Questions tagged [semantics]

Semantics is the study of meaning, used to understand expressions through language.

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1answer
313 views

Is there a linguistic term for “grammatically well-formed word salad”?

The accepted answer to this question quoted Chomsky's (1955) famous “sentence” Colorless green ideas sleep furiously and an earlier example from Tesnière (1940s), which translates to English as The ...
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4answers
668 views

Is the way words are used the biggest obstacle in understanding science and technology? [closed]

Do I have a point to say that, in the area of science, people have difficulties understanding it mostly due to the way words are used to describe whatever it may be? One may understand the words ...
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Are there generative theories of grammar with privative features outside of phonology?

By "generative grammar", I take the widest interpretation and do not mean "Chomsky's theory of syntax today", thus HPSG and LFG would be instances of GG(broad). Phonology has a ...
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2answers
102 views

Is there an approach to quantification theory that construes quantifiers as subset creators?

In formal semantics, the theory of generalized quantifiers analyzes quantifiers (e.g. all, some, no, most, few, etc.) in terms of sets to sets. The meaning of the quantifier some, for instance, is ...
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1answer
64 views

What's a good second formal semantics book?

I'm almost done reading Heim and Kratzer's Semantics in Generative Grammar and I'm looking for a good "second" book on formal semantics. Ideally, I would like it to emphasize the syntax-...
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2answers
60 views

Are different inflectional forms of a word different words or the same word?

At some point, I gained the notion that inflections of a word didn't constitute different words, but rather different forms of the same word. This Wikipedia article however, says the process of ...
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1answer
33 views

How to differentiate between consonants and vowels on praat? [closed]

I am student of MA and i need your help to know about the praat software. i am stuck in my research in last section. If any one hear to know so i thoroughly and rigorously sorry to say and please help ...
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0answers
43 views

Does every semantic ambiguity produce an equivalent syntactic ambiguity?

I was reading this question Syntactic and semantic ambiguity, and there is a comment from @jlawler on how the sentence "He's mad" have different syntactic affordances: Original comment: &...
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What are some good books on word formation and semantics? [closed]

I have been trying to find an accessible book for the general reader that focuses particularly on questions like: How words are created? (morphology, etymology, popular PIE roots etc.) How words ...
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2answers
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Metaphors meaning “understand”

All major branches of the IE family use variants of a metaphor that equates understand with grasp, but they use various roots, all of which have PIE pedigrees: Sanskrit has gŗbhnate < GhŖBh with ...
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What is the thematic role of the subjects of the sentences “The bomb exploded” and “The sun shone”?

In the sentence, "Sally jumped," "Sally" stands for the entity that causes or controls the jumping--in other words, an agent or agent-like argument. In the sentence, "The ...
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2answers
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Are there natural language paradigms like they are in programming languages?

There exist multiple programming language paradigms. Like Imperative programming, Functional programming, Object-Oriented programming, etc. Each with a different 'focus' or 'worldview'. Do such ...
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2answers
111 views

Grammatical function vs. Semantic role

What is the difference between grammatical functions and semantic roles? Are they the same?
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1answer
71 views

What is morphological analysis of words to estimate their meaning called?

Is there a word for this? I'll use an example to show what I mean: Let's say you don't know what sepsis means, which is bacterial infection of blood. So, you start thinking. You break the word up into ...
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0answers
30 views

Are all deictic elements either exophora or endophora?

If deixis is fixing the reference of something via context, this context should either be intralinguistic (and thus the deictical elements endophora) or extralinguistic (and thus the deictical ...
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Can “am” be a copula and an existential

The verb "am" used as a copula in the sentence "I am a man" is not used as an absolute existential, but in the sentence here, does it not connote the existence of the speaker, and ...
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1answer
37 views

Figure of speech name [closed]

Is there a name for a situation where a word is not needed because a the previous word doesn’t require it? Example: heart attacks are harmful for your health. “harmful” makes no sense there because ...
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0answers
36 views

Are there tests for conditionality?

I am looking for ways to test whether something that (at least superficially) looks like a conditional actually has the necessary properties to qualify as one. Are there any such established semantic ...
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0answers
20 views

What kinds of inventories of two-clause conditional constructions are attested?

I'm not sure exactly how to analyze the conditional constructions that English has, but it appears to have two: indicative conditionals and counterfactual conditionals. If we analyze English this way, ...
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Changed meanings in borrowed terms

Looking for examples of changed meanings for words borrowed from non-English languages. Example is mis-use of entrée. Original French entrée = entry, entrance, appetizer, etc. Entrée is commonly ...
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0answers
36 views

What are the different approaches to handling grammatical number in type theory?

What are the different approaches to handling grammatical number in type theory? This question asks about the type of and in five boys and girls. That noun phrase is interesting because boys and ...
2
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1answer
44 views

What is the type and lambda denotation of the disjunction 'or' in the phrase 'five girls or boys run' using the generalised quantifier theory? [closed]

'Five girls and boys' I wonder what the denotation and type is of the disjunction 'or' in this phrase. I have 'five' as type <e,t><e,t>t> and the denotation as λPλQ[|P ∩ Q|= 10], but I ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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Do older adults perceive words in different ways than young adults?

Do you agree that older adults perceive words differently from young adults, and learn more innuendos and double meanings? I read a science article that stated that adults continue to learn words and ...
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12answers
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Which languages have different words for “maternal uncle” and “paternal uncle”?

