I am revising for my NLP quiz and am getting confused at the difference between semantic and pragmatic. I studied that semantic is the study of words and their meaning in sentences while pragmatic takes context into consideration.

1) When is a sentence semantically incorrect ? What do I need to identify to distinguish between correct and incorrect ? Are there any examples ?

2) How do I identify sentences that are semantically correct but pragmatically incorrect ?

3) Is a syntactically correct sentence also always semantically correct ?

4) What are examples of semantically correct but pragmatically incorrect sentences ?

  • 1
    Not sure about 2 and 4, but Chomsky's famous "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" is an example of a syntactically correct and semantically incorrect sentence. – kash Mar 12 '18 at 15:02
  • It's not clear what "pragmatically incorrect" would mean. Do you mean for example calling your boss "jerk face", assuming you don't want to get fired? – user6726 Mar 12 '18 at 16:34
  • Hi Kong. Welcome to SE Linguistics. What's "NLP"? – Araucaria - him Mar 19 '18 at 21:49
  • 2
    @Araucaria The acronym usually refers to Natural Language Processing and is roughly a synonym for "computational linguistics" (though often more "computational"). – tripleee Mar 20 '18 at 10:22

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