Questions tagged [meaning]

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2
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2answers
852 views

What is meant by the maxim, “Context is King”?

How is context "king" in deriving meaning from words?
2
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0answers
27 views

How can you differentiate kick from kick at? [closed]

In English we can find both expressions: He kicked the door. and He kicked at the door. It seems to me that they have the same meaning. Can we find the context in which only one of them is appropriate ...
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2answers
79 views

What are the target and source domain of this metaphor

The metaphor is: "the shower of arrows was over". Could "War" the source domain? And the target domain could be "water"? It doesn't make sense to me. I have read the ...
-3
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1answer
150 views

Why is there pressure to change seemingly neutral words that some consider 'offensive' to their more 'neutral' synonyms?

Clearly, there is now pressure to stop using words such as whitelist/blacklist (which are now considered racist) and instead replace them with allowlist/denylist; master/slave terminology in tech is ...
3
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0answers
140 views

Why does “also” in German and in English denote different things?

There are some words in the German language that may seem to be familiar to a native English speaker, but in the end, it turns out that they are so-called "false friends" and have different meanings. ...
2
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0answers
42 views

Is it possible to infer the meaning of a word of a language based on corpus analysis, without prior knowledge of the language?

If I am totally foreign to a language, are there corpus analysis methodologies and theories that I can employ to figure out the meaning of a word in a corpus based on that language? If yes, do point ...
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0answers
33 views

What are the differences between speech acts and implicatures?

Here's what I have come up with. What I understand is that implicature is always indirect and not explicit, so the hearer must infer from the context. Speech act, on the other hand, may be direct ...
-1
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1answer
36 views

What is the entailment of this sentence?

I found that most of the examples of entailment are statements about a third person, but never the speakers themselves. So I wonder what the utterance like "I'm cold." entails?
2
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1answer
88 views

What is meaning according to Saussure?

Did Ferdinand de Saussure define meaning in his Course in General Linguistics?
2
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0answers
81 views

What word category do twink, adonis, muse etc. belong to? [closed]

Terms such as candy, cutie, honey, princess, diamond, queen(?), stud and bunny are terms of endearment (these terms are often used in a relationship to show affection and may also be used, with ...
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0answers
56 views

Two meanings of “Someone believes everyone to be invited”

Carnie claims in his syntax book that the sentence Someone believes everyone to be invited has two meanings. I can see only one (when the existential quantifier has scope over universal one: when ...
1
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2answers
97 views

Is there a formal definition of the term meaning?

According to Wiktionary and Wikipedia, meaningfulness is "the state or measure of being meaningful", while meaningful is "having meaning, significant", while meaning is "the information or ...
1
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0answers
45 views

Meaning of the inverted copula

I just discovered the existence of the inverted copula concept. Learning a bit of Latin, you have the structure: Subject - Copula - Predicate. But as the case is the same in Latin for the Subject ...
2
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2answers
98 views

In case the fregean distinction between “sense” and “ denotation” is used in linguistics, what purpose does it serve in this discipline?

I'm referring here to the distinction Frege made in his paper called " Sense and denotation". A classical example is " the morning star" and " the evening star" : different senses but same ...
1
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2answers
77 views

Can one avoid using the notion of meaning when defining syntax and pragmatics?

In an elementary course on philosophy of language ( at the highschool level) , I try to explain to students the distinction betweeen semantics, syntax and pragmatics. Referring myself to Carnap/...
1
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1answer
100 views

Does this sentence have two meanings?

The sentence is Some employee must leave. I was told that it is actually ambiguous and has two meanings. But I can only see one. What are the two meanings?
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0answers
103 views

What is the difference between directive function and informational function of a language?

In Geoffery Leech, Chapter 4, Semantics The Study of Meaning, It is written that "The third function of language is the directive function whereby we aim to influence the behaviour and attitudes ...
-3
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1answer
70 views

what is out of context thinking called [closed]

In the movie "pursuit of happiness" this particular exchange happens Martin Frohm: What would you say if man walked in here with no shirt, and I hired him? What would you say? Chris Gardner: ...
-2
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1answer
134 views

Hand gesture - Patting

I apologize if the following question is off-topic on this site. Some time ago, I was sitting at a table in a cafeteria/canteen. A few tables away, I saw someone I knew. This person also saw me and ...
1
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1answer
624 views

How can the Arabic word “Hijr” be translated as “perception” or “understanding” or “intellect” [closed]

The sentence I mention is from Quran (written at least 14 centuries ago) verse 89:5. Full phrase is : هل في ذلك قسم لذي حجر And this is translated as: Sahih International: Is there [not] in [all] ...
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0answers
27 views

Maximally dissecting lexicon according to meaning (heuristically)

I'm trying to find a set of N English terms that maximally express the 'space of meaning' that all words are encapsulated within. I don't know the correct nomenclature to describe what I'm looking for ...
-1
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1answer
82 views

Can the Hebrew word translated “made” in Genesis 1 be translated as prepared or used? [closed]

Some people say it can be, which very much changes the meaning of the chapter.
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2answers
2k views

Are people's names considered morphemes of a language?

For example, is "Donald" a morpheme of the English language? I can see reasons for and against. Reasons for: It allows us to say stuff like "a language is a function from sequences of morphemes of ...
1
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0answers
368 views

What is the view of prototype theory regarding features?

For example, the most prototypical exemplars of bird is robin, the least ones are ostrich or penguin. But since it rejects the classical theory (aka the necessary and sufficient conditions), I think ...
0
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2answers
52 views

Metalanguage to describe expressing an idea in many different ways

I am looking for a term to describe expressing an idea in many different forms yet the meaning remains the same in each rendition. An example of this: The Australians, Australians, the Australian ...
0
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1answer
68 views

The most different meanings a verb has been found to have

After considering How we can use the same word in multiple different ways and distinguish it so easily, I'm wondering now how complex it can get. I'm wondering what an example is from any language ...
0
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1answer
226 views

Why and how do some words come to mean multiple completely unrelated things?

