Having read the following, I know that 'semantics' is a hyponym of semiotics, and semiotics a hyponym of 'meaning'. But the semblance of interchangeability between 'meaning' and 'semantics' in certain uses exposes my failure to comprehend the differences totally. So what finer distinctions have I neglected?
Optional Reading and Supplement:
Source: An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams
[p 571:] meaning The conceptual or semantic aspect of a sign or utterance that permits us to comprehend the message being conveyed. Expressions in language generally have both form—pronunciation or gesture—and meaning. See extension, intension, sense, reference.
[p 578:] semantics The study of the linguistic meanings of morphemes, words, phrases, and sentences.
Source: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (Oxford University Press, 3rd ed, 2014), by Matthews, P. H.
meaning = Traditionally of something said to be ‘expressed by’ a sentence. E.g. I hate parsnips would express the thought, judgement, or proposition ‘I hate parsnips’. Forms that express something are meaningful, ones that do not are meaningless. Thence also of the words, constructions, etc. that make up a sentence: e.g. parsnip means ‘parsnip’ [...]
semantics = The study of meaning. Seen by Bréal, in the late 19th century, as an emerging science (French ‘sémantique’) opposed to phonetics (‘phonétique’) as a science of sounds: similarly, for Bloomfield in the 1930s, it was a field covering both grammar, as one account of meaningful forms, and the lexicon. Also seen more narrowly, in a tradition lasting into the 1960s, as the study of meaning in the lexicon alone, including changes in word meaning. Later, in accounts in which the study of distributions was divorced from that of meanings, opposed either to grammar in general; or, within grammar and especially within a generative grammar from the 1960s onwards, to syntax specifically. Of the uses current from the end of the 20th century, many restrict semantics to the study of meaning in abstraction from the contexts in which words and sentences are uttered: in opposition, therefore, to pragmatics. Others include pragmatics as one of its branches. In others its scope is in practice very narrow: thus one handbook of ‘contemporary semantic theory’, in the mid-1990s, dealt almost solely with problems in formal semantics, even the meanings of lexical units being neglected.