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Wee 5 Notes

by: Krista Notetaker

Wee 5 Notes LSLS 7060

Krista Notetaker
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

These notes cover the material listed in the syllabus for week 5, including the semantics article written by Dr. Pae. The material covered in the text is organized by the summary objectives listed ...
Applied Linguistics
Dr. Hye Pae
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Krista Notetaker on Wednesday February 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LSLS 7060 at University of Cincinnati taught by Dr. Hye Pae in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views.


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Date Created: 02/10/16
Week  5  Notes   Semantics   Written  by:  Krista  Anstead   February  2016     Learning  Outcomes:   •   understand  the  basic  concept  of  the  meaning  of  meaning  (i.e.,  semantics).   •    articulate  the  relationship  between  linguistic  forms  and  meaning-­‐making.   •    understand  linguistic  framing  and  intersubjectivity.   •    articulate  what  semiotics  is.   •    articulate  the  function  of  metaphors.   •    understand  the  role  of  metaphors  in  L2  learning.     Readings/References:   Pae,  H.  (2016,  February  08).  Semantics:  What  does  it  mean?  Reading.   Razfar,  A.  &  Rumenapp,  J.  (2014).  Semantics:  The  beginning  of  meaning.  In  Applying  linguistics     in  the  classroom:  A  sociocultural  approach  (pp.  131-­‐153).  New  York:  Routledge.     Chapter  7  Notes   Introduction   •   Semantics:  study  of  the  relationship  between  language  and  the  objects,  events,  and   relationships  referenced  by  words,  phrases,  and  sentences   •   Aka  the  study  of  meaning   •   Meaning  is  what  makes  us  who  we  are  as  human  beings   •   Semiotics:  considering  all  of  the  linguistic  and  non-­‐linguistic  ways  of  meaning   •   Formal  study  of  meaning-­‐making  processes   •   Helps  develop  our  metalinguistic  awareness  of  such  salient  issues  in  meanings   that  are  lost  in  translation   •   Three  principles  of  meaning:   •   1.  Meaning  is  not  as  stable  and  objective  as  linguistic  form   §   considerably  less  agreement  in  semantics  and  semiotic   §   meaning-­‐making  is  difficult  to  pin  down  in  fixed  terms  because  of  its   dynamics  and  constant  change   •   2.  Meaning  requires  us  to  simultaneously  pay  attention  to  both  the  stability  and   variability  of  language   §   denotative:  literal  definitions  of  words   §   connotative:  variations  in  meaning   •   3.  The  process  of  achieving  interpersonal  understanding  (intersubjectivity)  is   always  an  approximation  and  an  ongoing  process   §   represents  the  broader  objective  of  communication  and  language  use   §   points  to  both  the  private  machinations  of  meaning  (inner  voice,   reflection)  and  the  public  display  of  thought  (re-­‐presentation)   §   always  approximate,  partial,  and  yet  stable   §   simultaneously  agreement  and  disagreement,  coherence  and   contestation     Framing/Frame  analysis   •   presents  macro-­‐sociological  forces  through  the  prism  of  micro  interactions   •   provides  the  context  for  greater  precision  and  specificity  of  meaning   •   metaphor  of  a  picture  frame  to  explain  how  language  works   •   frame:  represents  linguistic  structure  and  the  boundaries  of  meaning   §   sets  the  stage  for  the  picture  to  be  interpreted  and  allows  the  audience   to  collectively  focus  on  a  common  object   •   picture:  context  and  lived  experience   •   apparent  in  all  language  but  is  more  vivid  in  institutional  talk   •   occurs  in  everyday  language   •   without  framing,  words  become  jumbled  pieces  of  a  puzzle  with  a  scattered  range  of   possible  meanings  and  leads  to  increase  in  miscommunication  and  misunderstanding   •   understanding  the  semantic  shifts  through  the  shifts  in  framing  is  grounded  in  the   language  socialization  experiences  of  speakers     Different  theories  of  how  meaning  relates  to  signs  and  words   •   assumptions  of  translation  (fallacy  of  equivalence):   •   there  is  a  one-­‐to-­‐one  correspondence  