According to some early Hebrew grammarians, the Biblical Hebrew word דוד (dod) specifically means "paternal uncle," while the term מסרף (misraf) means "maternal uncle" (for example,...
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Is there a standard accepted definition of in-situ quantification, and if so what is it?

I'm reading a paper that references Montague being focused on in-situ quantification. I'm not a linguist, so apologies for the naivety, but how does this differ from what is being called bounded ...
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Is the propositional attitude verb an eventive verb?

In terms of aspect, verbs can only be categorized into stative verb and eventive verb, right? Then how about propositional attitude verb like "think" "say"? Are they also eventive ...
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1answer
49 views

Books recommendation on syntax, semantics and pragmatics interaction [closed]

Can anyone here suggest any texts that deals especially with the interaction between Semantics, Pragmatics and Syntax? I would like to understand how these various levels, especially syntax-semantics,...
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0answers
133 views

What's the difference between event time and reference time?

Here is an example, "Molly had left at 10 pm". The temporal references will be event time < reference time < speech time, right? But why? Also, for "The sun has set", why ...
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1answer
38 views

Is have+ negation equal to imperfective?

I know aspect can be categorized into perfective and imperfective, but I'm just curious whether the example "John hasn't gone to Paris" is still perfective or converted into imperfectve?
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1answer
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some basic questions about morphological aspect

According to the definition, morphological aspect presents the reported event or state of affairs as if viewed either from inside the event (‘in progress’) or outside the event (‘as a whole’). For ...
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1answer
43 views

Metonym Hyponym: nym relationship

is there a "nym" relationship between "Ford" and "car"?
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60 views

Inverse scope reading

It is well known that any sentence with two or more quantifiers will result in in multiple possible readings depending on the ordering of the quantifiers. To take a known example (1), there will be ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Are these two propositions semantically entailed?

Now with spare time on my hands am rekindling my interest in linguistics. Doing some self study and am struggling with an exercise. I have 2 propositions and I am trying to work out the relationship ...
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1answer
169 views

Smirnitsky's classification of homonyms

I'm a newbie on this site. I just learned the Smirnitsky's classification of homonyms and to be honest, I haven't quite grasped it yet. Here's the summary of the classification: Full lexical homonyms ...
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0answers
56 views

How to explain “Propositions are sets of worlds”?

According to Kratzer, propositions are sets of worlds, but I find it really abstract. Are there any examples to explain it?
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0answers
60 views

Angelika Kratzer's modal bases

In Kratzer’s theory, for each world w, modal base is the set of propositions p such that the speaker knows in w that p is true, e.g. f(w) = {p1, p2, p3}. Following the standard assumption in possible ...
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1answer
104 views

How does lexical replacement occur?

For example, in Mycenaean Greek, the word for king was Wanax or Anax, whereas the Modern Greek word for king is Basileus, nothing at all like Wanax. How did this happen & how do these kinds of ...
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1answer
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A question about possible worlds and truth value

The sentence "He must be Mr. White." can be interpreted as "In all the possible worlds, the proposition that he is Mr.White is true", right? But I'm just wondering all the possible ...
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0answers
78 views

What is the relation between modal base and ordering source?

I edited the question again. Here is an explanation for epistemic modal, John must have the flu. a. Epistemic Modal Base (MBepis) = { John has a fever, John has a cough, John did not get a flu shot, .....
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0answers
54 views

Semantical and functional morphemes

I have this idea in my head that when it comes to morphemes, there are two divisions at the top: "semantical morphemes" and "functional morphemes". Semantical morphemes are those ...
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0answers
46 views

A question about argument structure of see, watch, look

According to Kearns(2011), verbs like peer, gawk, spot, scan, sight, study, glare, eye, glance, observe, peep, stare, examine, glimpse, etc. can be categorized into "see" class, "watch&...
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0answers
39 views

Questions about identifying the thematic roles

I'm still not confident about whether I've totally understood thematic roles. Can you help me see whether these thematic roles are correct? Thank you in advance! a.[Hilda] slung [the case] [overboard]....
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Kayne on Conjunctions and Chomsky's Labelling Algorithm

I'm reading on coordination structures in relation to Chomsky's proposal of the Labelling Algorithm and stumbled upon Kayne (1994) The Antisymmetry of Syntax. In it, Kayne takes the view that ...
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1answer
61 views

What’s the name of this figure of speech?

Saying “The not tall boy” instead of “The short boy” does it have a name?
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1answer
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Is the word “Language” in “Natural Language Processing” plural or singular, count or mass? [closed]

I want to translate the word language in the term NLP to the Arabic language. so I wonder, In Natural Language Processing, if the word language is countable or uncountable? whether it is plural or ...
2
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1answer
60 views

Introduction to compositional semantics with types

I'm looking for an introduction (book or lecture notes) to compositional semantics based on e-t type theory that would be suitable for first-year level linguistics presupposing knowledge of elementary ...
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2answers
101 views

What's the tense ambiguity of this sentence?

I'm reading Kearns(2011) and in Ch9, the author says the sentence "All Torah’s friends were rich then" is ambiguous in the possible scopes of tense and a quantifier NP. I know one meaning is ...
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0answers
61 views

Two questions about referential opacity

I'm self-studying Kearns(2011), and here are two tricky questions I'm really curious about. I asked my classmates but they failed to answer it too. We really don't know how the first sentence can have ...
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0answers
39 views

Which (of the Germanic) languages support resultative constructions?

my question regards resultative constructions. Which of the Germanic languages supports resultative constructions? It would be awesome if you could suggest any literature regarding any language. ...

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