone who it applies to -- empty set Intension o Expression's inherent sense; the concept it evokes What the phrase actually means What is meaning? Componential analysis/Semantic decomposition Semantic Features [+/-] Semantic Decomposition (a) pine, elm, ash, weeping willow (b) rose, dandelion, tulip, daisy The (a) and (b) words are [+ nature] The (a) words are [+ trees/- flowers] Lecture Notes – Week 5 – 2/2&2/4 The (b) words are [+ flowers/- trees] Using semantic decomposition, explain why some female college professors are upset by the use of the title "Mrs." o Could be a different title as in Dr. o Mrs. signifies [+ married], doesn't address your educational level o Ms. Is [- married] o Mr. doesn't involve any sort of marital status o There's now a push for Mx. which is a gender neutral title Example: dog-puppy-cat-kitten Dog -- +animal, +old, -feline, +k9 Puppy -- +animal, -old, -feline, +k9 Cat -- +animal, +old, +feline, -k9 Kitten -- +animal, -old, +feline, -k9 Verb meaning and subcategorization Throw, toss, kick, fling vs. push, pull, lift, haul o All action words, all sort of alike but all behave differently o Throw, toss, kick, fling [NP] [NP] Push, pull, lift, haul cannot be followed by 2 NPs Semantically related but not syntactically related The conceptual system Images are real (pg. 210) o People were shown a picture of a nail and asked whether the corresponding word had appeared in a sentence such as The man hammered the nail into the wall. o Took less time to answer the question when the picture provided a horizontal nail than a vertical nail o The reverse was true for The man hammered the nail into the wall. o The meaning of words is directly related to physical experience Fuzzy concepts o Example: if I say that he's rich, how much money does he make? What is rich? How much does he make a year? $100,000? Depends on where you live, relationship status, how many kids you have Is it only about money? o If you can debate it for a while, it's probably fuzzy Graded membership o Example: name a fruit; mango, dragon fruit Graded membership -- related but not the first thing that you think of Prototypical exemplars o Example: name a fruit; apple Prototypical exemplars -- the first fruits that you think of Your prototypical exemplars are also related to personal experience More specifically geographical location (Thursday, February 4 )th Lecture Notes – Week 5 – 2/2&2/4 The conceptual system Metaphor -- the understanding of one concept in terms of another concept Spatial metaphors o "I'm feeling up/down." Lexicalization of concepts -- the process whereby concepts are encoded in the words of a language Ex. Words pertaining to light in the book o If something is glaring, has a negative connotation o If something is shining or shimmery, it's assumed to be a more beautiful light Por ejemplo, bajar o subir en Español o Only need one word to say to go down Grammaticized concepts -- concepts that are expressed as affixes and non-lexical (functional) categories Ex. -ed implies that something is past tense, -s ending means it's plural Ex. May implies that you can do something if you want to while must means that you're obligated to do something Evidentiality morphemes in Hidatsa o Attaches a morpheme which defines the level of truth associated with the statement Syntax and Sentence Interpretation Principle of Compositionality -- the meaning of a sentence is determined by the meaning of its component parts and the manner in which they are arranged in syntactic structure Ex. When you say "sneezed" it doesn't take a direct object, but with the right construction you could use it differently; "he sneezed the paper off the table" Constructional meaning The caused motion construction o X caused Y to go somewhere NP V NP PP o X causes Y to have Z (ditransitive) NP V NP NP Structural ambiguity -- has more than one possible interpretation Ex. Wealthy men and women o Could mean that both men and women are wealthy or that just the men are wealthy Illustrated through syntactic trees which clearly have different structures Let's practice: The man hit the woman with the purse. (implies that the woman had the purse) (implies that the man had the purse) Lecture Notes – Week 5 – 2/2&2/4 Thematic roles -- categorize the relation between a sentence's parts and events that it describes Agent -- the entity that performs an action Theme -- the entity undergoing an action or a movement Source -- starting point for a movement End -- end point for a movement Location -- the place where an action occurs Thematic grid Purchase <agent, theme> Walk <agent> To <goal> From <source> At <location> Some rules P assigns a thematic role to its complement NP V assigns a theme role to its complement NP V assigns an agent role to its subject NP Where does the thematic role get assigned? Deep structure The interpretation of pronouns Pronominals o I, me, we, us, you, he, him, she, her, they, it Reflexives o Myself, ourselves, yourself, yourselves, himself, herself, themselves, itself Antecedents Pronominals and reflexives pronouns differ in terms of where their antecedents can occur: o Ex. Claire knew that Jane trusted herself. o Ex. Claire knew that Jane trusted her. Principle A -- A reflexive pronoun must have an antecedent that c-commands it in the same minimal IP Principle B -- A pronominal must NOT have an antecedent that c-commands it in the same minimal IP C-command -- o NP a-commands NP if tbe first category above fill in o (said she wouldn't ever give these on a test) Pragmatics -- speaker's and addressee's background attitudes and beliefs Understanding of the context in which the sentence is uttered Knowledge of how language can be used to inform, persuade, mislead, etc. Presupposition -- the assumption of belief implied by the use of a particular word or structure o Ex. Have you stopped exercising regularly? Implies that they think that you don't look so great, like you haven't been working out Setting -- context of the utterances o Spatial deictics (here, there, etc.) Lecture Notes – Week 5 – 2/2&2/4 Discourse -- the connected series of utterances produced during a conversation, lecture, story or other speech event o Old (given) information o New information o It's weird if people keep repeating old information that's already been established Topic -- what a sentence or a portion of the discourse is about Conversational maxims Conversational implicature -- the ability to draw inferences about what is meant but not actually said Ex. "What's your dinner tonight?" "I had to work late." o Implies that there is no dinner made Cooperative Principle -- make your contributions appropriate to the conversation Conversational maxims (in terms of response to the question "When's the next bus coming?" Maxim of Relevance -- be relevant It's snowing outside. Maxim of Quality -- try to make a contribution that is true In 5 minutes. (when it's really not) Maxim of Quantity -- don't make contribution more or less informative than required Provides the detailed bus schedule Maxim of Manner -- avoid ambiguity and obscurity; be brief and orderly What's a bus? What is time?
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