between  the  words  of  one  language  and   the  words  of  another  language   •   equivalent  terms  are  understood  cross-­‐culturally  in  almost  identical  ways   •   European  Approaches  to  Semiotics   •   Sign:  Basic  unit  of  meaning  across  all  human  languages   •   Referent:  object  that  has  objective  existence  beyond  language   •   Each  sign  consists  of  two  parts:   §   Signifier  –  spoken  word  or  symbol   §   Signified  –  word’s  referent   •   Sign  represents  an  external  object  in  the  world   •   Major  critique:  signs  are  not  grounded  or  stabilized;  one-­‐to-­‐one  correspondence   between  a  sign  and  something  in  the  world  does  not  explain  how  we  can  all  use   the  signifier  and  have  different  ideas  and  images  of  the  signified  in  the  world   •   Systematic  Functional  Linguistics   •   Belief  that  language  is  not  only  systematic  but  also  functional   •   Focuses  on  the  interrelationship  between  form  and  function  to  constitute   culture   •   View  grammar  not  only  as  a  system  of  tools  and  signs,  but  as  a  resource  of   potential  meaning   •   Focuses  on  how  language  systematically  produces  meaning   •   Any  unit  of  language  can  only  “mean”  when  systematically  connected  to  other   units   §   A  word  in  and  of  itself  means  nothing  unless  situated  to  other  words   •   Pragmatism   •   Takes  systematic  functional  linguistics  a  step  further  and  believes  that  a  sign  is   actually  a  process  called  semiosis   •   Belief  that  in  order  for  a  sign  to  be  meaningful,  it  has  to  be  grounded  and   stabilized   •   System  in  which  a  sign  is  made  up  consists  of  three  parts   §   Representation:  similar  to  concept  of  sign   §   Object:  similar  to  concept  of  signified   §   Interpretant:  concept  we  have  when  we  see  or  hear  the  representamen   •   Sig  only  means  in  relationship  to  our  concepts  and  means  because  we  have   grounded  a  relationship  between  the  sign  and  that  which  it  represents     Index  Icon  Symbol   •   Three  types  of  signs  based  on  relationship  between  Pierce’s  levels  of  pragmatism   •   1.  Icon:  looks  like  the  object  it  is  representing   §   symbols  stand  for  objects,  events,  and  relationships  in  the  world   •   2.  Index:  points  to  other  objects,  sets  of  actions,  events,  ideas,  and/or   relationships   §   has  meaning  because  they  point  to  inferred  causal  relationships   •   3.  Symbol:  people  agree  that  the  word  means  something   §   most  of  language  is  considered  to  be  symbolic  and  conventional   •   re-­‐presentation:  refers  to  how  language  users  display  agency  by  taking  existing  symbols   and  using  them  for  novel  purposes  and  functions     Role  of  context  in  word/meaning  relationships   •   Metaphors:  non-­‐literal,  rhetoric  device  used  to  convey  abstract  and  symbolic  meaning   •   Essentially  say  that  one  thing  is  something  else   •   Traditional  linguistic  opinion  of  metaphors:   •   Relatively  insignificant   •   Most  imperfect  form  of  language   •   Newer  linguistic  opinion  of  metaphors:   •   At  the  very  core  of  our  existence   •   Two  types  of  metaphors   •   1.  Linguistic  metaphors:  misalignment  between  the  signifier  and  the  signified;   what  we  think  a  sign  means  or  doesn’t  mean   •   2.  Conceptual  metaphors:  build  a  theory  create  and  hold  up  cultural  models,   ideas,  and  understanding  we  live  by   •   metaphors  shape  the  way  we  understand  instructional  practices,  policies,  etc.  and  are  at   the  center  of  our  cultural  models   •   Metaphors  are  also  cultural  because  they  are  developed  historically   •   Idioms  also  are  often  traced  to  historical  practices   •   Idioms:  figurative  units  of  language  that  cannot  be  translated  word  for  word  into   another  language   •   Two  types:   §   1.  Transparent:  more  literal  and  connected  to  entities,  events,  or  actions;   can  easily  be  demonstrated  through  gestures  or  explicit  definitions   §   2.  