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Questions tagged [meaning]

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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 ...
5
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2answers
437 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. ...
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5answers
4k 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 {-...
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6answers
3k views

Are there any words understood by speakers of any language in the world?

Are there any words probably understood by “everyone” in the world? I understand that this question needs multiple clarifications, including the following: By a 'word' I mean a word used in the ...
5
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1answer
309 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
4
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1answer
137 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 ...
4
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1answer
54 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
179 views

How are meanings of a word ordered in a dictionary?

What base does vocabulary.com use for its hierarchy of meanings of a word? For example see http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/sound. Are top levels (numbered list) all homonyms? What structure do ...
3
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3answers
329 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 ...
3
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2answers
132 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 ...
3
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0answers
145 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. ...
3
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0answers
134 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 ...
2
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2answers
3k views

What is meant by the maxim, "Context is King"?

How is context "king" in deriving meaning from words?
2
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2answers
988 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 ...
2
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1answer
2k 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?
2
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1answer
295 views

What is meaning according to Saussure?

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

What is the phenomenon of wrong sticky memory?

I want to learn some words from different languages. For example I want to learn Greek μελάνι which means ink. However, since I knew this word as dark or black in English morphology and etymology from ...
2
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0answers
28 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 ...
2
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0answers
46 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 ...
2
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0answers
90 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 ...
2
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0answers
34 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. ...
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2answers
85 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/...
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1answer
149 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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2answers
80 views

Do we have a term for priori knowledge in linguistics?

Broadly speaking, these terms have been introduced throughout history to categorize knowledge: A priori, rationalism, deductive reasoning => meaning that we gain new knowledge, only by using ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
99 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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1answer
103 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?
1
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1answer
76 views

Is there a human language with a continuous and differentiable morphology/phonology?

This might be a strangely framed question for a liguist, since I'm a physicist and know very little about this field. My question relates to how changing a symbol (for example a letter) in a word ...
1
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1answer
42 views

Perception of "luck" in terms of positive/negative aspect, improbability pattern and scale in different languages

I am interested in how concept of luck is expressed in different languages. As far as I know, in most Indo-European languages, there are similar ways to express the concept of luck and situations ...
1
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1answer
836 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] ...
1
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1answer
142 views

Examples for calque / loan-translation words with different meanings in different languages

Are there words/phrases/compound-words in two different languages that use the same words in their respective languages (like a calque / loan translation) but result in different meanings? Here is a ...
1
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1answer
491 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 ...
1
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1answer
52 views

Name for a deliberate change of a meaning? [closed]

Is there a specific name, a figure of speech, for a "deliberate, even subtle change of the meaning of a word"? Example: "- You're doing politics at school as a teacher! - Everything can ...
1
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0answers
50 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
434 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 ...
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0answers
115 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
13k views

What do you understand by the term 'register'? [duplicate]

I'd be interested in asking people about their understanding of the term register and what this signifies for them. This would be a discussion about a specialised term and I'm sure there are multiple ...
0
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1answer
35 views

"Matter" and "What Matters"; "Substance" and "Of Substance"

This thought is directed at those who have an interest in the deeper meaning of language and how it connects to our perspective of reality. Perhaps a bit philosophical. If this is not the proper place,...
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2answers
95 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 ...
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3answers
136 views

Why is “I pray” a response to “thank you” in many languages?

I noticed that “I pray” is used as a response to “thank you” in many languages. For example, Turkish Teşekkür ederim. (“I thank.”) Rica ederim. (“I pray (or make a request).”) Italian Ti ringrazio....
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1answer
62 views

Is an unambiguous description of left and right side of the body available in some languages

The nautical terms "port and starboard" refer to the left and right side of a vessel when looking from the stern to the bow. At first it seems silly, but, it's actually great to ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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1answer
258 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
103 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
412 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
289 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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0answers
26 views

Reflexivity of similarity-in-a-respect

In the discussion of similarity relations similarity is typically taken to be reflexive -- in fact, it's the one property that's nearly universally agreed upon. But not everyone thinks similarity is ...