Take an example of the English word 'just'. While it means 'morally fair' in "a just social system", it also means 'a little' in "just less than 8%". For a myriad of colourful meanings of 'just', ...
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1answer
63 views

For X to be considered a language, it must possess a partial function from sequences of _____ to meanings. What word goes in the blank? [closed]

Morpheme? Emic unit? Here, one may view the word 'meaning' to sort of mean a "language sufficient to express all ideas." In this sense, a "meaning" may be defined in terms of such an abstract ...
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0answers
32 views

what theories of idioms cover depth of idiomaticity?

It is obvious that, in English, the phrasal verb "get up" (meaning to awake and move out of bed) and the idiom "raining cats and dogs" (meaning rain strongly) have different depths of idiomaticity. ...
4
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1answer
38 views

Does metonymy impart new definitions to words?

In phrases like "force of arms", "challenge our arms" (example:General Mattis recent speech), etc, the word "arms" is an example of metonymy, I think. The phrases refer to war by referring to weapons....
4
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1answer
132 views

How do we know the definition and meaning of words like “though”

Everyday we use words like "although". I personally have never tried to define it as far as I can remember. One definition of although is "even though", but what is an "even" though. Even is about ...
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0answers
111 views

How is a meaningful sentence or paragraph constructed?

I don't have a formal background of linguistics, but I'd like to know how a sentence or paragraph becomes meaningful to a reader, and how one can construct that. I think it falls to the areas of ...
-1
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1answer
71 views

“uitsluitend”, logic of its double meaning [closed]

First question here. I found the word "uitsluitend" in Dutch language, and I was explained that it has two meanings, one is the present participle of uitsluiten (~excluding), and the other ...
4
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3answers
892 views

“Den” or “det” in Swedish

I am native Swedish speaker and I have a problem that the language seems to have no grammar in some cases. For instance there is both "en lag" and "ett lag" meaning completely different things but the ...
3
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0answers
118 views

How to find words to other languages that have no clear translation in English

For a work of fiction, I have a character who speaks Russian, German and Hungarian, none of which I speak. The character wrote a fictional novel that appears only in its English translation, but the ...
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0answers
285 views

Is it possible that the word virgin originally had two meanings?

I wasn't sure whether to post this here, or on mythology stack exchange. Since it deals with the origin of a word, I choose here. But if I am wrong, tell me and I will move it. The originally meaning ...
5
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2answers
344 views

Is there a linguistic term for words that can have the same meaning in different languages?

The closest I can find is 'cognate' but that term is used for words that have similar etymology and phonetic characteristics but not necessarily the same or similar meaning in different languages. ...
1
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1answer
119 views

Difference between forms of the georgian verbs with and/or without objective version vowel

I was studying the complicted verbal morphology of Georgian language, when I came across the description of versioners in Hewit's Georgian: A Structural Reference Grammar. In discussing the Objetive ...
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1answer
89 views

what Egyptian hieroglyph(s) meant/depicted “time”? [closed]

Does anybody know what Egyptian hieroglyph was used to describe time?
3
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2answers
208 views

Verb pairs similar to “buy” and “sell”?

"buy" and "sell" that are basically the same action/event, but reverse arguments (subject of one, the object of the other): X sold his car to Y. Y bought a car from X. Is there a any special name ...
2
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2answers
876 views

Linguistics concept about meaning of words according to a context

Several linguistics questions about the meaning in context of words: How is called in linguistics the fact some words have a meaning only with other words? How is it called when a word changes ...
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1answer
83 views

What is the meaning of the word “antiquarian” in this context? [closed]

"Although some Humanists were clubbish snobs-an intellectual elite with narrow, antiquarian interests-others preached a civic Humanism..."
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2answers
89 views

semantics of bizarre usages in view of a second-language-speaker

Generative tradition, as far as I (an amateur) understand, revolves around the 'poverty of the stimulus' argument. So I can understand why I clearly get the meaning 'she shelved her books' or at ...
2
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1answer
1k views

What does linguistic under-determinacy mean?

What does linguistic under-determinacy mean? and why are irony, metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole, simile, understatment and indirect answer cases of of under-determinacy?
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1answer
97 views

The Meaning of Understand [closed]

I'm working on a programming project with the main focus of 'understanding'. I'm fully aware of the technical implications but that's not why I'm here. I need to know what 'to understand' actually ...
5
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1answer
144 views

What is the difference between AND and WITH in general?

I, myself, a russian native, but still can't tell what is the real difference between and and with even in my own language. Is there definite demarcation line between those grammatical concepts? I'm ...
1
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1answer
375 views

Searching the word occurance in coca (corpus of contemporary American English) including meaning

I searched for a word inviting in coca and I got about 50 thousand usage examples. That's a lot of data. I'm interested in, if there is some possibility to refine the search, especially to search ...
0
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1answer
136 views

Process or action?

In the real world, The sun melts the ice. (the sun is causing the change) but the same event can be described as Ice melts. Are both sentences describing the process, or is ...
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2answers
279 views

Proform Function

How do pro-forms get their meaning? For example, does the word 'he' in the sentences "Harry got a toy. He was happy." get it's meaning from the context, or what the speaker meant by "he".
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5answers
3k views

Are all morphemes meaningful?

According to the notes I kept during a lecture on Morphology, morphemes are meaningful themselves and they can also differentiate meaning. Are all morphemes considered to be meaningful? For example {-...