Opaque:  less  clear;  meaning  is  better  understood  through  etymology;   can  often  be  traced  back  historically  to  concrete  events   •   embodied  metaphors:  rooted  in  physical  experience  with  the  world   •   aka  primary  metaphors   •   relatively  universal  around  the  world  because  humans  experience  them  in   physically  the  same  way   •   not  innate,  but  rather  the  result  of  human  beings  having  similar  need,  purposes,   problems,  and  interactions  with  the  world  around  them;  we  are  trying  to  figure   out  the  same  types  of  problems     Classroom  practices  and  how  to  teach  about  meaning   •   embodied  metaphors  provide  a  starting  point  for  making  connections  with  our   newcomers  since  some  experiences  are  common  across  human  cultures   •   embodied  metaphors  help  us  achieve  intersubjectivity  with  our  students   •   metaphors  are  typically  difficult  to  teach  to  second  language  learners  because  there  is   variation  in  metaphors  across  cultures   •   two  types  of  metaphors:   •   linguistic:     •   cultural:  hard  to  understand  with  the  absence  of  cultural  cues   •   teaching  metaphors  becomes  a  matter  of  connecting  linguistic  expression  to  physical   experiences   •   teaching  metaphors  requires  knowledge  of  own  cultural  practices  and  those  of  students   •   We  need  to  understand  what  the  cultural  metaphors  mean,  how  we  use  them,  and  how   they  differ  from  those  of  our  students   •   It  is  impossible  to  escape  the  use  of  idioms  with  your  students  so  you  need  to  teach   them  and  explain  both  the  literal  meaning  and  the  metaphorical  meaning     Semantics  Handout  Notes   Introduction   •   “knowing  a  language  is  knowing  how  to  produce  and  understand  sentences  with  certain   meanings”   •   morphology,  syntax,  and  semantic  are  interconnected     Morphemes:  the  minimal  units  of  meaning     •   set  of  elements  that  represent  the  basic  meaningful  units  in  a  language   •   part  of  one’s  linguistic  competence  is  knowledge  of  morphemes,  their  pronunciations,   their  meanings,  and  how  they  are  combined   •   four  types  of  morphemes   o   bound   o   free  derivational   o   inflectional   •   weakness/critique:   o   paralysis  that  results  when  trying  to  classify  the  possessive  suffix  “-­‐  ‘s”   •   meaning  of  morphemes  and  words  are  defined  by  their  semantic  properties   o   ex:  homonyms,  homophones,  synonyms     Morphology  and  syntax   •   it  is  difficult  to  provide  phonological  definitions  for  morphemes   •   four  philosophies  of  morphemes   o   may  be  represented  by  a  single  sound   o   may  be  represented  by  a  syllable   o   may  be  represented  by  more  than  one  syllable   o   may  have  no  sound  to  represent  it  beyond  the  base  (sheep  and  sheep)   •   same  sounds  may  represent  different  morphemes   •   the  same  morpheme  may  have  different  phonological  meanings   •   grammar  determines  pronunciation  and  when  a  relation  will  be  expressed   morphologically  or  syntactically       meaning,  sense,  no  sense,  nonsense   •   even  though  something  might  follow  grammar  does  not  mean  that  it  makes   sense  semantically   •   if  you  do  not  know  the  semantic  meaning  of  words,  you  cannot  make  judgments   about  their  accuracy  or  consistency   •   semantic  properties  of  words  determine  what  other  words  they  can  be   combined  with   •   nonsense  sentences:  words  are  combined  with  regular  rules  of  grammar;  writing   them  depends  on  knowledge  of  semantic  system  of  language  and  meaning  of   words   •   words  can  also  have  meaning  (from  base  and  affixes)  but  have  no  reference  and   do  not  exist     The  meaning  of  meaning   •   we  have  to  use  words  that  are  linguistically  understood  to  give  meaning  to  those  that   are  not   •   primitive  semantic  elements:  those  words  which  are  left  undefined   •   everything  one  knows  about  linguistic  meaning  is  included  in  the  semantic  system  of   one’s  grammar     Q/A  Response   Directions:  Post  one  critical  question  drawn  from  the  reading  and  respond  to  your  posed   question.  Comment  on  at  least  two  of  your  peers’  posts.  


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